If I had intended to break the amphora, I certainly wouldn’t have done it right in front of the museum guard; I’m not that stupid. He, it appeared, wasn’t convinced of that. At least at first. Perhaps it had something to do with the cloud of dust that arose from the shards of pottery on the floor.
“You’ll have to come with me,” the guard said, but looking around, he seemed confused about where he would be taking me. “I think I need to lie down,” which is exactly what he did, crumpling into a heap on the floor.
When I looked back at the broken vessel, I was astonished to see that the dust cloud had coalesced into something resembling a human form, dressed as the stereotypical Aladdin from Disney movie fame.
“I know it’s a cliche, but just wait till you see what people in the future imagine ‘60s fashions were like.” The genie dusted himself off and got right down to business.
“You have three wishes. The first wish can be anything you want, but the second wish has to relate to the first and the third wish has to be connected to the second. You can’t wish for additional wishes and I know all the tricks, so don’t try to be clever. Well, get on with it.”
“This has to be a dream,” I thought.
“It’s not. It’s real.” the genie said.
“Great, he reads minds, too. I wish I could do that.” I thought again.
“You have two wishes left,” the genie said.
“OK, genie, you got me there. I’m sure that will come in handy some day. But now my second wish has to fit with the first one somehow, is that correct?”
“That’s right and if it doesn’t, you lose the first wish,” he explained.
“You forgot to mention that in your earlier explanation,” I said, annoyed.
“What do you expect? I’m four thousand years old. I forget details occasionally.”
What could I possibly wish for that would be related to mind-reading? Perhaps a good lawyer to get me out of jail when I have a look on my face that says “I know what you are thinking”?
At that instant, a man in an impeccable dark suit, white shirt, blue tie and carrying a briefcase appeared.
“Wait, I didn’t ask for him.” It was clear that the genie had read my mind again and had given me a high-priced attorney for my very own.
“I can tell that you are the type that will need this fellow. Say ‘hello’ to R. Bradley Ashton, III, of the firm of Higgins, Ashton, Harrow and Walls.”
“Terrific, my very own legal team. I suppose I should wish for enough money to pay their retainer in perpetuity,” I said hoping that genie wouldn’t considered that to be my third wish.
“As a matter of fact, Mr. Ashton is working pro bono, so you don’t have to worry about his fee. Now, what’s your third wish?” The genie seemed a bit impatient, like he had a date to play squash or have drinks at the Blue Room.
“This is getting way too complicated. I wish I’d never broken that amphora.”
And with that, the genie disappeared back in his cloud of dust, the amphora, magically repaired, flew back to its pedestal and the museum guard picked himself up off the ground, looking around again in bewilderment.
“I just had the strangest dream,” he said. “Must have been that falafel I had for lunch.”
“They do the same thing to me,” I said as I headed for the museum exit, making sure I kept a good distance between myself and the breakables.