From “The Marvel Monthly,” Newsletter of The Magicians and Spellbinders Local 319

Amateur Magician, Father Disappears

By Walter Wynn, Staff Reporter/Apprentice Diabolist

Amazing news out of Cobourg, Ontario this month, fellow illusionists! In a feat of hocus-pocus derring-do, area father and journeyman magician Dave O’Brien vanished from the living room of his Walnut Lane bungalow. According to reports from the audience in attendance, the 46-year-old Cobourg diviner disappeared, as if into thin air, leaving his family of three astounded and without a chief breadwinner.

Dave O'Brien, 46, seen here charming a free mix-drink from an 18-year-old waitress at Bewdley Corner Pizza in Campbellcroft.

“It was neat,” says Janie O’Brien, 7. “One second he was sitting in his favourite chair watching hockey and then—POOF!—he was gone!”

“Last thing I heard was him mumbling something about going to the store to get a box of breakfast cereal,” added Beverly O’Brien, 42, wife of the now-legendary enchanter. “That was two weeks ago.”

Adding to O’Brien’s celebrated feat was his ability to vanish his 1996 GMC Jimmy, which was reported missing from the O’Brien family carport around the same time the magician disappeared. “I’m not really sure when it was,” says Craig O’Brien, 17. “Like sometime between 8 and 10? Or 7 and 10? I’m pretty sure it was last Thursday. Maybe Wednesday? Anyways it sucks because I needed the Jimmy to get to lacrosse practice.”

Overdue mortgage payments, VISA bills, and literature regarding Enbridge’s payment policies remained unopened on the family coffee table, say police.

According to sources within the distraught and cash-strapped family, O’Brien began practicing the sacred arts of misdirection, illusionism, and negligent parenting a few months ago, playing to captive crowds at Rumour’s Sports Bar & Grill on Courtice Road. “He only really knew one trick,” said Rumour’s bartender Gary Brice. “Whenever time would come to pay the tab, he’d spray a bunch of playing cards everywhere, yell ‘fifty-two pickup,’ and dart out of the bar. It was pretty impressive, but nothing like this.”

Since local news outlets and family welfare interests began reporting on O’Brien’s amazing  escapades early last week, news of his alleged whereabouts have poured in from across the region. Unconfirmed allegations of the Great Deceiver making triple rum-and-cokes disappear, or handing out mysteriously disconnected phone numbers to local singles have been reported as far east as Brighton, as far west as Clarington, and the Alderville First Nation’s Reserve to the north. More myth than man, O’Brien has quickly developed a reputation as one of the most elusive  and frugal sorcerers operating in Central-South Ontario.

Despite attempts on the part of the Magicians & Spellbinders Local 319 to commune with Mr. O’Brien via séances, divinations, incantations, and remote-viewing, he has declined to comment on his spectacular vanishing act. Should he ever decide to emerge from the ether of the astral plane, he is likely to be highly commended by this organization, possibly with a faux-crystal ball or even the highest available honour, the pointed wizard’s cap.

In the opinion of this reporter, Dave O’Brien is one hell of a conjurer. And one rotten dad.

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