Peter Hopkins from Barry used to work for Legal and General. Now he's unemployed, having been sacked for gross misconduct. Silly man was on sick leave, suffering from a stress related illness, but was caught working as a magician under the pseudonym, Mr Hocus Pocus. He claimed in his defence that performing as a magician would help his stress.
Well, excuse me but I find this a preposterous defence. Not many people know this, but I used to be a 'magician' myself. I was trained by Mr Bill Tombs, Montgomeryshire's very own Paul Daniels at the time when our children were very young. I've faced a few varied challenges in my life, but nothing as stressful as the magic performances I put on. The last straw was a 30 minute show I put on for the kids at Welshpool rugby club at a Xmas Party in the 70s. The event had been well publicised and all the parents turned up as well. The clubhouse was packed. I had the entire crowd eating out of my hand and was on the verge of a magnificent triumph, when it all went wrong.
This is what happened. I asked Phill Bowen, one of our second rows to act as my assistant. The trick involved me putting a 'magic' funnel down the top of Phill's underpants and pouring a pint of water into them. Now of course the 'magic' funnel had a lining, creating a cavity which retained the water. The trick was that I was going to transfer the funnel to the bottom of Phill's trouser leg, move a secret little panel accross, and let the water run out onto the floor, the whole thing being accompanied by some appropriate magic words. Problem was I poured the water into the wrong hole, straight onto Phill's manhood. Oh yes - I forgot to mention that the water was steaming hot to enhance the effect. Actually, the audience thought it was the best magic trick they'd ever seen, and the best bit apparently was the magician hightailing it off the stage with his assistant in hot pursuit, screaming in pain and vowing revenge. The audience thought that it was all put on as part of the act!. Phill does still speaks to me - but never with the quite the same timbre his voice used to have.
Mr Hopkins problem was that one of his workmates was in the audience and reported him. I did think it was a bit harsh to sack him though, even though it was his second offence. It would have been OK if he hadn't charged a fee. I suppose you could say he was taking money by deception!