I’M SORRY, BUT LIFE’S NOT FAIR. And I mean seriously not fair. It has never been fair, and never will be. My life’s not fair. A few centuries ago I was having the greatest time, happy and free! But now…I’m stuck in a small and cramped space, made of metal and itching like crazy. And I did nothing to deserve it! Like I said, life’s not fair.
That morning, my life was perfect. I could walk, run, sing, play videogames… I could eat! But somehow, it all changed.
It was just after breakfast, I was outside playing in my yard. Everything was normal, or so I thought. I had just thrown my ball into a hedge. I ran over to fetch it.
I pushed away the thorns and leaves and saw something shimmer. I looked closer. It was a lamp. I’m not talking like a dinky bedroom lamp. I’m talking like a for-real, Arabian Nights, blue-smoke-man-grants-you-three-wishes kind of lamp. It had a spout on one end and a curved handle in the shape of a snake on the other. A jeweled lid was placed on the top.
I slid out of the bush and sat down on the grass, taking the lamp with me. I tried to take off the lid, but it might’ve been glued shut. I looked down the spout and saw only a dark hairy spider coming at me. I threw the lamp. I hated spiders.
After the spider finished its little stroll through the mysterious lamp, I gingerly picked it up and studied it. I remembered that in the movies, there was always something inscribed on the side. I looked, and sure enough…
“Genie, Genie in your lamp,” I read, “Wake from your eternal nap. Three wishes you must grant for me, anything I want to be.”
Suddenly the lamp went red hot. I dropped it and backed away. The shiny golden metal was smoking, and so was the spout. The grass around it turned yellow. It was hissing loudly.
Then it all stopped. The smoke was gone, the noise was gone- the only thing left was the lamp and the scorched grass. Slowly I crawled up to it.
There was a loud Poof! and I jumped back again. Standing-- no floating-- above me was a very large, very pink, genie.
“Pink?” I asked, not surprised at all by the sudden appearance of the large floating apparition. “You’re not a girl are you? Why aren’t you blue, or green? Or even better, red?”
The genie stroked his very long and curly moustache. “You gotta problem with pink,Buttersnick?”
“You have a problem with what I call you, Mushroom-Ears?”
“Mushroom-Ears?” Some genie. I shook my head. “Whatever. At least you’re not yellow. Let’s get down to business shall we? You’re a genie right?”
The genie just looked at me like “Duh!”
“Right,” I continued. “So, you’ve got to grant me three wishes. That’s how it is in the movies! Okay, for my first wish, I want a billion dollars.”
The genie slapped his cotton-candy-colored hand on his forehead, and then slid it down his rosy face. “They always do this,” he mumbled.
The genie bent and picked up the lamp. “Can you read?” he asked me.
“Of course,” I said indignantly.
“Then tell me, Larva-Chins, what does the last line say?”
“It says: Anything I want to be. Duh. Can’t you read?”
“Anything I want to be. Not do, or have. Meaning, of course that I can’t grant you a billion dollars, I can’t even grant you one dollar. I can only turn you into something. Next time, I won’t remind you. Understand Banana-Breath?”
“Fine,” I said. “Do you have to call me those stupid names? It’s highly annoying.”
“It’s on my job duties list.”
“Whatever.” Then I got an idea. “I wish to be a billionaire! “
The genie shrugged and snapped his fingers. There was silence.
“Where’s my billion dollars?” I started. But I was cut short by a very loud buzzing noise. “What is that?” I asked.
“You did want to be a billionaire.”
“A billionaire of what?” I screamed.
“I don’t know. You didn’t specify. So I just picked something.”
“THAT’S ABSURD!” I shouted.
And then they were upon me. Mosquitoes, billions of them! They were everywhere! Crawling and buzzing in places that no mosquitoes should ever be. I had them in my shirt, in my shoes, in my hair, in my nose, in my mouth… they were everywhere!
And they were biting me!
“Help!” I screamed through the swarm of vampire bugs. “Help!”
“I can’t help.” I couldn’t see the strawberry hued genie through the evil bugs, but I was sure that a thick smirk was curling under his cruel ‘stache. “I’m not allowed to just help.”
I tried to look around for something that could scare the bugs. I looked for the hose, but the swarm of mosquitoes was so thick that I could barely move. I would have to use a wish.
“I wish these mosquitoes would go away!” I screamed. I had forgotten the rule about the wishes.
The next moment, I felt really strange. I couldn’t feel any of my limbs or my face. I couldn’t move at all! I couldn’t see anything either. I felt cold, and round, and hard.
The genie was probably rolling around in the air (since he couldn’t roll around on the ground). I could somehow hear his hysterical laughter, and his booming voice congratulating himself.
“Oh!” he sighed. “I don’t think I’ve ever done a better job on twisting a wish!” Then he burst into another laughing fit.
“This isn’t funny,” I tried to say. The words formed in my head (Did I have a head?) but they weren’t audible-- like thoughts. But the genie seemed to understand.
“Then, why am I laughing so hard?”
“What did you do to me?” I thought at him.
“Well, Flapper-Jabber, I turned you into a giant can of mosquito repellant!” The genie was gurgling with mirth now.
“Turn me back! And stop with the names, already!”
“No,” the genie suddenly stopped his obnoxious giggles. “And the names can’t go either. They’re required.”
“Change me back,” I demanded.
“Change me back!”
“No! I can’t do anything unless you wish me to.”
“That’s not fair! I didn’t wish to be mosquito repellant.”
“Not my problem,” the genie sympathized. “You’ll have to make a wish.”
“No. I won’t!”
The genie gasped. “Did you just refuse to make a wish? Do you know what the penalty is for that?”
“Yes, a penalty Can-Head! No one refuses to make a wish. That’s against the rules.”
“How come I’ve never heard of any rules before? They’re not in the movies!”
“Why would they be in the movies? You just made a big mistake, Beetle-Brains.”
There was yet another Poof! and once again, I felt different. This time, I could feel my limbs, but they were different: smoky-ish. And my face; it felt different too. I reached my hand up to touch my face and flinched.
“Whoa! You gave me a moustache? This is NOT okay!” My voice sounded strange, like muffled thunder.
“Oh, I did a lot more than that, you maggoty minstrel,” the genie said. His voice sounded different too. Less booming, and very familiar.
I looked at him. He looked just like me!
“You turned yourself into me?” I asked confused.
“Actually I turned you into me. You’re the genie now.”
I looked down at myself and realized it was true! I was the genie! I looked just like him-- all poofy and smoky. I even shared his moustache. The only difference was that I was bright yellow.
“Not cool man! NOT COOL!” I screamed.
“I think that it’s way cool,” said the non-genie who looked a whole awful lot like my original self. “Now remember, you are required to be incomparably rude and creative when you twist wishes. All wishes must be something that the wisher can be, no exceptions. When the poem is read, you must appear, no matter how much you’d rather stay inside. And above all: try hard to trick the wisher into refusing a wish.
I stared at him, shocked.
“You mean you didn’t have to call me all those stupid names?”
The genie smirked. “Nope. Now good luck and goodbye!”
Then things started to swirl. I was sucked down into that horrible genie lamp and I’ve been there ever since. I have no idea where I am, or what that non-genie is doing right now with my life. Would you call that fair? I didn’t think so.
So, to help out a poor fellow like me, would you please refuse a wish already? I really would love it if you did, Lumpy-Lips. It would totally make my millennia.