Many, many years ago I used to work in a lamp shop. It was boring work, but it paid the bills and I got to read a lot of books during the quiet hours.

One morning the back of my hand accidentally brushed against an old magic looking one, and sure enough, it was magic. I'd been warned about not wearing gloves because of the risk of touching a magic one, but I was hungover and not really paying any attention. Just as I'd seen in my induction video, out popped a genie. The stench
was unbearable.

"My wish is your command, master" he said.

"No thank you" I told him. I explained to him that I didn't believe in accepting help from supernatural sources, because I wanted my life to end up as it should be without cheating and shortcuts.

"If I was meant to have a million dollars, then I would earn a million dollars. I don't need a genie for that." I said.

"But I can give you anything" he said "I can let you dance inside raindrops, swim inside a cloud, cum inside a lady, whatever your heart desires."

He just wouldn't take no for an answer, so I explained in no uncertain terms that at no point in my life would I ever make a wish, not upon a star, a birthday cake and certainly not with a suspicious looking genie.

"So if you could just leave now. I've got to get back to my book" I told him. Sadly, it wasn't that simple. He informed me that he couldn't leave until I'd made my three wishes. He suggested that I made two insignificant wishes that would have no effect on my life and then use my third wish him to go away, but I told him that I couldn't guarantee that those wishes wouldn't completely change the course of my life.

"Haven't you seen Sliding Doors?" I said. He hadn't. That's how it began. I was doomed to spend the rest of my life with a genie by my side.

With hindsight, nothing could have had a bigger effect on my life than me not making those wishes, but I was stubborn. I should have just used them a couple of weeks later when I saw how much of a problem he was going to be, but as the years went by it became harder to go back and change my mind. It was a battle of wills. I think he could have moved on if he wanted to, but neither of us wanted to be the first to back down.

It's hard to meet women when there's always a strangely dressed foreign man standing next to you. I tried dressing him in modern clothes, but he just looked like an idiot tourist. The only women I could have sex with were weirdos or prostitutes, and even then I had to pay double for having him there watching. Within ten years of rubbing that lamp I was thoroughly depressed. After fifteen I didn't have a job or a single friend. Nobody wants to employ or befriend a man with a genie. He's seen as a loose cannon, because with one wish he could have your job, your wife and your children. The closest thing I have to friend is the genie.

John, Dundee.

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