Stephen Joseph
2 min readApr 28, 2023
The Three Wishes

On a walk through the countryside one morning, a man sees a glimmer from behind an outcropping of rocks. He investigates and finds a discarded oil lamp. Just for kicks, he picks it up and rubs it. To his surprise, a genie wreathed in purple smoke pops out and offers him three wishes.

The man appraises the genie and thinks for a moment, then smiles slyly and says:

"For my first wish, I would like to be a ginger."

The genie nods and says:

"k. Coulda gone a funny way with that but I’m gonna go with your intention. Be careful how you word things though, you could have ended up as a tasty root."

The genie snaps his finger and *poof* the man suddenly has vibrant, smooth orange hair.

The man grins as he continues:

"Now, good genie of the lamp, I wish to be constantly snapping my fingers and dancing awkwardly."

The genie pauses and says:

"My guy, I don’t think you get how this works. People have killed for this power, and again with your wording…whatever, your wish."

The genie gestures emphatically towards the man, who begins to sway awkwardly and snap his fingers.

The man beams and says to the genie: "Now for my final wish, I wish for you to ask me…whether I’m gonna give you up or not." The man giggles and waits for the genie’s response.

The genie is now visibly annoyed and completely confused, but he resignedly swishes his arm and finds himself asking the man the requested question, to which the man giddily sings his response that he, in fact, is never going to give him up. The man laughs, still red haired and swaying and snapping.

The genie sighs heavily and says, "look man, you’re crazy and I dont fucking get what’s going on here."

The man’s face suddenly sobers but he continues to sway awkwardly, and he asks the genie:

"Are you serious right now? have you never been on the fucking internet? It’s been a thing for the last decade!"

The genie replies, "what’s the internet? Is that a fishing thing? I’ve been in a fucking lamp for the last three centuries."

The now red-haired, awkwardly dancing man looks around at the empty street. No one saw it happen. No one witnessed it. "Well, shit" he says, as the genie dissipates.

The man walks home, dancing and snapping, with many…many regrets.

Stephen Joseph

Poetry and Pop Culture is the name of the game. Stephen is an author living in Rochester with his wife and two children.