SI Vault
September 04, 1961
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September 04, 1961


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A catalog for con men called Blue Book was presented last week for the enlightenment of the U.S. Senators who are currently inquiring into the ways and means of gambling. Blue Book is a mail-order product of K. C. Card Co. of Chicago, and it offers customers loaded dice, tools to measure and balance dice, marked cards and devices to read them without being caught and shot. For $350, for instance, you can buy K. C.'s Radio Cue Prompter, card-pack size, and by a dot-dash system it enables you to tell your card partner what you're holding. There is also a line of contact lenses for reading the backs of cards and contact-lens cards, which reveal their markings only to lens wearers. You can also get coins made to spin heads or tails, and there is even one made to spin fair. K. C. Card Co. has one item for use of the connee instead of the conner. It's a book called Protection, and it exposes "slot machines, card backs and their marks, etc."

For the superstitious and the mystic who also like to gamble, K. C. sells pairs of lodestones at $2 a pair, "used as a luck charm by mary people." One stone is to drive away evil, the other to draw luck. The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, translated from the ancient Hebrew, and Albertus Magnus, containing the secrets of ancient Egypt, sell for $2 each.

In the introduction to Blue Book, which is not to be confused with the opus by the same name written by the founder of the John Birch Society, there is this pious notice: "Goods in this catalog are not sold to perpetrate a fraud or for any illegal purpose." When asked where most of these con goods were sold, a timid Senate subcommitteeman said: "In Texas—but don't tell Lyndon Johnson."

*The Commissioner of Baseball, who has slated that if Roger Maris or Mickey Mantle breaks Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in 162 games, said record will be posted in record books with a demeaning asterisk to denote that they did not hit the 60 home runs in 155 games as Babe Ruth did.

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