Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Take My Wish, Please

A clever reader of Marilyn vos Savant's column in Parade Magazine brought up an interesting point. (MVS is the resident genius who handles mensa type questions and various conundrums. Uh, conundra?) Anyway, this reader wanted to know if there could be a "foolproof wish" because it is obvious from reading any story about genies and fairies and other Assorted Wish Granters that anytime you wish for something joyful, your wish always gets ruined and you end up with a big mess. (Sort of like the war in Iraq, eh?) So true! And Marilyn's advice was right on: simply wish for happiness and you'll have all your bases covered. (sort of like this year's Red Sox, no?) But it got me to thinking, what is the point of these perverse wish-granters? Do they like seeing people suffer? Enjoy giving them the idea of perfect bliss, only to cruelly snatch it away just when the Goose has started mass producing those golden eggs? What is the deal with these genies, fairies and good witches? Yes, I'm talking about you, Glenda, Dorothy's so-called friend, who pointed out at the end of The Wizard of Oz that she had the power to go home all along, and didn't need the turbo-charged ruby slippers. Thanks a lot! You could've doled out the information a couple hundred winged monkeys ago, saving all kinds of bad karma with the angry apple trees, not to mention the Power Nap in the Poppies. This is just the sort of situation the automobile club would have warned us about, perhaps advising an alternate route not paved with yellow bricks. I know the genies and their ilk are just trying to teach us a "lesson." The thing is, anyone who has been alive for more than half an hour knows that there's plenty of discomfort, work, hunger (physical and emotional), pain, boredom, helplessness and hopelessness to go around. As Charlie Brown famously said, "Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?" So, genies, elves and others. Skip the lesson. Give us a pat on the back. Give us the strength to carry on. Support our hope that tomorrow will be better than today. Better yet, why don't you reveal yourself to be what you truly are. You are the illusion that the world is our Happy Home rather than the scenery passing by on the way to our Eternal Destination. Maybe we should be less concerned about the furnishings, and more concerned that our Trip Tik has us heading in the right direction.

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