I found Aladdin’s lamp at a neighborhood yard sale

I found Aladdin’s lamp at a neighborhood yard sale.
“Alladin’s Lamp” it said inscribed right on the side
and on the other side instructions saying rub here.
I asked the lady at the card table, “Is this for real?”
“Oh, sure,” she said. “Enchanted magic lantern.”
“It really works?” “Of course it works. Three wishes.
We already had our three wishes, so it’s no use to us.
Cured my husband’s gout, some other stuff.
Besides, people always end up using it wrong
wasting the whole gift by the end. We’d
just as soon be rid of it for good.”
“Why not give it to someone in your family?”
“It’s a one-per-family kind of deal. We tried.
We tried the wishing for more wishes, too. No dice.
He’s sweet enough, but he’s a very inflexible genii.”
I looked at the price. “Ten dollars? Really? I’ll give you five.”
The lady shrugged. “Whatever. I’ll do five. Take the lamp.”
I admit, I felt pretty chuffed getting a magic lamp
though five whole dollars seemed like a lot.
Well I got a genii, all right. Three wishes just
like she said. So I told him, “Okay, genii,
first wish is teach me so I don’t screw up my wishes.”
That made him frown, but then he shrugged
and snapped his fingers and nothing happened
but I nodded because now I knew. “Good,
the second wish is for good health, ‘cause if
you got your health…” the genii nodded and
boy did I feel all full of pep and energy. Cool.
“For my last wish I would like to have
a more flexible genii than yourself.”
In a flash and poof he vanished and a brand
new genii was before me.  “Whatever you desire,”
she said, so first I mentioned that five dollars…

—Don Whittington


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