Do you practice your wish-making?

We all know that if a magic genie comes along and offers to make any wish of yours come true, that if your wish is too general and/or too self-serving you will be socked with an ironic or horrible interpretation of your wish meant to teach yo a lesson or simply because the Genie is a dick.

This is science.

So if you wish for, let’s say, “I wish to ride in the space shuttle>” There is a very good chance you will get to ride in the space shuttle as it is towed from the garage where it is kept to a different garage.

So you have to refine it, “I wish to ride the space shuttle into space.” And that may be good enough, or maybe not,maybe instead of riding it to another garage it is just towed out into the open…space.

This is how you practice, you think of your wish and then you try and outsmart yourself and refine it, “I wish to ride the space shuttle into outer space as one of the astronauts.”

That should o it…maybe. There is nothing about returning safely. I should mention, when I do this the word and is verboten in general, so you can’t do, “I wish to ride the space shuttle into outer space as one of the astronauts and ride a pony.” Because then that is cheating and trying to squeeze in two wishes. So I can’t say, “I wish to ride the space shuttle into outer space as one of the astronauts.” I have to refine it to, “I wish for a safe, round-trip ride on the space shuttle as one of the astronauts.”

There I think I have done, now a jerkishness the Genie wants try and pull I have thwarted…of course until the depression of how nothing on earth can match the experience of space and I escape into drink and delusion…man this hard.

I just know the basics: If you rub the lamp, you’ll get the genie.

I do know a [del]good[/del] terribly offensive racist joke involving a genie and a rope. So I know at least one thing I’d never wish for.

Depending on the day I might wish for world peace and not give a fig about how the genie interpreted that one.

I guess you never saw that one Simpsons episode.

Can I wish for unlimited wishes granted?

Sure. But your worst enemy gets them.

I play dungeons and dragons, so yeah, I do. Comes in handy. The first question is, really, where the wish comes from. Live creature or dead spell, under duress, or by means of fair payment for services. Don’t get too greedy, of course, but if it’s a live creature, you can make it your friend, and there can be a bit of ‘do what I mean’ involved. There’s generally an amount of ‘safe’ wishes you can always make, and it helps if you speak of things in the original context of the culture granting. So that wish you got about the space shuttle? Granter might not understand it. But ‘enough gold to fill a bedchamber, not stolen from anywhere’ might work. Then you could buy a trip up!

Ha! I am my worst enemy! (No really, I’m pretty sure I am.)

My favorite example of this involves, not a genie, but the devil and 7 wishes.

Poor Stanley Moon. No matter how careful he planned and specified exactly what he was wishing for, the devil always found a loophole.

This has been a lifelong lesson for me. After much thought, I have figured out that instead of wishing for something specific, you should wish for control over something, like (if you wanted money) that you would be the only big winner in the next Lotto that you decided to play. This way you are controlling which Lotto and that it won’t be some $5 mail-in contest that you knew nothing about. Or something. Loopholes must be fought!
Roddy, who has spent entirely too much time thinking about this stuff. Perhaps to limited effect.

Hey this is my loophole fighting plan.

If I get three wishes, the first of the three will be that the following two (and this one as well) will be interpreted as I intend them to be, without any loopholes exploited.

hehe…interesting one

oops double post love internet

Oooooo…that’s good…

I too practice my wishes, looking for the simplest ways to get what I want, without getting screwed.

I have not figured out a way to wish my mother back from the dead without loopholes - the classic Monkey’s Paw scenerio…

You haven’t defined “ride” or “trip” well enough. Does the “ride” include the part where the shuttle stops? If the ride only refers to the “journey or excursion” then a “safe ride” may be immediately followed by a crash landing.


Or the X-Files episode when Mulder wished for “peace on earth.”

What was the story where someone gets three wishes from a devil, and not only doesn’t get screwed but manages to word the wishes in such a way as to get limitless, almost divine power? I think the protagonist was a scientist or mathematician familiar with logic, but I haven’t read it and would like to.

Yeah, the Columbia astronauts made a couple of hundred safe round trips, before they went through the not-so-safe re-entry.

And I don’t practice making wishes for the simple reason that I assume that there will always be another loophole I didn’t anticipate, and that therefore the only winning move is not to play. Unless, of course, the wish is being granted by an appropriately grateful, good, or friendly entity, in which case I don’t need to worry about the loopholes in the first place.

That was my idea, too.

For some reason I’m thinking it was an Asimov short story. Couldn’t find anything on Google though.

If I remember correctly a man was given a wish by the devil. The wish went something like this:
“With no change whatsoever in myself. I wish I was the poorest, least healthy, least intelligent… <etc> …person on earth.”