Since Keith Channing is off buying a house in England and does not have a prompt this week, I thought I would tell you a story. I hope you like it.
The wish by John W. Howell © 2019
This is a fable of sorts. Yes, it begins with once upon a time but is a little different from most. You see the time was yesterday. Here’s what happened. This guy whose name was Mortimer was walking on the beach. He was taking in the salt air and enjoying the sand between his toes. Mort did not have a care in the world. He had long ago made peace with the fact that he was an ordinary man. He no longer made any pretense about working hard and getting rewarded for doing so. You see, old Mort had worked hard his whole life and in his mind never got a thing for it. Yes, he was able to feed and clothe himself but never felt he had enough money to court a potential spouse or buy any luxuries.
Mort lived from hand to mouth. When he was young, he dreamed about the time when he would be a big boss. He had a belief that the road to success was paved with loyalty and dedication. He became whatever his boss wanted him to be. He came in early and left late. He finished all assignments on time and with as much quality as Mort’s abilities could deliver. Time after time when the opportunity for a promotion arose the job went to someone else.
Mort, although disappointed, kept up appearances of a loyal and dedicated employee. He never expressed his true feelings. Year after year the same thing occurred. Boss after boss praised his work, but when it came time for a step up, he was passed over.
The day finally came where Mort worked up the courage to ask his boss the reason he never got a promotion. His boss seemed surprised by the question. Mort could see his surprise and inquired as to the purpose. The boss looked a little embarrassed but when pressed by Mort confessed that Mort was such a good worker that they would never have been able to replace him. Mort was so shocked by the double indignation of the boss’ admission and the unfairness of being irreplaceable that he rose from the chair and resigned.
Mort was strolling the beach thinking about what to have for dinner. He still had some Redfish in the freezer and was concocting in his mind a Beurre Blanc sauce. While lost in the thought of shallots Mort stumbled over a heavy object in the sand. He dropped to his knees and brushed the sand away. To his amazement, he uncovered a substantial brass urn. He dragged the urn out of the hole and on close inspection he could see a cover on top of the urn. He placed his hands around the cover, and like he was working a new jar of pickles, he finally got the cover to move. To his surprise, the cover began to move on its own. He jumped back and finally, the cover fell and stuck upright in the sand as if it were a discus.
Mort held his breath while a vapor rose from the urn like a well-trained snake. He couldn’t help himself as he began to feel weak in the knees. He soon was aware of his whole body shaking his inability to control it.
“Hey, Mort.” Came the voice from deep in the urn.”
“Y-yes.” Mort answered, but it wasn’t his finest response.”
“You get a wish.”
“Yup. It’s the old free the genie deal. One wish and I’m on my way.”
“I want to be a boss.”
“Just like that?”
“Yup. You are now a boss.”
“Wait. Who do I boss?”
“Not my deal.”
“Surely you have read enough genie stories where the genie grants a wish and the client forgot to include important facts.”
“Like who to boss?”
“Can I get a do-over?”
“Ha ha ha. No.”
“So I’m boss over nothing?”
“I wouldn’t sell yourself short.”
“So I’m boss over me.”
“A lot can’t say that.”
“You’ve given me a lot to think about.”
“How many do you think feel they are their own boss.”
“You should be giving self-improvement seminars.”
“Great suggestion. I gotta go.”
“Can I go with you?”
“You don’t need me. You have you and a great boss.”
“Wow. See you then. I have some orders to give.”
So needless to say, Mort lived happily ever after. The genie is still doing seminars on cruise ships.