Aladdin had been furiously rubbing the lamp all the way home from the bazaar. The old man had assured the boy that the lamp was, indeed, magical. Just rub it and a genie would appear and grant him three wishes.
Not born yesterday, the boy had asked the trader why, if the lamp was so marvelous, the price was so cheap.
The white bearded man smiled and said, “this lamp is quite old and sometimes it takes a bit to get it started. Besides, I like you and so, a special deal.”
Aladdin could hear his mother’s admonishments when he got home, reminding him of the goose that didn’t lay golden eggs, and the carpet that didn’t fly.
He paid a handful of shekels and took his prize.
Now, locked in the bathroom to avoid his mother’s questions, sweat dripping from his brow from endless rubbing, he stared at the naive face in the mirror and thought-
He looked again in the mirror. There was something written on the bottom of the lamp. He’d seen the strange symbols before, but they’d made no sense. But in the reverse reflected image in the mirror, he could read a message-
“Rub me and your wish will be my command.”
Aladdin smirked, he’d been rubbing the damn lamp for an hour and nothing had happened.
Then, he saw some fine print below, “Note-this is a left handed lamp and it likes to be rubbed counterclockwise.”
“Oh,” exclaimed the boy, who was right handed, and he quickly resumed caressing the lamp with his left hand in a counter clockwise direction.
Another hour later, sweat pouring down his face, the frustrated boy screamed, “that’s it lamp! I give up!”
Angry, he slapped the lamp hard.
Aladdin looked at the lamp. He’d heard a voice.
“Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Did you really have to hit me that hard!”
Stunned, the boy watched as a wisp of smoke rose from the lamp’s spout, then grew into a foul smelling cloud that slowly evolved into the form of a grimacing genie rubbing her head. Aladdin couldn’t help but think, the creature floating in the air above him looked a lot like Whoopi Goldberg.
“Geez kid, you really know how to ruin a good dream. I was just getting it on with that sexy prince from Madagascar when, ‘Whap!” you slapped me on the side of the head and woke me up.”
Sniffing the air around her the genie added, “Ugh! A hundred years without a bath can lead to a big stink.”
Aladdin stared wide eyed, the lamp really was magic.
Reading his mind, the genie said, “that’s right, it really is a magic lamp. Sadly, it’s an old model, doesn’t even have a solid state hard drive, so it’s slow compared to the new 5G models. But, hey, I’m here and I still do the wish thing.”
“Wish thing?” queried the boy.
“I’ll grant you three wishes, anything you want. Well, almost anything,” said the genie, now peering closely at Aladdin, “are you eighteen years or older?”
Aladdin blushed, “not exactly.”
“Look, kid, you are or you aren’t. Which is it?”
The boy shook his head.
“Well, there are things I just can’t do for minors. Didn’t you read the fine print on the lamp?”
The boy’s blank face gave the answer.
“Can’t really blame you, it takes a microscope to make it out. Briefly, the lamp and its magic are not responsible for any damage you may cause. You may not sue us and any tax liabilities created by your wishes are your responsibility and yours alone. There are no refunds or exchanges after your wishes expire. Do you agree to these conditions?”
Aladdin slowly nodded his head.
“Great, now let’s get to it, I’d really like to get back to sleep and find out what’s going to happen with that prince.”
“Well,” the boy said, scratching his chin, “My mom would like a new house.”
Shazaam! Suddenly Aladdin found himself standing in the plush living area of a grand house with a large pool outside surrounded by lush gardens.
“Wow!” exclaimed the boy in amazement.
“You think she’ll like it?” questioned the genie, I modeled it after the latest cover home on architectural Digest. I hope she’s fond of pink.”
Aladdin noticed all the walls were covered in pink velvet. He wondered whose house had been on that magazine cover.
“Okay, let’s keep moving,” urged the genie, “ what’s wish number two?”
The boy looked down at his ragged clothes, “perhaps some new…”
Shazaam! Aladdin found himself standing in a huge bedroom, looking into a walk in closet filled with new clothes of all colors and types, including one wall entirely covered with shoes. He gaped at the impressively clad young man standing before him in the full length mirror. Slowly turning, he touched the sparkling diamond in the center of his silver turban, then ran his finger over the gold embroidery on his tunic. Not bad, he thought, not bad at all.
“You like it! Of course you do, it’s all the latest fashion from Paris, although most of it was made in Bangladesh. Sorry about the slippers, we’ve been having supply chain problems in Magic Land.”
Aladdin looked down at his gleaming golden slippers. They were at least size sixteen. He wore size eight.
“Better too big than too small,” noted the genie, “now, what’s it going to be for wish number three?”
Suddenly sure of himself, Aladdin looked at the genie and said, “true love.”
Shazaam! Aladdin found himself outside, standing next to the pool looking out across its sparkling azure blue water to the spectacular view of distant mountains.
But, thought Aladdin, true love, where was she?
“Turn around, kid, you’re facing the wrong way.”
Aladdin turned and was hit full on by a leaping Labrador retriever. The collision carried man and beast into the pool. Even half immersed, the dog still managed to joyfully lick Aladdin’s face in spite of the turban which mostly covered it.
“No truer love than a dog for its master, kid. Her name is Scheherazade,” added the genie as she slipped back into the lamp, “gotta be going, all the best!”
Moral: You don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you need.
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