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October 3, 2012 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Imagine that a genie grants you three wishes. You wish first for unlimited money, natch. Next, you ask for x-ray vision. Your third and final wish is to be unencumbered by the consequences of your irresponsible actions. After living a life of fun and frivolity, you realize that your existence has been empty and completely without meaning or purpose. On your deathbed it finally hits you that redemption of your immortal soul can only be brought about by more beedogs. But will you click the link?

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with a beedog. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the beedog. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the beedog about it: "Beedog, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me." The beedog replied:
posted by Blasdelb (103 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
No. My first wish is for unlimited wishes.
It's all gravy after that.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is one notch above child porn or snuff films in depravity (IMHO.)
posted by ReeMonster at 3:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Gah haven't you seen any Disney genie documentary, that's the only disallowed wish.
posted by sammyo at 3:15 PM on October 3, 2012


Then I wish for more genies.
posted by Xoc at 3:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [40 favorites]


X-Ray vision has to be in the top 10 dumbest super powers ever.
posted by The World Famous at 3:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Guys, I don't know if this is just some malware on my computer or what, but all of these dogs look like bees.
posted by cortex at 3:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


Just wish for telekinesis. The ability to rearrange matter with your thoughts is pretty damn omnipotent.

You will probably have a lot of nosebleeds though. You have two wishes left.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:18 PM on October 3, 2012


sammyo: "that's the only disallowed wish"
I'll ask for unlimited splorks, then.
posted by brokkr at 3:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


wat? if you realize that your existence has been empty and without purpose, how is that not a consequence of your irresponsible actions. For the third wish to be granted, you must never realize this.

Gah haven't you seen any Disney genie documentary, that's the only disallowed wish.

loophole
posted by juv3nal at 3:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I see a distressing lack of Corgis there. Also, I see your beedogs and raise you: 90 Corgis in Costumes.
posted by kmz at 3:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


jinx brokkr
posted by juv3nal at 3:20 PM on October 3, 2012


This is a terrific post. I SAY IT IS DAMMIT.
posted by JHarris at 3:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great. Now tears are coming out of my eyes and I have to go find my inhaler (it was the jesus bit that got me for some reason).
posted by crabintheocean at 3:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


hey wait I never realized our overnight moderator was a beedog!
posted by mannequito at 3:23 PM on October 3, 2012


Gah haven't you seen any Disney genie documentary, that's the only disallowed wish.

I wish that restriction to be permanently lifted.

Then I wish for more wishes.
posted by kafziel at 3:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I have the word "beedog" going through my head to the theme to the Pink Panther.

Beedog. Beedog. Beedog beedog beedog beedog BEEDOG....
posted by JHarris at 3:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I feel used. Cheap, even.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


1) The money materializes, though it's a combination of counterfeit bills and diverted funds from organized crime syndicates, third-world dictatorships, and nonprofit humanitarian agencies.

2) The x-ray vision triggers glaucoma.

3) The genie summons a hulking creature that lifts one of its massive arms, which holds a ballistic glove that fires beedogs at you; you scream in agony, only to be resuscitated, at the precise moment in time in which the sniper appeared. To your horror, you expire repeatedly, ad infinitum, with one major difference - your final cry now sounds more like one of weary relief.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm thinking.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Gah haven't you seen any Disney genie documentary, that's the only disallowed wish.

I remember seeing a different Disney genie documentary which made it clear that you can have infinite wishes only if you're Christopher Lloyd and you have a magical talisman.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hornetpooch... Hornetpooch I could've gone for.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:35 PM on October 3, 2012


Little Harmonic Labyrinth
By Douglas Hofstadter
Excerpted from Göedel, Escher, Bach
posted by elmono at 3:37 PM on October 3, 2012


Gah haven't you seen any Disney genie documentary, that's the only disallowed wish.

WARNING: I am about to be pedantic about Disney's Aladdin.

There are actually four disallowed wishes. You cannot wish for more wishes, you cannot wish for the genie to kill someone, you cannot wish for someone to come back from the dead, and you cannot wish to make someone fall in love with you.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Plan Beedog for the Middle Class
posted by chavenet at 3:38 PM on October 3, 2012


I don't want to talk about wishes, I want to talk about how these dogs are wearing bee clothing.
posted by padraigin at 3:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I see a distressing lack of Corgis there. Also, I see your beedogs and raise you: 90 Corgis in Costumes.

CORGIS!!! My one weakness! KMZ, I used to idolize Bill Clinton but you are my new hero.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 3:39 PM on October 3, 2012


"Or What? You'll Release the Dogs? or the Bees? or the Dogs with Bees in Their Mouths so When They Bark They Shoot Bees at You?"
posted by stifford at 3:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: I can not be trusted off-leash.
posted by HuronBob at 3:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beedogdouble triple.
posted by borkencode at 3:45 PM on October 3, 2012


Double
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:46 PM on October 3, 2012


"You cannot wish for more wishes, you cannot wish for the genie to kill someone, you cannot wish for someone to come back from the dead, and you cannot wish to make someone fall in love with you."

anyone want this bottle, evidently I can't use it.....
posted by HuronBob at 3:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


i wished for an eternally-self-refilling bowl of cereal. could have been better, could have been worse.
posted by facetious at 3:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next, you ask for x-ray vision.

See, the way I always figured this would actually work is you walk down the street and greet people. "Hi. You've got cancer." "Hey, bad spinal form." "My man! Say, your fracture doesn't seem to be healing." "Whoa! Great new hips, lady!"
posted by dhartung at 3:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Beedogdouble triple.
posted by borkencode at 3:45 PM on October 3 [+] [!]


Double
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:46 PM on October 3 [+] [!]


Some people live a life without humor.

If nothing else, the framing makes this worth it.
posted by kafziel at 3:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who let the beedogs out?
posted by arcticseal at 3:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is a lady in my neighborhood who dresses up her three tiny little dogs as bees and then walks them while riding on what looks like a circus bicycle. To her credit, she dresses up like a bee, too.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Is there anywhere that combines the delights of beedogs with the wonders of roofdogs?
posted by dng at 4:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd wish for X-ray specs, ones that really shoot out little cartoon lightningbolts and spiral around and around and turns you monochrome to others.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:07 PM on October 3, 2012


personally, I'm waiting for bees dressed like dogs.
posted by xbonesgt at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


did someone say beepdog
posted by curious nu at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can I wish for an infinite number of FPPs involving genies?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:09 PM on October 3, 2012


The yellow of the bee costume signifies that these are dogs who need space, and should not be approached by strangers or other dogs.
posted by anazgnos at 4:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


This is why wolves kill humans.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't want to talk about wishes, I want to talk about how these dogs are wearing bee clothing.

These dogs are wearing bee clothing.
posted by cmoj at 4:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've clicked the links over and over, but...oh dear. Too...late....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 4:14 PM on October 3, 2012


There is a lady in my neighborhood who dresses up her three tiny little dogs as bees and then walks them while riding on what looks like a circus bicycle. To her credit, she dresses up like a bee, too.

Man, someday I'm going to unlock that achievement SO HARD.
posted by padraigin at 4:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


There is a lady in my neighborhood who dresses up her three tiny little dogs as bees and then walks them while riding on what looks like a circus bicycle. To her credit, she dresses up like a bee, too.

Meetup in Joey Michaels' neighborhood!
posted by grapesaresour at 4:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is one step above the art display today at my local library today featuring pen 30 pen drawings of dogs, with wacky poetry underneath in Comic Sans. There was a little gushy 'statement from the artist' and she looked exactly like one would expect.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:26 PM on October 3, 2012


There was a little gushy 'statement from the artist' and she looked exactly like one would expect.

A bee the size of a dog?
posted by cortex at 4:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


this post is the best post
posted by elizardbits at 4:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Needs more BEEDEER.
posted by martinrebas at 4:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedogs
posted by subbes at 4:34 PM on October 3, 2012


Your daily intake of beedogs has been critically low.

I am so well trained that I am not posting this as an answer to this AskMe. NEVER MIND THAT IT IS PROBABLY TRUE.
posted by padraigin at 4:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


That wasn't much of a bee, dog.
posted by oddman at 4:38 PM on October 3, 2012


What about bees dressed up as dogs? Do those fulfill the FDA's daily recommended allowance for beedogs?
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on October 3, 2012


Ow. I really miss my (occasional bee)dog now. Fuck you, spinal cord tumors.
posted by cmyk at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to really want to dress my corgi mix up as a container ship for Halloween. Sadly, she went blind before I could do it, and so I never did. As an unsighted dog, she most likely would have found the costume confusing and frightening, instead of just irritating and stupid.

Now I have a fully-sighted Chihuahua mix who is generally happy to wear things, and I suppose I could try to make one for her, but I dunno. I don't think a container Chihuahua would have the same gravitas.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who's the bee now, dog?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you can't wish for someone to fall in love with you, how about friends with benefits?
posted by maxwelton at 4:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your needs and wants are immaterial. You are getting more beedogs. And you will like them.
posted by patricio at 4:54 PM on October 3, 2012


"You cannot wish for more wishes, you cannot wish for the genie to kill someone, you cannot wish for someone to come back from the dead, and you cannot wish to make someone fall in love with you."

Could you wish for everyone who will not fall in love with you to fall into a death-like coma, so you can more easily find the people who might? Then you could wish to be able to communicate with people in death-like comas, and offer to wish them out of a coma in exchange for their three wishes? I think you could turn a wish-profit with this plan and, possibly, meet someone who will love you despite your horribly mercenary wish-grubbing attitude.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


If you can't wish for someone to fall in love with you, how about friends with benefits?

This kind of rules-lawyering is why I would never take a job moderating a lamp.
posted by cortex at 5:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [21 favorites]


I would wish people would stop degrading their poor pets, and then I would tell tell the djin that he logically couldn't exist and that he should stop screwing around with causality as it will likely bite him in the ass.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2012


X-ray vision for sure, but the kind that gives people cancer.
posted by benzenedream at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2012


Did anyone post the obligatory link yet (dogs w/ bees in their mouths, etc)?
posted by davidmsc at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2012


1) I wish Obama would be reelected president.
2) I wish I weren't wearing this stupid costume.
3) I wish I had all of the powers of the genie, with no tricky drawbacks or limitations.
...
4) Damn!
posted by Beedogs for Obama at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I met a beedog last year during Knoxville's Mardi Growl Parade.
posted by workerant at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012


I wish for another wish-filled (standard 3 wish) Genie. Now you're up to 5 wishes. Repeat as necessary.
posted by porpoise at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012


if i met a genie i would shout at him and tell him that he grants wishes and he would say yes what of it and i would explain to him that he cannot grant wishes because wishes is impossible and he would shake his head because clearly that is not the case as here in front of me is a real life genie but i wouldn't stop shouting i wouldn't and he would want me to so i would push him into a street car and scream into the sky and i would scream and scream and tell that sky i see, i see, this is a simulation, nothing is realistic now because its lousy with genies and i would be right because before me the sky programmer avatar would manifest from the clouds and in a booming voice declare that yes what of it and he would ask me if he is supposed to grant me a wish now and i would say yes yes now you must grant me a wish great sky programmer whom by lifes code is written and debugged and he would frown sternly then point at the dead genie in the street and the crowd of people surrounding the body gasping and crying and calling on their cellphones for ambulance sirens and i would shake my head and point at him the sky programmer but no he would not grant any wishes because that genie was added to grant my wishes and program encapsulation is very important and if he were to grant my wishes then it would be a violation of his central ethics but i would observe that the addition of a genie violates his own code of ethics and he would chastise me and say that global variables are at times necessary but that would make no sense and i would have to ask how a genie is necessary for the functioning of a realistic simulation of reality and i would be right because he had a few beers and none of this matters anyway because he was going to turn off this simulation and i would scream at the crowd telling them what i had just heard but they were busy around the ambulance and the dead genie and the programmer would keep apologizing to me about how he had bought a new computer and was just having some fun one last night with this old creation and i would ask about all my friends and loved ones and he would get real awkward be real quiet then under his breath say one word i wouldn't know what that word would be because after that word there would be nothing ever never not even a something

so i really really hope i don't run into any genies!!!!
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't get how the text goes with the subject matter. Am I missing something? Anybody?
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2012


There is a lady in my neighborhood who dresses up her three tiny little dogs as bees and then walks them while riding on what looks like a circus bicycle. To her credit, she dresses up like a bee, too.

Is this her?

edit: additional, more current photo
posted by dubold at 7:42 PM on October 3, 2012


Am I missing something?

Enlightenment.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


My head is firmly under this post. I'm too stupid to figure it out.
posted by reenum at 7:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beedogs for Obama is my new favorite username. I will watch your future exploits with great interest.
posted by reenum at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Their bark is much worse than their sting.
posted by not_on_display at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


*slow begrudging clap*

That's all I have to say.
posted by maryr at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012


A genie can only grant three wishes. This is the law.


Hey, this wasn't there when I posted originally! I added it later!
posted by Naberius at 8:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh beedogs, how I have missed you!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:47 PM on October 3, 2012


This post is the cure for presidential debates.
posted by a hat out of hell at 10:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


We don't have enough doses of bee dog for everyone. Some of us will have to watch the debates.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Bulgaroktonos: You cannot wish for more wishes, you cannot wish for the genie to kill someone, you cannot wish for someone to come back from the dead, and you cannot wish to make someone fall in love with you.

So a zombie ninja genie with the hots for me would be right out, then?
posted by misha at 6:58 AM on October 4, 2012


WARNING: I am about to be pedantic about Disney's Aladdin.

There are actually four disallowed wishes. You cannot wish for more wishes, you cannot wish for the genie to kill someone, you cannot wish for someone to come back from the dead, and you cannot wish to make someone fall in love with you.


WARNING: I am about to be even more pedantic about Aladdin, having recently rewatched it.

When the genie is discussing these alleged rules, he says, "Rule Three: I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty picture. I don't like doing it!"

Now, wait a minute. How would he know if it was pretty, or whether he liked it, if he couldn't do it, if he in fact hadn't done it before? not to mention that if he couldn't do it, whether he liked doing it would be irrelevant. I think he's just plain lying about that rule, and hopes by telling his masters that it's forbidden that they won't bother trying to wish for it. There's no rule that the genie has to tell the truth.

Of the four, the only rule we have on-screen evidence for beyond the genie's word is the "no making people fall in love" rule—Jafar, as the genie's master, wishes for Jasmine to fall in love with him, and the genie doesn't do it. So that seems to be a legitimate rule.

No one ever tries any of the other three "forbidden" wishes, so we don't really know about those. I think the genie is probably lying about the "no bringing people back from the dead" rule, and possibly about the "no killing anyone" and "no wishing for more wishes" rules.

However, whether it's a rule or not—and even if it is, there's ways to get around the spirit of the rule, as many people have suggested above (wishing for more genies, wishing for the rule against wishing for more wishes to be repealed, etc., etc., etc.) there's still a practical problem with essentially unlimited wishes.

All the literature suggests that genies have great latitude in interpreting how to fulfill a wish as long as the literal expression of the wish is fulfilled. And most genies delight in fulfilling wishes in the most cruel way possible—just look at the Literal Genie entry at TVTropes. The genie in the movie felt kindly towards Aladdin, so when Al wished to be a prince, he got fancy clothes, a huge entourage, etc., etc., but that's the exception rather than the rule. The more likely outcome of wishing to be a prince would be for a genie to make you a prince...in France...in 1789.

So most likely the genie doesn't like you in the first place, and he's trying to screw you over as much as possible through the interpretation of your wishes. And even if he didn't hate you at first, he certainly would after you oh-so-cleverly got around the "three wishes" limit in one way or another.

Perhaps you think you're Genre Savvy and you're very careful to phrase your wishes in such a way that there's no possible interpretation other than the one you intended? OK, maybe you can keep that up for three wishes, but if you're making twenty, thirty, a hundred wishes, how long before you slip up and overlook something, and end up with a suitably ironic interpretation of your wish?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:53 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


That last bit's easy if you have your infinite wishes Devil's Advocate. You take your time and carefully draft the first wish to be that no wishes or consequences of wishes should give you cause for regret and/or can be instantly be undone when and if you so choose (with appropriate clauses to cover gotchas like dying so quickly you have no chance to regret or traumatic brain injury such that you become incapable of comprehending the situation enough to regret it etc).

Get that wish right and you can be as lax as you like with the rest of them.
posted by juv3nal at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2012


For all your genie-related wishing needs.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 9:10 AM on October 4, 2012


If you wish for infinite wishes, you get to be the new wish-granting inhabitant of a bottle. Simple.

Me, my first wish is for the genie to be free after granting my other two wishes. This may have a clause about "not going on a destructive rampage" if the initial interview with the genie indicates that he or she is stuck in that bottle because they're a malign spirit with designs of conquest or destruction. It is also predicated on the initial conversation not indicating that this particular genie gets off on the whole servitude thing and would actually be unhappy if freed; some of them are kinky that way. If they do get off on the servitude then I can probably think of something. Get to know your genie, folks, don't just make demands.

My second wish is the ability to shape-shift. With appropriate caveats about always being able to shift back, always retaining my intelligence (or simply not being able to shift into a form that can't support my mind), and some exploration of the unexpected side-effects. I'm sorta hoping that my first wish being genie freedom will make him/her well-disposed towards me, and willing to point out whatever problems this ability has rather than just giggling and granting me a bad idea of a wish.

My third wish is for better social skills. There are probably side clauses here, too. Hopefully the genie will help me figure these out.

Then, if the genie isn't haring off to go do whatever they've been wanting to do in the long years since Solomon cooped them up in that tiny bottle, maybe I ask if they wanna go out for a beer or something. Because they probably have some pretty cool stories to tell, and because it would be PRETTY INTERESTING to be on friendly terms with a genie. Get to know them well enough and they just might even come save your bacon for free sometime, though that's not really my intent here. This is not a wish; this is just a request from that lady who was nice enough to put the genie's desires first.

I have nothing to say about beedogs. Except that my iPad autocorrects that to "needles".
posted by egypturnash at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I wish that no wishes or consequences of wishes should ever give me cause for regret."
"Done."

"I wish to be wealthy."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

"I wish to be immortal."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

"I wish to live to be at least 110 years old."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

"I wish for world peace."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

"I wish for there always to be peace within a 3-mile radius centered on my location at the time."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

"I wish for a regular size Snickers bar."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

"I wish for a mini-Snickers bar."
"OK, here you go."

"I wish for one mini-Snickers bar a month for the rest of my life."
"I am unable to fulfill that wish in any way that would never give you cause for regret."

Not to mention that the first wish presumes that the genie is able to accurately forsee the consequences of wishes, a highly questionable proposition—note the attitude of the genie in Aladdin when Aladdin is goading Jafar into wishing to be a genie himself, which suggests that the genie is not able to forsee the outcome of such a wish.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


cmyk, riley is a very sweet beedog. My sympathy on your loss.
posted by theora55 at 9:57 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wish #1: I and three guests of my choice (on each dining occasion) eat free at every restaurant in the world for life - and the restaurants and their employees are always happy to have us as their guests.

Wish #2: Cure cancer.

Wish #3: No one is allowed to be wrong on the internet ever again.
posted by The World Famous at 10:03 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I met a genie and was offered wishes, I'm pretty sure I'd blurt out "Holy Crap! I wish I had a camera!" or worse. I mean, free camera, but wasted wish. If I tried to game the rules, during the ensuing discussion I'd almost certainly say something like "I wish it hadn't rained today" or whatever.

1. Gobs and gobs of money, gold, jewels, etc., because Duh, you can do a LOT with money. Like research causes of cancer, feed the poor, educate the ignorant, fund anti-bullying and peace initiatives (possibly redundant).
2. Youth, health, long life. It would be nice to not have a chronic illness, and be able to live long enough to enjoy some health.
3. Freedom for the genie. Since the existence of this mythical being is unlikely, then the existence of a truly evil and truly powerful genie seems more unlikely. Even a genie who has sinned in the past should probably get out of jail after a few millennial.

This post is like buying a lottery ticket, although cheaper. I get to have a brief fantasy about having wealth. It would be so darn useful. sigh.
posted by theora55 at 10:07 AM on October 4, 2012


Okay, I'll jump in.

The problem here has to do with the inadequacy of human language to be used as a system of describing real change. It's filled with nuance that can be ignored, unspoken assumptions, and changes of meaning due to shifting context, all of which a malignant DM genie could use in messing up any wish a young wisher could make. (An issue of Simpsons comics on newsstands right now, titled "Li'l Homer," explores this issue. Homer stumbles into the solution that the only good wish is to wish not to have found the lamp in the first place.) The best first wish to make, probably, is that the genie develop a real fondness for the wisher so as to end the problem of him wanting to misinterpret a wish in the first place.

Making a wish to a genie that affects real change in the universe is essentially a system of converting human intent into a form that can directly change the universe, which would be both a system of incantation magic and the kind of problem that compiler designers and shell authors have to face. Even if the genie is on the wisher's side, even if he is telepathic and understands exactly what the wisher wants, there are enough unintended consequences to anything one coul-- BEEDOGS!
posted by JHarris at 11:11 AM on October 4, 2012


OK, here's the definitive guide to dealing with genies (as well as patent law).
posted by wolfdreams01 at 11:20 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't you wish a test wish first before you get down to the serious wishes? After all, you might be wasting critical time drafting perfect wishes when you could be seeking medical help. After all, you might have a concussion. But what is the ideal test wish?
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:23 AM on October 4, 2012


To wish for a beedog. It all comes back to beedogs. You could beedog a beedog, but beedog beedog would beedog.
BBB  EEE  EEE  DD   OOO  GGG  !
B B  E    E    D D  O O  G    !
BB   EEE  EEE  D D  O O  G G  !
B B  E    E    D D  O O  G G
BBB  EEE  EEE  DD   OOO  GGG  !

posted by JHarris at 11:39 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks to Mefi, I now know that trying to outsmart a genie is probably a risky idea.

If I find myself in this situation, I'll stick with wishing for a truckload of money. (Not in those literal words either, far to open to interpretation.)
posted by philipy at 11:57 AM on October 4, 2012


theora55: "1. Gobs and gobs of money, gold, jewels, etc., because Duh, you can do a LOT with money."
Congratulations, you just crashed the world economy. Hyperinflation quickly does away with any vestige of orderly civilization, leaving a trail of fascist riots across the developed world.
posted by brokkr at 12:04 PM on October 4, 2012


Perhaps you think you're Genre Savvy and you're very careful to phrase your wishes in such a way that there's no possible interpretation other than the one you intended? OK, maybe you can keep that up for three wishes, but if you're making twenty, thirty, a hundred wishes, how long before you slip up and overlook something, and end up with a suitably ironic interpretation of your wish?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:53 AM on October 4


Look, you are not GeniesAdvicate, are you? Geeze.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:58 PM on October 4, 2012


What if genies took the form of bee dogs? How would we ever know?
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:04 PM on October 4, 2012


What if genies took the form of bee dogs? How would we ever know?

You could rub them, then make wishes. If the wish comes true, genie!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:07 PM on October 4, 2012


I thought this was going to be about The Simpsons.
posted by limeonaire at 4:17 PM on October 4, 2012


Look, you are not GeniesAdvicate, are you?

Consider it practice for my regular job.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:38 PM on October 4, 2012


BEEDOG & I: A ONE-ACT PLAY

(⌐■_■)

( •_•)>⌐■-■ WHAT

( •_•)>

( •_•)

( •_•)

( •_•)

( •_•)>

( •_•)>⌐■-■

(⌐■_■) OKAY
posted by Minus215Cee at 8:35 PM on October 4, 2012


1) I wish Obama would be reelected president.
2) I wish I weren't wearing this stupid costume.
3) I wish I had all of the powers of the genie, with no tricky drawbacks or limitations.

...
4) Profit!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:47 AM on October 5, 2012


One of the best moments from Lore Sjoberg's Monster Manual Comix/Speaking With Monsters is when Tymar wishes for "a buttload of gold." The genie is so offended with how easy his job has been made he just calls it even. Shame I can't find it on the internet anymore.
posted by JHarris at 5:48 AM on October 5, 2012


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