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"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

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Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Genie, the lamp, and the triple cheeseburger scenario


What helps?  If I was were fortunate enough to have the lamp in my sweaty clutches (doubtless after an Indian Jones-style chase down a mine-shaft), and if I was were busily polishing it to a hi-shine with the frayed sleeve of my favourite stripey jumper, and if the Genie-feller were was asking me to ask him a - no, make that two or maybe three - question(s), what then?  I'd ask for Money, if I'm honest.  And plenty of it.  I've not got any, at the moment, obviously - well, not enough of it to feel like it makes a lot of difference.  And to be frank, not to mention earnest, it gets kind of pressing at times.  Immortality also,  in a state of prolonged youth, beauty and robust physical and mental health.  That makes four, or if he's being picky, five.   Oh Dear.  Perhaps if I squish squash them all together into one sentence slash question, he mightn't notice.

As if.........

Those Genie-fellers are nothing, if not tricksy.

Would anyone ask for anything other than the above, if they was were offered three wishes, by the way?  World peace, maybe?  It would depend entirely on the circumstances, I think.  Unless you were extremely altruistic and strong-minded. Which, let's face it, most of us aren't.   We can't all be Nelson Mandelas, or Lindsey Hilsums.  Or even Effie McGumphys from number 57s, who's been saving up every single one of her milk bottle tops in a series of bulging Lidls carriers crammed in behind the Hoover in the cupboard under the stairs for so long that she's forgotten why*.  And she doesn't even like milk.  In fact,  she's lactose-intolerant.
Take the triple cheeseburger example.  Imagine this scenario.  You're starving, having dragged yourself out of one of those deep underground caves after being trapped, foodless, for about a fortnight.  You stumble upon a lamp, and you give it a quick rub, not really expecting anything, but hey! what's the worst that can happen? You end up with an old lamp that is shinier than it was.  Or so you naively believe. Is there a teeny, weeny little corner of your mind that doesn't believe that?  Surely. Let's hope that Nobody is THAT stupid.   Anyway, of course the Genie appears, curly-toed slippers and all, and of course he asks you what might be your heart's desire, at that very moment.  There is a snack van two hundred yards away to which you could easily manage to crawl to, only it's hidden behind a rock and you can't see it.  Only the tantalising smell of cheeseburgers wafts towards you on an otherwise undetectable zephyr of wind  .  The Genie knows about the snack bar.  In fact, he and his life-partner Jeanie have been running it for five years, and turning a nice profit.  He decides to make things complicated.  He folds his muscly arms, Genie-style, and booms, 'You have two choices.  You can have three wishes, or, you can have World Peace for all eternity.  Which will it be, o fortunate one?'
'I'll have a triple cheeseburger please, with chips, and a large cherry coke.  Then I'll have everlasting beauty and lots of money after.  I'll feel so much better after that, that I'll be able to manage the World Peace bit all by myself without your help.  Or at least I'll have tried, or meant well, or whatever.  Don't forget the ketchup. Thank you!'

Only the Genie insists that the 'triple' bit of the cheeseburger IS the three wishes, and you don't get your coke or your chips, never mind the ketchup and a half-hearted, bilious, indigestion-ridden attempt at World Peace.

What an utter, out and out b'stard.  No wonder he turns a profit.


*it's for a special wheelchair for a local child who was badly injured in a car accident.  The child is now fully recovered and no longer requires the chair.  Probably best not to tell Effie, in case she dies of shock.  What with her being elderly and that.

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