I am proud to announce that my sister, a week after moving to Noo Yawk, has landed a gig as David Blaine’s P.A. She is on call 24 hours a day to pick up his magic pants and get his magic coffee. I was then in the position where I had to explain to my mother who David Blaine is. I went with: he’s a magician who doesn’t so much do tricks as he performs feats of putting up with extreme inconvenience, such as living in a fishbowl or starving above London in a glass box, or indeed living in New York City. And then she asked me a question that I can’t answer: “In what way does that make him a magician?”

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