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I Looked for a Quote About Magic and Was Instructed to Remove My Own Liver

January 1, 2014

In an effort to post more, I am going to post more. (The preceding sentence will later prove to be patently untrue.) Today’s topic comes to you courtesy of The Daily Post, which supplies writing prompts to those of us who have no ideas whatsoever.

Today’s topic is Do You Believe in Magic? which is at least better than that What Kind of Tomatoes Are Your Favorite Kind of Tomatoes? prompt. The assignment is, “you have been transformed into a mystical being who has the ability to do magic. Describe your new abilities in detail. How will you use your new skills?”

In detail: magical powers, I have them.

My immediate first thought was that there would be no more homeless cats and dogs. And because I’ve watched Twilight Zone episodes and Alfred Hitchcock movies and read O. Henry and seen those Toyota Rav4 commercials, I know that you have to specify that this means that all homeless cats and dogs would now get homes, that they would be good homes, that they would be happy and warm and fed, that no one else suffers as a result of all formerly homeless animals getting homes, and also you have to say, “and not just cats and dogs but also all hamsters and tame rabbits and all other animals that don’t do well outside and, oh yeah, humans.” Because if you just thoughtlessly say, “no more homeless anything,” then probably what results is some kind of horrific interspecies plague that decimates the planet.

Use magic responsibly, kids.

Second, the elimination of poverty, hunger, war, hatred, etc. Because why would you not do that if you can do that? I’m not saying anything original here, that’s the Problem of Evil, in convenient nutshell form. I like to bring it up whenever someone invites me to accept Jesus Christ as my savior (not that this happens a lot, but when it does, it’s generally when I’m in the middle seat on a full plane during the first hour of a nine-hour flight). It never registers at all though; the other person generally smiles in a confused way and then starts talking about heaven. I had a colleague a while back who would invite people to lunch and bring out the church recruitment paperwork as soon as the food arrived; she said that if we didn’t accept Christ immediately, we would spend eternity in a state of perpetual regret. She asked me, “can you imagine what an eternity of regret would feel like?” but I refrained from saying that I had agreed to have lunch with her, so, yes, I had a pretty good handle on how that would feel.

Oh, right, topic.

Third, my house would be clean all the time — again with the stipulation that it would be naturally clean, not that, for example, indentured servants would appear and start scrubbing the floors. Also, my house would be in a better neighborhood, meaning that my next-door neighbor would wear pants all of the time instead of only some of the time.

Fourth, any time anyone tries to post more than four selfies per year on the internet, all selfies after the fourth selfie would be replaced by this:

And finally, or first actually, I would make my magical powers permanent and I would advise you to do the same, should you ever get magical powers. In a similar vein, should you ever be granted three wishes, make your first wish that you want an infinite amount of wishes and also that there be some sort of safety mechanism, like, “are you sure you wish you were dead? Please reenter your wish to confirm” because otherwise there could be trouble.

  1. January 1, 2014 2:08 PM

    These are brilliant, especially the selfie one. Please, universe, make it so (now, if I only had that infinite wish thing).

    I was going to limit it to two selfies, but then I thought someone might get an interesting bee sting after the second selfie and I’d hate to miss out on that.

  2. January 1, 2014 4:59 PM

    I would make all bad foods good for you and we could eat all we want and never exercise and not gain weight. And Ambien for everyone!

    Instead of Ambien, I would make it so that Arsenio Hall always has a talk show. That way, he has a job, and no one has trouble falling asleep.

  3. January 1, 2014 7:03 PM

    Isn’t it dumb that you have to include some stipulation to make sure your magical powers don’t have unintended consequences? Can’t we just make it a rule that the spell cast by the one with magical powers would always result in the intended outcome? I feel like that shouldn’t be too hard. I mean, it’s MAGIC.

    Yes, it bothers me that magic has so many loopholes. This is why I would get so impatient with Bewitched. Endora would make it so Darren would shrink or have donkey ears and Samantha would say, “you know I can’t undo one of Mother’s spells!” It seemed undemocratic that you not only needed powers, you also needed to be first.

  4. January 2, 2014 5:36 AM

    I love the selfie part. Maybe we could turn that into a law.

    The downside is that everyone might start trying to look like the guy in the replacement picture.

  5. January 2, 2014 6:33 AM

    I would love the cleaning part! I actually like some funny selfies and while I am not pro-homeless animals, I am sure it would be impossible to make such a wish accommodate the animals who genuinely LIKE living outside in temperate weather in a safe environment. I’m not sure what evil is anymore, so definitely cleaning. I just bought an air filter for my house which seems to reduce dust somewhat so that is as close as you can find to magic on

    Actually, having the ability to order anything you wanted for free from for your entire lifetime would be a pretty awesome magical power.

    I had my furnace power-vacuumed last year and it’s really cut down on the dust. The guys who did it asked when it was last done and I didn’t know, so I just went with “never?” and they seemed to think that was the right answer.

    In lieu of free everything on Amazon, I would also accept that all fleece jackets I receive for Christmas (and you wouldn’t think that would be an actual category, but sadly it is) be magically transformed into $100 Amazon gift cards.

  6. Lynne permalink
    January 2, 2014 2:03 PM

    I applaud you for the well thought out plan. I would have foolishly wasted it on being able to fly, riches and lots and lots of candy. Perhaps there should be a waiting period before you could actually conjure up the magic, at least in my case.

    I think if we’re talking superpowers, I would probably choose invisibility over flying, only so that I could punch deserving people without fear of getting punched back. I realize this contradicts the good intentions behind my second feat of magic, but some people really need punching.

  7. January 3, 2014 9:41 AM

    You took all the good wishes. NOW WHAT’S LEFT FOR ME?!

    Guess I’ll just go for riches.

    Might I also recommend cabana boys?

  8. Marius permalink
    January 5, 2014 7:42 PM

    A friend of mine had the best wish ever. When asked about the one wish thing he said all he’d wish for is that he would always have enough money in the bank for whatever he chose to spend it on. I thought that was brilliant. As for the selfie thing, there must be a gene for it that I lack. Every time I’ve tried to take one I end up either getting a great shot of the wall behind me, or it looks like the view those folks on that miniature sub in Fantastic Voyage would have gotten had they been put up the guy’s nose.

    By the way I may give that daily prompt thing a go, although The Corner probably has a lot of dust on it right now.

    Despite the fact that today’s prompt begins, “When and where do you do your best thinking? In the bathroom?” I would still enjoy it if you were to blog again.

    My selfies always come out looking either like a cat who is unwillingly being bathed in the sink or like the guy in the photo above. Photos of me taken by others usually aren’t much better. I prefer to chalk this up to my being generally unphotogenic rather than to my actual face.

  9. January 6, 2014 6:53 AM

    Now I just want to watch Twilight Zone episodes. I need a magic power for that.

    I think you just need Comcast. Although I guess that’s magical in its way (“its way” being the extraction of $90 from your checking account every month).

  10. badger reader permalink
    January 7, 2014 10:14 AM

    I am terrible at taking selfies, but it sure doesn’t stop me. I will try to refrain from posting 28 of them during my month of blogging. A coworker once labeled me “too animated for still photography” and I can’t really argue it. These magic wishes did remind me to to watch the Steve Martin SNL sketch about his Holiday Wish, which is one of my favorites.

    I was just thinking about that video! Because, you know, Christmas. “Oh jeez, wait! I forgot about revenge against my enemies!”

    Selfies didn’t bother me until a blogger I (no longer) read (because of all the damn selfies) started putting one in every single post. For no reason! She could be talking about green bean casserole or the Federal Reserve or whatever and then BOOM a picture of herself. If I ever decide to become a troll, she’s the first person I’m trolling.

  11. larabobara permalink
    January 30, 2014 5:18 AM

    Ha. I love you, Flurrious. Should I ever obtain magical powers, I shall also take measures to ensure that your neighbor wears pants all of the time.

    If these were your neighbors and you insisted they wear pants, they’d probably erect a statue of boxer shorts in their backyard.

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