In the booklet of information you receive when you become a parent about how not to screw up your kids, the thumb trick is presented near the back, hidden between the sections on “what do you do when your kid throws a tantrum in the produce aisle” and “excuses to make when the Tooth Fairy forgets to stop off at your house.”
The thumb trick—when you pretend to pull off your thumb (here’s one version of the trick)—is a valuable piece of information to have, because, basically, it makes your kids think the laws of physics and biology don’t apply to their very, very awesome mommy or daddy. My dad did the thumb trick on me. His probably did for him. I bust it out occasionally for my children.
But my guide to becoming a perfect parent didn’t include this version—this very, very awesome version of the thumb trick.
The pinky gag at the end is obviously what takes this trick to an entirely different level. This dude either has to have amazingly flexible fingers to pull it off, or… goddamn… how did he do that trick?
Social media users had some ideas.
Said a man named Michael on Facebook: “I can see him moving his fingers and his thumb. Might have to re-edit the small recordings between before and after clips.”
Theorized Prone2Shadows on YouTube: “The last part was clearly CGI.”
Wrote Swoost: “Reported for witchcraft and heresy.”
But the consensus seems to be that the magician was using his middle finger to make it look like his pinky. Wrote Eric Gebhardt, “He’s popping his middle finger on the left hand over the index and moving his pinky out of sight on the last move. It only works from the specific angle of the camera!”
Or for an even more detailed calculation, Dmytro Zuyenko took this explanation from Reddit: “Pause before and after the quick flick. During the motion, he hides his right pinky behind his ring finger and on his left hand, he jutted his middle finger from behind his pointer finger so the tip looked like his ‘separated’ right pinky.”
Either way, it’s a helluva sleight-of-hand trick. And hopefully, it will be included in the next parenting guide I receive: The one called, “How to make your kids think you used to be cool.”