I am Jafar, and I am a genie.
But I do not grant wishes.
Instead, I prefer to mentor and coach people. Because people appreciate things more when they work hard for them than when you just hand them something.
If you follow my advice and challenge yourself, then not only will you make your wish come true, but you won’t have to worry about some kind of sinister twisting of your wish.
But most important of all, instead of getting stuck in that goddamned bottle, people actually thank me.
Yes, thank me.
Which, I suppose, is my greatest wish.

The Witch

Gertie the Witch insisted on mixing potions from memory.
“I don’t need my spell book!” she’d screech at the Fire Department. “I’ve still got it all up here!”
He’d tap her forehead.. and noticed that her pointed hat was on fire.
The moment the firemen left, she was back in the kitchen.
Eye of bat…
Tongue of newt…
…or was it the other way around?
Her handwriting hadn’t been the best, even in her good days. And years of smoke damage had left the contents of her supply closet a grimy, sooty mystery.
I call dibs on her magic broom.

Nothing personal

When the villagers put me in a cage and told me that they were going to shoot me in the heart with a silver bullet, they told me that it’s nothing personal.
But that’s because they don’t consider me a person anymore.
Gone is Moishe the Blacksmith.
Now, I’m just a snarling, throat-ripping monster to them.
Did I not keep my hunting to vermin and thieves?
Not once did I touch a honest villager!
When the Tsar sent his Cossacks, did I not kill all the soldiers barehanded?
Besides, I made this cage. And the lock.
And the spare key.

The Gems

I found my master, Old Wizard Glitterbeard, on the floor of his library in a pool of blood, a bag of gems in his hand.
Once, he tried to tell me which color gem represented which spell…
Red is for fire.
Green is for power.
White is for the lightning.
Blue is for health.
Right! Blue for health.
I held a blue gem to his forehead and waited.
But the gem didn’t heal the wizard.
He was dead.
Oh great. He’s dead.
Now I’m out of a job.
At least I’ve got severance pay, I thought, and pocketed the gems.

Shapes in the fire

Sometimes I like to start a fire in the fireplace and stare at the shapes in the flames for hours.
After a while, the flames tell stories, and I find myself in a magical land of orange and yellow and red.
In that land lived a beautiful princess in her magnificent castle. And both were engulfed in flames.
So were her horses. And her car. And her friends.
That’s when the shrieking of the smoke alarm pulls me out of the story.
Before I can pull out the battery, my sister screams.
Yeah, I threw her Barbies on the fire.

Chicken Legs

For many years, Baba Yaga’s hut walked around on a pair of gigantic chicken legs.
But a harsh winter forced her to cook and eat one of the legs.
Instead of walking around smoothly on two legs, the hut hopped and wobbled on its single leg. Everything inside the hut was knocked around, and anything fragile was smashed to bits.
The old witch was forced to cook and eat the other leg.
Since she couldn’t find any more chicken legs, she bought a Winnebago.
Not as terrifying-looking as a magical chicken leg hut, but you should see how she drives!

The Bum Wish

Waiting for a bus.
Nobody around.
Except for a bum, pushing a grocery cart.
Don’t sit down. Don’t sit down.
He stops, sits down on the bench, and pulls out a bottle.
“Empty,” he said, tossing it into the cart. “Make a wish.”
“I don’t believe in wishes,” I said. “You have to take matters into your own hands.”
I looked around, then down at my hands.
“Are you sure?” the bum asked.
I looked at the bus schedule. How much longer? Dammit, I wish-
The bum smiled at me.
“Wish granted.”
The bus arrived, I got on.

Mama Mia

Deep in the forest, you’ll find an old witch named Baba Yega.
She lives in a hut that walks around on chicken legs.
How this came to be, I’m not sure. But it probably has to do with dodging property taxes. And relocating to better school districts.
Better, as in better sources of kids to eat. Ones with high truancy rates, because she can just bag them while they play hookey.
In fact, principals often invite her to come eat their students.
“Just the dumb ones, please,” say the principals. “We need to maintain high scores to keep our funding.”

The Devil’s Cock

Once, I knew a guy with a small penis.
Really small.
So, he prays and prays for a bigger penis, but God doesn’t answer, God doesn’t listen.
But me, I do.
“Gimme your soul, and I’ll give you a huge cock,” I said.
No, he didn’t fall for the giant chicken trick. Few guys do anymore. Instead, he worded his request carefully, eleven inches long.
I wrote up the contract, he signed it, and I fixed him up.
Eleven inches long.
And four inches thick.
It takes so much blood, the guy blacks out every time he gets a hard-on.

Army of the Damned

The ancient wizard on the outskirts of town said he was collecting up minions to build up an army of the damned.
“With my army, I’ll conquer the world!” shouted the wizard.
One of his minions spoke up. “What about a navy?”
The wizard raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“Well, the British proved that naval forces are critical to maintain a global empire.”
Another minion put his hand up. “And the Americans demonstrated that air superiority allows rapid force projection. Will we have a damned air force?”
The first man was drowned.
The other was flung by catapult.
“Damn,” they said.