My Three Wishes

Choose carefully...

So, there you are, the magic lamp in your hands, the genie before you. After fighting down your primal terror at the face of the djinn, you are left with the question: what are your three wishes?

I think it’s probably safe to say that every geek worth his or her salt has spent a fair amount of time considering this issue. For those of you who haven’t, it is far more complicated a question that you think. For one thing, it is very, very important to remember that the genie is not your friend. Don’t listen to Disney, folks–this is an all-powerful otherworldly entity that has been chained inside a lamp for every idiot mortal to come order around for all eternity. They are really, really pissed about it (and who can blame them?), so you can reasonably expect them to do everything possible to screw with you. Proceed with extreme caution. Some things you ought to do before actually making a wish:

  1. Be Specific and Literal: Stay away from metaphor, idiom, or generalities. If you ask to be ‘taken far, far away’, it’s your own damn fault if you wind up suffocating/freezing on the surface of the moon.
  2. Write Out Your Wish: Don’t just jump in–take your time, write it out, proofread, and make sure it will work to your benefit. This is a good way to accomplish #1, too.
  3. Ask Questions: Ask the genie what constitutes a wish, ask it how the wishes work, and so on (are there limits/rules? Can you wish for more wishes?). If it doesn’t answer or counts your first question as a wish, that lets you know what you’re dealing with. Don’t make commands of the genie, however, if you don’t intend to use a wish–bad idea. Proceed with caution, remember?

Beyond this, there is also the issue of ‘what makes a good wish?’ If you wish for eternal life, make sure you include ‘eternal youth’. Also make sure you’ve thought about what it means to live forever. Remember King Midas? Be careful what you wish for, as they say.

So, here are my wishes, as they stand.

Wish #1: I wish for myself, my family, and my friends to be blessed with good health and peak physical fitness for the duration of their natural lives. 

This wish, I feel, is a more responsible way to wish for good health. If I’m healthy, I want everybody I care about to be, too. While I might also wish the whole world be healthy, that, I feel, would have some nasty side-effects I’d have trouble anticipating. I also wouldn’t tell my friends or family I made this wish, either–that would make me way too popular, I imagine. I’d hope that we’d all just be seen as uncommonly lucky and healthy people. At any rate, my descendants would also benefit from this wish, so in that sense it would spread to others down through the generations.

Wish #2: I wish for the ability to create alternate worlds according to my specifications and for me to travel freely between those worlds and this one as I see fit.

This is the vanity wish, I confess. As a lover of fantasy and science fiction, I think it would be a lot of fun to be able to actually create these alternate worlds. This wish is also very dangerous–it is an immense responsibility, creating worlds, and I would have to be very careful. It would be nice, however, to have my own private island in an alternate dimension that I and my friends/family could visit anytime they want. I could also potentially parley this into a financial boon–create a world rich in gold and a bunch of critters to mine it for me, or the like. This wish might be beyond the genie’s power to grant, admittedly, or may count as two wishes–who knows?

Wish #3: Undecided

I really don’t know what wish #3 would be. I wouldn’t want to wish for money or success–lots of complications in the first place and I’d rather achieve it myself in the second. I don’t really want to live forever. I think I might just keep this one in my back pocket–an insurance wish, if you will–to save for a rainy day. I could use it to undo the effects of an accident, perhaps, or to save the life of someone I love. Yeah, keeping it sounds like a good idea.

So, what are your wishes? Have you thought them through? What do you think?

About aahabershaw

Writer, teacher, gaming enthusiast, and storyteller. I write stories, novels, and occasional rants.

Posted on January 25, 2012, in Critiques, Theories, and Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. My 3 Wish scenario was always this… especially for getting around the problem of “no asking for more wishes” that I expected the genie to tell me. (And as you say… if this was actually going to happen, I’d spend more time writing it out and proof-reading it to try and close any loopholes.):

    1) I wish for the “infinite multiverse” theory to be true, where there are an infinite number of universes with infinite number of Earths in Existence.

    2) I wish to be able to insert my consciousness or “self” into whatever is “me” on any of those infinite Earths by saying or thinking the following: “I’d like to go to an Earth…” and then describe the Earth I wish to go to. Intention of what I mean should always trump any logical or grammatical problems from what I have said or thought.

    3) Regardless of whatever “me” is on those infinite alternate Earths, I will *always* retain my intelligent consciousness and sense of “self”, the knowledge on how to transfer my “self” to any other alternate Earth, and the capability and desire to do so.

    Once this was made and the genie granted my wish… I’d start testing things by going slowly.

    “I’d like to go to an Earth that is EXACTLY like the one I am on right now, except my shoes are untied.”

    Since there are infinite Earths, by definition there is one just like that, and that I can inhabit the “me”. If that works and the genie hasn’t screwed me over in some way… I could start branching out…

    “I’d like to go to an Earth that is EXACTLY like the one I am on, except there is a Big Mac on a plate on the table in front of me.”

    “I’d like to go to an Earth that is EXACTLY like the one I am on, except this dirty dish is clean and now in my dish cabinet.”

    “I’d like to go to an Earth that is EXACTLY like the one I am on, except I am standing in my bedroom next to the bed.”

    At the end of the day, if I’ve worded my three wishes correctly, and the genie takes intention into account… I end up having what basically *becomes* an infinite amount of wishes. The only difference being, I’m not changing my prime world… I’ve left that world the second I made that first transfer and I’m never going to go back to it.

    • That being said… this is pretty close to the plot of your Rubric of All Things book, I think, right? Except that many more people have that “jump” capability?

      • It is, actually. The book explores a myriad of ways that your wish is, actually, a bit of a curse. For instance, you would eventually find it difficult to find your way back to the Earth you originally started from, as you would have difficulty fully remembering it all.

      • Well, my thought was always that eventually, as I went to Earths step-by-step and “fixing” certain things along the way… that I’d never actually want to return to “Earth Prime” as it were. So I’d jump to an Earth exactly like I’m on, except my toilet will never overflow. Then jump to one exactly like that one, except every traffic light will be green as I approach it. Stuff like that.

        If/when I ever jumped to a really different one for any reason (like one where the sky was orange for example)… I’d always be sure to “jump back” by saying I’d like to go to the Earth “that I was just on”. Or at some point, once I’d gotten Earth to where I wanted it… I’d designate it as my “Earth Prime” so that I’d always have my base to jump back to.

        This is why I would make it a point to make the wish to retain my consciousness, intelligence, and knowledge/desire/ability to make jumps… so that I could do things like jump to an Earth exactly like this one except I’m a cat… and then once I did, be able to jump back once I finished exploring what it was like being a cat, etc.

      • Of course, by fixing one thing, you’d be breaking other things. Eventually things might get hairy.

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