Tim sat glaring at the flimsy tin canister on the table. What a piece of junk. Dinted all over and painted blue, it had the complexion of an acne-scarred Smurf. Somehow that seedy fellow at the garage sale had convinced him to part with six dollars for it. Tim replayed the morning’s exchange in his head, except in the replay he kept his money and told the canister’s former owner where to shove it.
The frustration of regret was too much. Tim slapped the canister off the table and watched with some atoning satisfaction as it cartwheeled across the floor and clanged against the wall. Through a crack in the base of the container green smoke spewed forth and filled the room; Tim dropped to the floor in a panic and tried to crawl away. A hissing, howling sound rushed past him, as the emerald haze was sucked back into the canister as suddenly as it had escaped. He stood up, perplexed, and went to examine it. A deep, authoritative voice behind him cautioned, “Oh, nah, I wouldn’t do that if I were you, bro.” Tim spun around and saw a man sitting at the table. The man was immense: six and a half feet of bulging muscle. He wore blue, Turkish trousers; a dark, patterned vest; a tasseled fez and a pair of roller skates.
“For freeing me,” said the man, “I’ll grant you one wish.”
Tim stared in silence.
“I’m a genie, bro,” said the man. “You know genies, yeah?”
“So, what’s your wish?”
Tim smiled. “Well,” he said, “I’d like to be… better equipped—in the manhood department. I’d like to give ladies pleasure, if you know what I mean.”
The genie chuckled. He clapped his enormous hands; thunder roared and shook the room; he was gone. Gone from the room, anyway. Tim looked out the window and saw him on the street outside, holding onto a stop sign while struggling to balance on his skates.
Tim felt different. With joy he dropped his pants to see if his wish had been granted. To his disappointment his penis had not grown. It had multiplied. He screamed, he panicked; he tried to convince himself it was a nightmare. He cursed the stupid genie. Eventually he calmed down and assessed the damage. He now had eight complete sets of male genitalia: his original one, two on his thigh, one on his hip, one behind each knee, and one either side of his belly button.
Months passed and Tim found he was doing much the same with the ladies as before his wish, only now his expenditure on condoms had octupled. To reign in his sexual budget, every Thursday for eight weeks he got a vasectomy. Sitting on the couch at home for two months, with a bag of frozen peas adorning the site of his latest sterilisation, Tim repelled boredom by practicing the violin. He got so good he soon composed and recorded an instrumental album that became the soundtrack to a dramatic film about some guy and girl who fall in love, and then the guy goes missing in the war, and then when he comes home years later the girl is married to someone else but they have a fling anyway, or something like that. I don’t know exactly, I didn’t watch it. Anyway, millions of women adored the film, and one of Tim’s songs became the most downloaded of the year.
Relaxing on his yacht after his success, wearing his custom-made swimsuit, it occurred to Tim that perhaps the genie was not so stupid.
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