Monday, January 22, 2007

The Little Girl and the Genie

The original verison of this little fairy tale or terrible parable was written in 1967 while I was working for the American Chemical society in Washington DC. I suppose the story was a message to me from my un- or overconsciousness that my marriage was breaking up:

There was a little girl and she was really a very pretty little girl.

It would be useless to give you a description of facial feature or measurements of anatomical details. As we all know, the value of such is rather fluid and follows local, cultural norms which also tend to change over time.

For example, there are places where an large bottom is so esteemed that the local ladies have acquired a genetic proclivity for fat deposits there and their butts stick out several inches. When the local boys see such a bum they either get enough goats to purchase "access to heaven", or they go out in the woods and rip it off in a less culturally approved manner.

There is another tribe, otherwise accepted in the general culture, where little boys, when they see a few centimeters of skin around a young lady's ankle, they simply cream in their jeans...

Sooo, let it be enough to say, there was a little girl and she was a pretty little girl and all the things that make little boys say "Wow!" were there in the "proper" proportions. "Pretty", of course, means that little boys felt a firmness in their tighty-whities when they saw her walking down the street.

However, there was one small problem. You see, this little girl did have, on the end of her nose, a great, big, black, hairy wart!

Unless you are recently arrived from off-planet, you are probably aware that there are very few, in fact no cultures at all where a hairy wart, particularly on the end of one's nose is considered to be attractive to the opposite sex -- or to the same sex, for that matter.

"How sad it is!", the little girl would say as she walked alone in her room, "how sad it is that I do have, on the end of my nose, a great, big, black, hairy wart!
Like most people with a private dysfunction, the little girl went about her daily life doing the things people do. She had a good job and an apartment in a neighborhood which matched her color and ethnic background.

Still, when she was sober, she would wander through her two-room flat in the high rise moaning to herself, "Ohhhh, how sad it is that I do have, on the end of my nose this great, big, black, hairy wart! Because of this, I shall never be wealthy, famous well-liked and rich!"

It so happened one day, as she wandered through the rooms of her two-room apartment, bemoaning her disfigurement that she happened to step on a slick spot on the floor (she was a diligent housekeeper and polished and waxed all planar surfaces -- this also being a part of the cultural norm).

She stepped upon a slick spot on the floor, slipped and fell, pla-dask!, right on her nose!

There was a flash of lightning!

There was a cloud of smoke!

There was a clap of thunder!

When the momentary deafness from the thunder faded; the mist of smoke cleared and the blitz of momentary blindness from the lightning flash allowed her vision to focus: the little girl saw, standing in front of her...a great genie!

Weeelll, great and great is as one thinks of great!

This particular genie was about three feet tall, had curly brown hair and was wearing these weird black and white Lebanese tennis shoes -- that is, the shoes kind of curled up and had little bells on the tips.

The little girl, being a little girl, was not completely unacquainted with having a male person in her apartment. But having them appear after a flash of lightning, a cloud of smoke and all the rest was a bit...odd...

She said, "Who are you?"

The creature before her smiled pleasantly and replied, "I am a genie!"
The little girl just stood there, mouth agape and. "Huh?", was all she said.

"I am a genie, and I have come to grant your every wish!"

"Really?", her eyes narrowed a bit as a couple of sly thoughts wormed their way into her mind, "You mean every wish and not just three, like in them fairy tales?

The genie smiled pleasantly, "I mean every and certainly not three."

"Hmmn, no strings attached?"

"No strings attached -- unless, of course, you want them gift-wrapped!"

"Hmmn, gimme a, gimme a 'lectrik blender, one of them cordless thingies you can just stick in any old bowl."

"Gift wrapped, or..."

"Jus' gimme the blender, dammit!"

"POOF!" a blender appeared in the genie's hands and he went down on one knee, proffering it to the little girl with raised arms and bowed head.

She snatched it from his hands, knocked on it a couple of times with a knuckle to see it that really was solid and real. She turned it on and the little blender blade at the end buzzed just like a blender blade is supposed to buzz and whizz. She turned it off and carefully laid it down on the table. "Wow!", she said.

The little girl was then silent for a moment as she calculated upon the implications of this confirmation of the genie's potency. Then, she took a deeeep breath and said:

"Well, then -- gimme me a car, an airplane, a five-room house in the suburbs, a six hundred liter deep freeze, forty-eight inch teevee with all the channels, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla...!"

If you are at all familiar with the incessant propaganda of the bube tube which not only fills the time between so called "entertainment" and "program segments", but also the saturates the sitcoms and "reality" shows themselves...well you can fill in the bla-bla-blas and connect the dots yourself...

Quicker than you could say, "Kazamm!", she had all of the things a little girl could have to make her think that she was "happy". Well, actually, it took a bit longer than you could say "kazamm", but it didn't take long.

However, one day while as she wandered through one of her mansions and stopped to look at the kidney shaped swimming pool just outside the window of the, admittedly, oversized living room, she happened to think of something she had not thought of for a looong time...

She thought about that big, black, hairy wart and that was still on the end of her nose!

She said, "Genie! Come here!"
With a "zhwhuup!", the genie appeared from wherever he was when he wasn't getting things for the little girl, "Yes, M'lady?"

"Genie, do you see the wart on the end of my nose?"

The genie bowed low from the waist, "O yes, M'lady, I do indeed see the wart on the end of your nose! O, yes, I see it every day!"

"Well, genie, I want you to make the damn wart disappear!"

A strange expression passed over the countenance of the little fellow. The genie, who had always been a rather quiet, underwent a change and transformation -- it was almost a metamorphous, it was as if a cloud had gone before the sun....

His mouth worked soundlessly, then choking sounds and finally he managed to stammer, "Wh-, wha-, what? You want me to make the wa-, wa-, wart disappear? What are you th-, th-, thinking of?

"What am I thinking of? I'm thinking you should make the damn wart disappear, you frigging pip-squeak!"

The genie continued as if he hadn't heard her at all, it was almost as if he was talking to himself, "I've given you everything your heart has ever desired: a car, a plane, a fine house, two, three fine houses, wardrobes big enough to house several extended families and closets full of enough shoes to even make an Isabella Marcos dissolve into a puddle of green piss out of sheer envy.", then, raising his voice and his eyes, he looked right at the little girl, "I've given you all of the things you ever wanted and things you had never even thought of wanting and have you ever, I mean have you ever even thought to say "thank you" or even think that there maybe was a reason I gave you these things?

The little girl gaped in mute astonishment at the genie who seemed to be swelling and getting larger and larger even as he spoke.

"No! You never gave it a thought, you never, ever thanked me for all that I have given you!"

By now the genie had swollen up to about three times his natural size. He was now almost ten feet tall and stood swaying over the little girl (who was now feeling very very little!) and continued his tirade in a voice like quavering thunder:
"YOU LOUSY CRUMMY BITCH!", he shouted.
"I've given you everything you ever wanted & you never ever thought there was maybe a reason!"

WELL, THERE IS A REASON, LITTLE GIRL!
The reason is that I love you! & the reason I love you is because you do have on the end of your nose a great, big, black, hairy WART!!!"

Having said all that is just a couple of breaths, the genie took off one of his black and white tennis shoes and threw it, with all his might, right at the little girl!

It hit her pla-dask! right on her nose!

There was a flash of lightning...
There was a cloud of smoke...
There was a clap of thunder....

When the thunder had rolled away, the smoke had cleared and the blitz of lightning had faded, the little girl was all alone...

The genie was gone. The house in the country was gone. The airplane, the car, the deep freeze, even the cordless blender that went buzz whizz was gone.
And, yes, the wart on the end of her nose was gone...

All that was left was a little black and white Lebanese tennis shoe just about the right size for the left foot of a three foot tall, brown haired genie -- and the little girl...was...all...alone...

* * * * *

Many years have passed since then.

The little girl is now happily married, she has two children and it is only three blocks to the school. She has a deep freeze full of frozen chicken legs and stuff like that...

However, up in the attic, where she seldom goes, there is a cardboard box.
In that box, wrapped in an old newspaper, is a small, black and white tennis shoe, just about the right size for a three-foot-tall genie...
And sometimes, not often, but sometimes, the little girl goes up into the attic, finds that cardboard box, takes out the tennis shoe, fondles it and holds it close to her breast as she croons:

"I dream of Genie with the light, brown hair!..."

3 comments:

The TechnoBabe said...

You got me. I read the entire post and was not expecting the one liner. Pretty good. Thanks for the laugh.

Chuck Cliff said...

LOL! I used to tell this story accompanied with the guitar and the punch line was done in a nasal twang.

It's an (almost) true story -- sometimes a joke is the only thing that enables y' to swallow the bitterness.

southernlights said...

hi! i was wondering.. did you mean Imelda Marcos when you used Isabella Marcos?