Driving Blindfolded


The "blindfolded drive" is one of the most popular mentalist publicity stunts. The mentalist will usually begin by sending out a press release, contacting local celebrities, putting up tacky fliers, etc., advertising the fact that there will be a demonstration of driving "using only the mind's eye for direction" at a popular location at a designated day and time.

When the time arrives, the mentalist drives up (making sure to be on time) in a standard car. After a brief speech about the power of the mind and the ticket prices for the mentalist's upcoming Saturday matinee, birthday party gig, etc., the demonstration begins.

The most reputable person in the audience (a respected teacher, banker, or business owner, for example, but not a politician) is invited to assist in blindfolding the mentalist. The blindfolding process is designed to give the audience complete satisfaction that the mentalist is unable to see. It consists of seven steps as follows:

  1. The mentalist's face is inspected for mirrors, false noses, etc.
  2. A shiny half dollar is placed over each of the mentalist's eyes
  3. The half dollars are fixed in place with duct tape wrapped around the mentalist's head
  4. Fresh bread dough is lumped over the mentalist's upper face, sealing all cracks above and below the tape
  5. A thick bandana or scarf is tied over the bread dough to keep it in place
  6. The mentalist's head is covered with a flour sack
  7. The bottom of the flower sack is either tied or locked shut.

After these precautions have been taken, the mentalist makes a few final remarks that can't be heard through the sack and then is led to the waiting car. After getting in the car and making a few lame jokes about not being able to find the keys because of the blindfold, the car is started and the mentalist backs out onto the street, one hand on the wheel and the other out the window to "feel" the road.

The mentalist drives slowly at first, and then more and more quickly until the speed limit is reached. A brief drive on the freeway may also be undertaken. After driving a few miles, the mentalist returns to the point of origin and parks perfectly. The original assistant assists in the removal of the myriad blindfolding items, and they are all seen to be intact.


There are three methods by which a mentalist may perform the blindfolded drive as presented.

The first, and least frequently used, involves the use of blindfolding materials made from thin cloth and tape, fast-spreading dough, and one-way coins. This works well and allows the mentalist a clear view of the road, but is expensive to manufacture and uses objects that cannot be examined by spectators.

The traditional method of performing the drive is simplicity in itself. The blindfolding materials are completely authentic and reliably applied -- the mentalist really can't see anything. But unbenounced to spectators, the mentalist has spent the last month driving the proposed course over and over until the journey could be undertaken in the mentalist's sleep. All that is necessary then is a passenger to ride with the mentalist and "witness" the event, incidentally passing the mentalist important information like "red light" and "a kid!"

More modern mentalists have discovered an even easier way to perform the drive using a real blindfold. They just shell out a thousand dollars and buy a talking GPS device for their automobile. The spoken driving instructions, combined with cruise control for freeway driving, render seeing completely unnecessary, but spectators never realize how simple the stunt really is.

Note: The original form of this stunt, in which a mentalist drove a horse and buggy while promising to keep eyes closed, is rather dated and almost never performed by modern mentalists.End of story

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