My Genie is Jeanie
Most Genie's out of a bottle are big and somewhat terrifying but not mine.
Jeanie is a Genie well over 20,000 years old but doesn't look a day over 25. I suppose you could say she has great Genie-cells.
Anyway, when I came across the bottle, shaped as it was, my first thought was to take it home, clean it up and put it on the mantle over the fireplace. And part of that I did. After carefully washing the grime and caked on dirt from it, then drying it off, it looked like it might have been solid gold and had a very fine inlaid design on both sides.
I started for the fireplace to put this on the mantle, when I heard a tiny voice. I stopped, looked around the room but didn't see anyone. I continued to the mantle and almost had set it down when I heard that voice again.
"Hey! I'm no good to you here! Haven't you ever seen a magical lamp before? Rub me, stupid!"
That grabbed me. The voice was coming from the Genie lamp and I was thinking, "Wow! All my life I dreamed this might happen."
"Okay, buster, so it happened. Rub the damn lamp and let me out. We have to talk."
I rubbed the lamp twice, up and back, and just like in the movies, a puff, no, make that a wisp of smoke came from the spout end and there before my eyes was Jeanie, the Genie.
"Ah, hi. I'm Craig. You sure don't look like any Genie I would have imagined."
"You can call me Jeanie. We aren't all ugly and gross. But look, handsome, it's time for you to make a wish. Just one wish. We only do one. If you want more, you have to pay for them and they are expensive."
"Let's just say the value of the world and let it go at that."
"Okay, then I guess I just get the one wish."
"Here's the deal sweet-cheeks, make sure your wish is a good one because I don't make it happen, but I do give you the solution needed to answer your wish."
"Wait. So, this is just an example so don't grant this, but if I wanted a hundred-million dollars right now, you can't make it happen, but you can tell me how to get it? Is that what you're saying?"
"Exacto-mondo, honey-bun. So lay it on me, what's it gonna be?"
I sat in my recliner and started thinking. What one thing would I want her to solve that would be important.
"One other thing, sweetie, your time is almost up. This isn't a forever ask, answer, have dinner, spend the night thing. I have places to go, people to see, so, how about if you speed that brain of yours up some."
"All right, I think I have it. People all over the world, and right here at home have so many different diseases from cancer to leukemia, heart problems, and so on; if you can do what you say you can do, then how about a cure for all life-threatening diseases that threaten human beings and get rid of them once and for all?"
"You can only pick one, sweets."
"But I did. Life-threatening diseases. How do we go about ending them?"
"Hmm ... okay, you got me there. When you say diseases that makes it one. Okay, you got it. I'm going to pop back into my lamp for now, but when you wake up in the morning, on that desk over there sitting under a painting of ... dogs playing poker? Do dogs really play poker? Never mind. Anyway, there will be instructions, detailed instructions on how to rid humanity of all types of diseases. And trust me baby-cakes, it ain't a short story either. And if you want it to work, you have to follow everything written. One misstep and you don't get a second chance."
"Sounds good to me and ...."
True to her word, Jeanie the Genie evaporated into a filmy smoke and reentered the bottle. Not another sound came from her, even when I said, goodnight.
I laid in bed a good hour tossing around the crazy conversation I had with Jeanie and knew if I told my friends about this, they would want some of whatever I was smoking at the time (though I don't smoke). Finally, my eyelids became heavy and I drifted into dreamland, dreaming of Jeanie and our future together.
The next morning I woke up and popped right out of bed, went downstairs to my desk, but not before looking at the mantle and seeing the lamp was gone. So much for that future.
But on the desk was a stack of papers, each one numbered to 3,000 pages. Now, I'm no Brainiac, but from what little I understood, the answers doctors and scientists have been after for decades was right in front of my eyes.
I looked online for a specific phone number and when I found it I called.
"Department of Health and Human Services. How may I direct your call?"