Bob gets fan mail, especially from teenage boys who want to do what he does. We used to get a slew of them every time one of Bob’s tv specials was broadcast. Since YouTube, there’s no longer any pattern to when we get them, but they’re basically all the same. After breathless compliments, they entreat Bob to teach them “to do what you do,” they swear they “won’t use it in a bad way,” and they beseech him for a reply.
Bob is touched by the letters, but they sometimes provoke a scoff. Most kids (people?) have no clue how many hours—years—it takes to hone sleight of hand skills. 99% of these kids wouldn’t have the grit or moxie to persevere and fail repeatedly, in front of people. Bob’s job requires arrogance, cockiness, and audacity, of which he has an abundance.
I don’t know if you can recall me from our grammar school in Stockholm, but we were classmates a few years in the end of our school career. I remember a number of situations from school. One was when you tried to avoid a possible test so off you went to our school nurse. As I was sitting close to the window I had to put my school bag in the window as a signal to you if the test was on or not.
I can also recall some situations when Anders Rignell had a small microphone hidden in his hand and he whispered answers to you, as you had a hidden speaker in your ear. You were quite good on short answers!
In addition, we two made our national service in Uppsala together, though not in the same company. None of us were particularly successful, but you enjoyed your evenings entertaining at a restaurant down town. Sometimes also when we were out on night manoeuvres. I still don’t know how you could escape without anyone noticing. After a performance at the restaurant, back you came without anyone making any fuss about it.
One of my sons, just 13, is interested in magic, pickpocketing and that area. He saw a few clips on YouTube where you steal many things from people. When I told him that I knew you from school he was impressed.
Amusing stories from Bob’s school days. I’m not saying that young Bob was devious, conniving, and colluding (Bob would say it that way; but I say if you don’t mean it, don’t say it; Terry would say you’re framing), but his grammar-school-era traits—maybe wily and cunning are better descriptors—served him well as a neophyte pickpocket and blossoming entertainer. More important is fierce tenacity, indefatigability, and a willingness to follow his instincts. Bob unofficially redesigned his school curriculum to serve his unsanctioned educational pursuits. He went AWOL in the military to perform. No doubt to many he was considered a difficult kid, and to some a ne’er-do-well.
Most (not all) of the kids who write Bob have atrocious writing skills, and I’m referring only to the basics: spelling, composition, punctuation. I know they’re used to texting on their phones, but here they are, writing to a stranger, asking for help. Shouldn’t they put their best effort forward? Here’s an example:
Hello I have never wanted to talk to someone I don’t know OK not true I talk to people at my school that I don’t know I do it all the time I am 17 years old. I cant spell so sorry, i don’t think you will ever read this i wanted to ask you how do you get good at pickpocketing with out going out on the street and doing it can i get good at it? i am sorry for taking up your time or who ever is reading this i just wanted some help so if you can get back to me my e-mail is zeusxxx@xxx or greatandallmightybob@xxx the greatandallmightybob is going to be around longer but if you can send it to both. lol i am acting like you are going to get back to me o and don’t think i am going to go out and pickpocket someone i am not going to i just want to know how if you believe that OK thank you for reading this who ever it is sorry for wasting your time bye
For the record, we usually do reply.