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Old 09-23-2021, 05:10 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Why four wishes? For story purposes, sure, but general myth and story tradition holds that a genie grants three wishes, not four. Special bargain, one time only, never to be repeated, act now before it’s too late?
Some writers of "genie" stores have the person, upon being told that they have three wishes, make their first wish "metawish" that they be granted a hundred wishes, or a million, or an unlimited number. It's hard to see how the genie could back out of that, since a metawish is still a wish.

Or you have the case of the guy who, on rubbing the lamp, sees the genie emerge and hears him say "Greetings, master! In return for releasing me from my prison, I shall grant you one wish, any wish you like."

"Hang on" says the man. "In every story I have ever heard, the genie grants the person three wishes. What happened to the other two?"

"Well, you do get three, but let me explain... you did originally get three wishes, but you don't remember the first two, because your second wish was to undo the first one and make everything like it was before, so no one except me knows that you have already used up the first two. This is actually your third wish."

The man looks sceptical about this, but there is not much he can do about it, and having just one wish is a lot better than none... so he thinks long and hard about what to wish for, and finally says:

"I know what I want. I've never had much luck with members of the opposite sex. I want to be absolutely irresistible to women!"

"Abracadabra!" cries the genie, and there is an explosion of light and thunder. "Done!" he says. "And my work is done too, and so I leave you." Just before flying off in into the distance, he softly intones "Funny. That was your first wish too."
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