Three men had been friends for most of their lives, from elementary school through college. They had even been working at the same firm since graduation. In their late twenties, they decided to go on vacation together to a remote tropical resort. Their names were Dave, Jimmy, and Roland.
On the third morning of their vacation, they decided to go jogging on the beach. As the three friends ran along the edge of the surf, Jimmy began to tire as he was a bit of a geek and was not in as good a shape as his two friends. He was struggling, trying to keep up when he stumbled on something partially buried in the sand. He tumbled to the ground unhurt.
Dave and Roland came back to help him up and make sure he was ok.
Jimmy said, “I tripped on something.”
Roland dug around, found a small tarnished brass lamp, and said, “Look at this, guys.”
They all stood there looking at it when Roland noticed some writing on it. He could not read it, so he tried rubbing some of the dirt off.
Suddenly the brass lamp erupted with heavy smoke pouring from its spout, and Roland dropped the lamp. The smoke coalesced into a large, light blue-skinned being, a Jinn. He had gold hair and green and gold pants with curled-toed shoes. A heavy necklace and gold bracelets adorned his impressive body.
He stood above the lamp with his arms outstretched to the sky and laughed, “Haha, free at last!”
He looked at the three friends and fell to his knees in front of Roland. “You have freed me from almost two thousand years of captivity. To show you my gratitude, I shall grant you three wishes, Roland. My wishes are almost all-powerful and can grant you almost anything you can dream of, but be prudent, for with great power comes great hazard if care is not taken.”
Roland thought for a second and then said, “We are all three, best friends, and we all three found the lamp. May we please have one wish each instead of just three for me?”
“Why certainly you may.” The blue Jinn replied.
Roland said, “Jimmy, you go first.”
Jimmy thought about what he wanted. His friends always beat him in sports and occasionally made fun of his physique, or lack thereof. He said to the Jinn, “I wish I had the body and skill of a triathlete capable of winning the Olympics today.”
The Jinn crossed his arms, looked at Jimmy, and snapped his head forward as he called out, “As you wish, make it so.”
There was a pop, and Jimmy was covered in smoke. When the smoke cleared, Dave and Roland could not believe their eyes! Jimmy appeared to have gained as much as three-and-a-half stones of body weight, and it was all muscle. His body fat percentage must have gone from twenty to two. He was buff!
Taking out his phone, he was never without it. He took a selfie and saw what had happened. Jimmy looked at himself and exclaimed, “Look, guys, I am the Hulk!”
“Me next, I want to go next!” Dave shouted excitedly.
The Jinn said, “As you wish, young master. What is your heart’s greatest desire?”
Dave thought very carefully about his wish. He had a pretty good body because he regularly worked out. Knowing Jimmy was lazy about such things, preferring to play video games instead of working out. It would not be long before buff Jimmy returned to his usual self unless he changed his ways.
The one thing that had always bothered him was his poor luck with women. He did not have Jimmy’s wit nor Roland’s charm and charisma, but all three of them were slightly above average in appearance.
Dave said to the Jinn, “I want to be more handsome than any man alive today.”
The Jinn crossed his arms, looked at Dave, and snapped his head forward as he called out, “As you wish, make it so.”
There was a pop, and Dave was covered in smoke. When the smoke clear, Jimmy and Roland were astounded by what they saw! Dave’s physique had improved slightly, but more importantly, his face had changed.
There was no doubt that he was Dave, but several slight differences had improved his appearance. His eyes seemed wider apart and not quite as sunken. The slight bend in his nose was gone, his lips were thicker, and his mouth wider with dimples. His chin and jawline had changed to make him seem more manly. Instead of being short, dark, and curly, his hair was now down to his shoulders with a slight curl at the end. His hair was so dark it had blue highlights when the sun flashed off it at just the correct angle.
Roland whistled and said, “Dave, you look great! You could be a movie star or a model. Now it is my turn.”
Jimmy took a shot of him and let him see the changes. Dave was beside himself with his new appearance.
Roland thought, 'What should I wish for?' He knew he was ok looking and was fit but not buff. Roland had always considered such traits superficial. Maybe wishing for money? But he knew money did not solve peoples’ difficulties in life, it only gave extra options, plus wealth came with its own problems.
He had always wanted to be independent and successful. How could he use a wish to be that kind of person? It suddenly came to him that intelligence and common sense can overcome most difficulties and usually lead to success.
“May I ask for intelligence and common sense,” he asked?
“Of course you may, master. They are closely related, but by asking for such a broad wish, you do open up yourself to a situation you may not have considered.”
He thought for several moments about the Jinn’s words but could not think of anything terrible from having both intelligence and wisdom. “I am ready,” he said, “I wish to be the smartest and have more common sense than any man alive.”
As before, with crossed-arms, the Jinn looked at Jimmy and snapped his head forward, calling out, “As you wish, make it so.”
That same smoke engulfed him along with that same popping sound.
As the smoke cleared, he felt completely different. His mind was full of new ideas, and his understanding, both about people and the world in general, had significantly increased. He knew that nothing could stand between him and the life he dreamed of.
He looked at his friends. They were gawking at him with open mouths. Has something gone wrong? Dave took a photo of Roland and showed him what had happened.
Staring at his image, Roland said, “Oh, shit! I am a woman!”