What They See: You're visiting your friend's parents. They have a cat. You ask them the following questions: "Is your cat fussy? Does he sleep away most of the day? When he is awake, does he make a meowing noise?" They of course answer in the affirmative. "Aha! He needs a chiropractic neck adjustment!" you exclaim. As you pick up the poor beast and twist his head, an alarming "Crraaaack!" issues forth from his unfortunate vertebrae as you perform your feline alignment. You place the cat back down and he walks away. Of course he's still fussy, sleepy, and noisy, but at least now he's comfortable. Please read the how-to part of this item before you try it. There is a trick to it. Don't actually twist a cat's head until his neck snaps. Unless it's your cat; then we believe you should be allowed to do whatever you want with it.
What Actually Happens: Obviously (at least to most people) it's not the cat's neck that cracks, so you need something to simulate that sound. Here are the four best things. . . .
The finest item for this is a plastic cup. Not just any plastic cup, though. You need the kind that is the most "clear." Perhaps it's better to say "the least cloudy." Anyway, when you crush one of these, it really shatters-making an uncommonly ghoulish imitation of splintering bones. Clandestinely deposit one of these cups in your armpit . Make sure that the cup is not directly touching your skin because when the cup shatters its edges can be sharp. Proper chiropractic care does not involve blood. Also, it helps if you're wearing a jacket to further conceal the cup, but this is not essential; trust us, everyone is diverted by the wild-eyed look of the poor cat as you grip its little head. Don't actually twist the cat's head. Once again, DO NOT actually twist the cat's head. Hold the cat in your right arm, and lightly grip its little head in your left palm like a softball; turn your left hand and arm like you're twisting open the lid on a big jar of pickles. Your left hand and arm turn, but the cat's head stays motionless. As you are pretending to ratchet the cat's head around, clamp down firmly with your arm on the unseen cup to produce the heart-stopping, bone-on-bone crunch. Set the cat down and give a benevolent smile to its horrified owner.
The next best thing for this is an empty plastic water bottle, sans lid. Just place this under your arm, and follow the instructions for the preceding cup version.
It's also possible to use a plastic Tic-Tac box. Just hold it in your right hand (that's the one with a cat in it), and crush the little box at the appropriate time. Another alternative is to covertly deposit a piece of dried macaroni in your mouth and bite down on it as you revolve the cat's head. This last one is kind of weak and not really recommended. Actually, the last two versions are pretty lame, and we only include them because one day you may have a cat trick emergency and they could save your keester. Like, for instance, say David Letterman was at your door and was going to put you on TV if you had a Stupid Pet Trick. If you were running around your house and couldn't find a plastic cup or a water bottle, but you did find a single crusty piece of dry macaroni at the back of the silverware drawer, you'd thank us then, boy.
Excerpted from Tricks with Your Head by Mac King and Mark Levy. Copyright © 2002 by Mac King and Mark Levy. Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.