Genie in a Bottle
Dear Tom ... Ray—
You ought to know about this—
A few years ago, a friend of mine bought a house in Concord, MA. This house was old, pre-Revolutionary, maybe 250 years old.
Soon after he bought it, he was rummaging around in the cellar, which was very primitive, and he unearthed an antique bottle with a cork in it. As he was admiring it, the bottle slipped out of his hands and shattered on the flagstones! And this huge genie took shape and said, "You have one wish." (One wish, mind you.)
My friend was understandably nervous. "Well," he said, "I have this longing to visit a certain place—this isn't my wish yet. I'm first trying to figure out the rules—and that place is Hawaii. The stickler is that I get terribly seasick and I can't bear the thought of flying, so I can't just let you transport me to Hawaii—I'd never be able to get home!
"So this is what I want, if it's possible: Build me a bridge to Hawaii so I can just drive over and drive back."
"Allah be praised!" says the genie. "Do you realize what an undertaking that would be?! Some of the pylons would have to be more than two miles deep! We'd have to allow for trans-Pacific shipping and be able to withstand mid-ocean storms, not to mention all the permits! Isn't there anything else I could do for you?"
"Let me see," says my friend. "Could you give me the wisdom to understand women?"
The genie sighed. "What do you want? Two-lane or four-lane?"