The Sixpence That Sticks
This is a simple little trick, but one that causes a great deal of merriment among the players. You tell the audience that you will stick a sixpenny-piece on a boy’s forehead by wetting it with plain water so that he will not be able to shake it off. He must not use his hands, but can put his head at any angle and shake as much as he pleases. The way to proceed is this:
Take a sixpence and set it with water. (This is not really necessary, but you have said you would use water.) Then lay the sixpence on the boy’s forehead and press it down fairly hard for a short period, saying that it takes a little time to stick. In less than a minute you can remove your hand, but you must be careful to take the sixpence away with it and without the boy’s knowledge. This is easily done if you slide your hand upwards towards the top of his head. Although the sixpence is not there, the boy ill shake and turn his head, but to no purpose; until he gives it up and puts his hand to his forehead to pick the sixpence off. His surprise at not finding it there will be great. The fun is increased by the remarks of the boys, which usually take this form: “Shake it off, Jack. Don’t be done. Anyone can do it; a baby could get that off in a tick.” This trick invariably amuses the grown-ups as much as the players.