I just saw this great episode of The X-Files a few weeks ago. Mulder and Scully go off to investigate the strange occurrence of a man losing his mouth. In their investigation, they soon turn up an invisible corpse. Their investigation continues, and they soon find the culprit. The invisible corpse just happened to discover a genie before he died, and he made his three wishes: for his boss to shut up (that’s how he lost his mouth), for a yacht (parked in his backyard) and the ability to turn invisible. Yup, a good old fashioned genie. In this case, it was the genie of the rug. Unroll the rug, you free the genie, and you get your three wishes. Things really got funny at the episode’s climax, when Mulder gets his three wishes. But, as always, this episode sparked my creative side. If I had three wishes, what would I wish for? I’m sure everyone who read Aladdin growing up has wondered this at one time or another. So, what would my three wishes be?
I used to think long and hard about this. See, I’ve always had this aversion to hard work. I just plain don’t like it. But, I need money to get ahead in life. If I’m not working, how will I pay for the extravagant lifestyle I’ve grown accustomed to? So naturally, the wish would be for money. But for how much? A million dollars? A billion dollars? How much is enough to last you for the rest of your life? Lots of intangibles come up when you are budgeting for the rest of your life. Therefore, I’ve devised what I think is a rather clever wish. My first wish would be for a box. A fireproof, indestructible strong box. And every time I open the lid, I would be presented with $20 million in small, unmarked bills. Now, the rest of my life is planned out. I would buy a house, a car, a whole bunch of furniture, and a sweet home theater with the first batch of bills. After I’m set up, my job would be walking down to the bank each day and depositing $20 million in my bank account. Money would no longer be a concern in my life. I’d have so much money that I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I’d travel the world, giving generously to charities. I would become the ultimate philanthropist and all around good guy. Yup. Wish #1: money.
Now that I’ve got lots and lots of money, what should my second wish be? I mean, I can now buy anything I could ever want: gold, jewels, cars, computers, companies, countries, and sexual favours. I would have all the riches of the world. Ahh, but David Xanatos said it best on an episode of Gargoyles: “What good are all the riches in the world if you can’t enjoy them forever?” This leads to my second clever wish. I would wish to live forever. I would wish to live forever in the body of a perfectly fit 30-year old me. I don’t know why 30, it just seems like a nice round number. Now, free of disease and the ravages of age, I can enjoy my immense wealth for all eternity. I can forever be the ultimate philanthropist and all around good guy until the sun burns out! And when that happens, I’ll start doing it on another planet. Yup. Wish #2: immortality.
Well, seeing as to how I’ve seen Disney’s Aladdin, I’d better wish for the genie’s freedom. Wish #3: freedom.
Now, these wishes are all well and good, but the computer scientist in me is starting to kick in. One of the main doctrines of computer programming is to do it in as little lines of code as possible. The shorter your program, the more efficiently it’ll run. How can I take all three of these wishes and concentrate their goals into two wishes? Or, perhaps even, one wish? How to cut this down into as little wishes as possible really confounded me. Then, as I was watching a rerun of Star Trek one night, it dawned on me. I now knew the cleverest wish of them all. I could accomplish all three of these goals in one wish. So, when that day comes, when I free a genie and get my three wishes, I’ll have only one wish to make.
“I wish for all the powers, abilities, wisdom and knowledge of Q. Yes, that Q. Q from Star Trek.”
The genie will then grant my wish, and boom! Omnipotence. Who needs immortality? Taken care off. I’ll live forever now. Hey, I can even go backwards and forwards in time with a thought. And that old consequence of immortality no longer applies. You know, the one where all your friends and family grow old and die while you remain young. We’ve seen Q cavorting in the afterlife, I could go visit them. Hell, I could probably even resurrect them if I wanted to. If I like you enough, I can make you omnipotent too. So wish #2 is taken care of.
And the first wish, for the money, also taken care off. I could just snap my fingers and conjure up any amount I need. Hell, who needs money? If I want a new computer, I could conjure up a Cray. If I want a home theater, I can conjure up Silver City in my basement. If I want a new car, I can conjure up a Dodge Viper. Or a minivan. Or the General Lee. If I want sexual favours, I can conjure up wanton sex slaves. If I want a house, I can conjure up Olympus. What am I talking about cars for? I can teleport! Not even material goods are needed anymore. I’m omnipotent, baby!
Oh, and freeing the genie. I’m omnipotent, so I can do that with a twitch of my nose. Have a good life, genie.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, I’ve read all those stories about getting three wishes. Most of them usually have some kind of dire consequence. Wishing for omnipotence, that’s going to have a doozy of a consequence.” Why? Have you not been listening? I’m omnipotent now! The first thing I’d do after that first wish is undo any nasty consequence that would have come about. Then, I can enjoy my omnipotence in peace.
I can’t help but think that not only is this wish decidedly clever, but also deliciously evil. I can’t help but do some maniacal laughter while thinking about this. Do you think that absolute power really does corrupt absolutely? Would being given this much power lead me down the wrong path? Would I really wallow in my own greed, filth, and nasty tendencies? Taking a quick and easy route like this, would I really become one with the dark side? Who gives a rat’s ass? I’m omnipotent, baby!
So, bring on the genie! I’m ready for my wish! Oh, you’d probably like to know what Mulder’s three wishes were. Well, for his first wish, he wished for peace on earth. The genie accomplished this by making everyone else on earth vanish. So, for his second wish, Mulder wished that he didn’t make his first wish. For his third and final wish, Mulder started writing out this long, complicated, legal-looking thing to try and eliminate all possibility of dire consequences. Then, Scully walked in, and gave some inspirational words. This led Mulder to follow in Aladdin’s footsteps, and wish for the genie’s freedom. The genie spent the rest of her life sitting in a corner coffee shop, sipping lattes, and watching the world go by. Have a good life, genie.