Christmas Hiatus: The Genie Coefficient

The blog is on hiatus for the Christmas season. New stories will return in January. Here’s one from the archives:

Corrado took a stroll along a crowded beach. His daydreams of flirting with the various girls that walked past him were rudely interrupted when he caught his toe on something sticking up through the sand. He hopped around massaging his violated digit, then spotted the obstruction that had caused his inconvenience.

His fingers dug through the sand. From it he pulled a small teapot-shaped object, gold in colour. He rubbed it with the palm of his hand.

From the spout whistled the tune of an unholy wind, then smoke poured forth, billowing and swirling into a column of cloud near where he stood. From this supernatural mist emerged a man of green and purple complexion. Onlookers gasped.

“You have summoned me,” said the apparition. “I can grant you five thousand, four hundred and two wishes.”

“That many?” said Corrado.


Well, then he didn’t have to think too hard…

“I wish to have a date.”

A small red fruit appeared in his hand. People laughed.

“That’s not what I meant! I wish to have a girl fall for me.”

A few steps away, a girl tripped, shrieked went face-first into the sand.

“No, no, no! What are you doing?” spluttered Corrado.

“Ah, sorry,” said the genie. “I’m not very good. You see the number of wishes is inversely proportional to a genie’s skill…”

“Right,” interrupted Corrado. “Yes. I get it. I wish the Gini coefficient was zero.”

The genie beamed. “Thank you! Your three wishes are up.”


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