When I first encountered my genie earlier this month, I was stunned. Everyone knows that when you find a magic lamp and rub it, the genie inside is supposed to appear in a spectacular explosion of smoke, introduce themselves, and then get on with the granting wishes thing.
This clown kinda oozed out of the lamp and when he hit the ground with a thud, looked irritated that I had awakened him.
Instead of reciting his wishes spiel from memory and with even a hint of vivacity, he instead pulled a folded-up card from his turban and read the familiar deal slowly. His sonorous tone sounded just like the teacher calling for “Bueller . . . Bueller . . . Bueller” in that John Hughes movie.
While his first impression was awful, I was still excited at being able to have wishes granted. As he didn’t appear to be that swift, I decided to try the old trick of using the first of my three wishes as a request for a thousand more wishes, thinking he’d ex-nay it.
To my surprise, he replied, “Your wish is my command,” nodded and little fairy dust stuff appeared. I was sure he would be getting tossed out of the Genie Union for that, but it was not my problem.
First, I wished for a million dollars. “Your wish is my command,” my genie said, and a million dollars appeared. Unfortunately it was Monopoly money. I said I wanted real American money and he poofed up some replica Confederate script. Starting to get annoyed, I explained that I needed current U.S. currency and soon I was neck-deep in a pool of a hundred million shiny new pennies.
He finally got it right ($100 bills stacked on pallets) and while I was concerned it took so many wishes, I still had 995 left, plus the other two originals.
I then wished to look like a rock star. Poof! A haggard-looking Keith Richards blinked back at me in the mirror. I told him that I meant more like Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix and Poof! I was a skeleton. I finally had to settle on a loose approximation of Lenny Kravitz.
Then I asked for 700 wives like King Solomon had. They appeared, but all 700 started telling me to take out the trash, wanted to have a discussion about feelings and wondered why we couldn’t watch figure skating instead of football. I used another wish to make them go away.
My genie screwed up a lot.
My wish for a screaming-hot Lamborghini turned out as steaming-hot lamb linguini.
I wished to see the pyramids and suddenly I was in a Holiday Inn conference room with daily “Maury” show watchers listening to a guy explain how if I signed up five more people to be sales associates of the Supersonic Nosehair Clipper System© I’d become a kazillionaire.
I wished that I could have the great voice of Morgan Freeman narrate my life as it was happening. Instead I got the grating voice of Gilbert Gottfried.
I wished that every copy of Huey Lewis and the News’ “Sports” album would magically add Fairfield to the list of cities where dit dit dit they say the heart of rock and roll is still beating, but not only did the genie instead add (gasp) Vallejo, in the liner notes Suisun City sax man Johnny Colla’s name was misspelled like the soft drink.
I was incredulous when I realized that, because of the genie’s repeated goofs, I was down to one wish left. I had everything I wanted but was not fulfilled.
Then “Groundhog Day,” the movie where Bill Murray’s character experienced the same day repeatedly and it only stopped when he took the focus off his own selfish desires, came to mind.
Contemplating this, I almost wished for world peace, but the thought of Jerusalem, Bangkok and Sydney covered in peas popped in my head and I decided on something more local.
I wished for a deeper connection between my Raider-lovin’ self and my friends who are 49ers fans.
Poof! the Niners lost the Super Bowl, their fans claimed they wuz robbed by the refs and their team is now moving. I hugged my genie.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.