A man walks into a bar he’s never visited before, and settles down to order a drink.

Before long, he notices someone sitting in the corner – a man who appears normal in every regard except that his head is a gigantic orange. Curious, the newcomer asks the bartender “What’s up with the guy in the corner? The one with the-” but the bartender interrupts and says “Honestly, your best bet is just to buy him a drink and ask him yourself.”

So the newcomer buys two drinks and wanders over to the table in the corner. The man with a gigantic orange for a head looks up, sighs, and says “Let me guess. You’re here to ask about my head being a gigantic orange, aren’t you?” The newcomer replies “I’m sorry but I was just so curious”, and he hands over the drink.

The man with a gigantic orange for a head shrugs and begins his story: “When I was a younger man, desperate for money, I would spend my days wandering the beach with a metal detector trying to find coins or scrap to sell. One day I found a strange object – an old oil lamp. I scooped the sand away and dusted the lamp off as best I could, and the lamp started to glow with an unearthly light. Before I could blink, a genie stood before me, majestic and bold!”

The newcomer looks skeptical. “A genie?” he says, “Yeah right!”

The man with a gigantic head for an orange just holds a hand up and continues with the story: “The genie promised me three wishes – anything I could desire! I thought long and hard, because I had read the tales of tricksy genies who would twist your words to change your wish into a dreadful curse. After pondering for an hour, I made my first wish – I wished to be so wealthy that I could live lavishly for my entire life without working another day, and the wealth must be my own wealth, obtained through both legal and ethical means. The genie simply nodded and when I checked my bank balance on my phone, it showed a balance of billions of dollars! I was instantly one of the wealthiest people in the world, and as far as I know the genie hadn’t twisted my wish.”

“Very clever,” says the newcomer, “but that doesn’t explain why your head is a gigantic orange! That’s the part that I’m really interested in!”

“I’m getting to it,” replies the man with a gigantic orange for a head. He orders another drink, and once the next round arrives he continues his story: “For my second wish, I still needed to make sure the genie couldn’t twist my words against me. I worked for two hours to get the phrasing just right! Having found the right words, so careful that the genie couldn’t find a loophole, I made my second wish – I wished to be loved by, and to love in return, the most perfect woman I could ever meet – suited to me physically, mentally, and emotionally. The genie simply nodded, and suddenly a beautiful woman came running down the beach toward me. She instantly declared her love for me, and we started dating – in fact, we’re still happily married today, and she’s just as beautiful and kind and passionate as the day I met her. As far as I know, the genie hadn’t twisted my wish.”

“Wow, that’s a lovely part of the story,” says the newcomer. “I’m glad it worked out well for you, but again I really must insist – please can you get to the part that explains why your head is a gigantic orange?!”

“Don’t rush me,” says the man with a gigantic orange for a head. Starting to slur a little, he calls for another drink. Once the bartender drops the drink at the table, the man with a gigantic orange for a head continues: “You’ve been asking about why my head is a gigantic orange, and here’s where you get your answer. As you’ve heard, for my other wishes I was so careful, I spent hours thinking of the right thing to say, and those wishes brought me more happiness than you could ever know, but for my third wish… well, the third wish is where I made a foolish mistake. I’ll regret it until the day I die, I can’t believe I did something so stupid! You see, for the third wish, I wished my head was a gigantic orange.”

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