“Lucky boy in red car feels close escape” read the piece of paper tucked inside the sealed brown envelope, inside an envelope, inside a taped-up box.
Not exact, but close enough to the real headline on the front page of last week’s Spalding Guardian to earn 17-year-old Connor Elleston a few astonished gasps as we opened the envelope last Thursday.
As reported last week, Connor – who bills himself as a mentalist – had bravely claimed he could predict the headlines a week in advance and was pictured handing over the bright red box inside which he had sealed what he thought we would be reporting as he gets ready to try to impress the judges at an ITV Britain’s Got Talent audition at the weekend.
And Connor’s talents were clear to see – even if the secrets of his stunt were not – as he took me through the opening of the box, including asking me to pluck a card from a deck.
Amazingly, the card I chose was the same as one Connor had sealed inside the box a week earlier.
As well as Connor’s version of the headline, a list of bullet points underneath also accurately said the accident involved a Rover and a Honda and said the initials of the teenager involved were NG, going as far as suggesting he was called either Nick or Nathan and was 18 or 19 years old.
Other random phrases on the page included “path of destruction”, “car race” and “demolished/destroyed”.
All of which were relevant to the story of a trail of destruction left by 19-year-old driver Nick Grimer as he crashed his Honda Civic and ploughed through two gardens, demolishing fences, a brick wall and hitting two parked carsunder the headline “Teenager lucky to be alive”.
The Honda was in fact silver, but one of the cars he collided with was a red Rover.
Connor said: “I am pleased with how it went. I’m not psychic, it’s all about illusion. I just hope it’s enough to impress the judges on Britain’s Got Talent.”