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I once met….Uri Geller

Sent in by a supporter of Jot for which many thanks...

It was in the spring of 2005 that I was dispatched to interview the great Spoon Bender himself. His assistant had given me an address in Sonning-on-Thames, that home of the more discerning glitterati. I found his place quite by chance. Well, you could hardly miss it. Glimpsed through trees at the end of a longish drive was a large and modern mansion of the Bishops Avenue School of architecture, complete with portico. There was also a pair of huge metal (unbent) gates flanked by brick pillars, one of which incorporated the inevitable entry phone. I phoned through, the gates opened slowly, and I started down the drive towards the house.

Geller himself answered the door--a slim, smiling figure with neat bouffant hair, greying slightly. He must have been in his late fifties but retained his boyish good looks. He guided me across the marble floor of an atrium that wouldn’t have disgraced the palace of a Hollywood A-lister. I looked for signs of spoons and there they were, all the cutlery he had deformed over the thirty or more years of his career, drooping from a dozen or more spray-painted skeletons of trees ranged around the walls in a parody of Santa’s grotto.

I was a little taken back at this but my host was charming and friendly. We sat at a large low table, he opposite me. We chatted for a few minutes and then unexpectedly Geller asked me what was the capital of Namibia. I answered ’Windhoek’, which seemed to confirm to him that I was indeed a member of Mensa and not an imposter from the Daily Mirror.

We travelled over the usual spoon-bending territory for ten minutes or more until I announced that I had brought a spoon from my cutlery drawer which I would like him to bend. He agreed to do so and we walked, for some reason, to an empty fire grate in the wall. Here he squatted and with the spoon in one hand proceeded to rub the neck with a finger in the other. The spoon did indeed bend pretty quickly, though I was a little disappointed by how much. I touched the neck, which was cold. This was impressive, I thought.

We returned to the table and Geller carefully placed the bent spoon on the table, not far from him. The interview then continued. At one point he told me about the time when he managed to teleport a foreign object into a display cabinet in this very room, smashing its glass front. He then pointed to the cabinet and I followed his finger. I must have looked away from him for no more than four seconds while he continued to talk. After around an hour the interview ended and I got up to go. He handed me back my spoon and to my genuine astonishment it had bent a further forty degrees. At the time, and for over two years following the interview, I believed that I had experienced something paranormal that day.

I framed the spoon and it continues to adorn my wall. I forgot about the whole incident until in researching the tricks used by magicians I came across ‘distraction technique ‘. My mind flew back to that four seconds when my eyes were led away from Geller…

Mind you, I have no explanation as to how my spoon was bent so easily by the fire grate when my eyes were firmly fixed on Geller’s hands.

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