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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

I find myself saying “I wish” sometimes about 90 times a day. Nothing profound like I wish for world peace or I wish I could end poverty. Those are noble ideals, certainly, but they fall more into the category of miracles, which are wholly different than wishes.

It’s like in this show that Ralph and I are watching, Good Omens. An angel and a demon are working together to try to stop Armageddon, and the angel can give a little swish of his hand and make someone decide to get up and leave the restaurant so he never has to wait for a table. But he can’t bring someone back from the dead.

Even angels have limits.

You could maybe blow out a birthday candle or the fluff off a dandelion and get a sunny day for your party. But you aren’t going to become a world famous novelist, say, just because you write a lot of random words on your own blog.

No, my wishes are more modest. More first-world.

Mostly I wish those construction trucks would fall into a pit and never be heard from again.

Sometimes I wish the church would burn down. Horrible, right? Not with anyone in it, of course. I’m not that horrible. But then I’d have to listen to the construction while they rebuild it, so it’s too much of a cutting off nose to spite face scenario.

It’s pretty much exactly what I was talking about yesterday with having to be careful when making wishes.

Still it got my brain churning and I started thinking about all the little fixes I’d make if I had magical wishing powers. Like magically making dinner appear. Or magically having dishes washed. Or magically making the guy driving 60 in the left lane disappear into whatever dimension socks go to.

So I decided to make a list. Sort of a Convenient Magic list.

Every list needs rules, so my wishing list is only about making life a little easier and less annoying. My wishing list is not about grand gestures or life-changing revolutions.

All things being equal, I’d wish for a magically replenishing Carnival cruise ship load of money, but that’s not exactly in the spirit of what I’m talking about.

This is not supposed to be an Important list. Or a Meaningful one. Or a Serious one. It’s the First World Problems Of Wishes list, where I say stupid things like I wish I could actually say the things I want to say to the idiots who send me email.

Case in point, I just got an email from someone who found my business online and LOVES my work. Oh yeah? Was it the portfolio on the website WE DON’T HAVE because we took it down years ago so people like you couldn’t find us?


Or people who absolutely NEED me on their podcast.

Or LOVE what I’m doing with [insert thing here that I’m not doing] and then email me five times to tell me how they hate to bother me BUT, if only I could read the below email, it would be so, so, so great.

I really, really wish I could tell all of these people in all the glorious words I care to use what idiots they are.

No repercussions.

If I can ruin their day though, that would be ideal. I mean, I don’t want them to get hit by a bus or anything but if they hang their heads for a minute in total shame and realize what loser idiots they are, I will be satisfied.

That’s all I’m saying.

So maybe I’m a little horrible.

I guess I could wish for those emails to stop, but remember the thing about not doing miracles? I strongly suspect it would take one to stop people from being idiots and sending me not two, not three, but four follow-up emails to “bump this up one last time” just in case I’m working in a data silo that’s preventing me from living my best business life.

Anyway my wish list is about little everyday magic. Not giant magic like whip me up a 5,000 square foot estate with a gas stove and heated bathroom floors. Not even aspirational magic like transport me to a cottage in Olema.

I actually took this photo in Olema. Very appropriate.

But something you could do if you had the magical twitching nose or could twist your magic Burger King ring. That kind.

Like being able to eat whatever I want and not get fat. I’d even exercise. I mean, if you said to me you can eat whatever you want BUT you have to bike ten miles a day, I’d do it. I bike ten miles a day anyway, and thus far it has not contributed to my not being fat.

If I had magical twitching-turning-wishing powers I’d make short-shorts vanish from the face of the earth. I do not want to see women’s butt cheeks, not on the street, not in a bar, especially not in the library. Who wears shorts with their butt cheeks hanging out to go to the LIBRARY?

We saw plenty of that on Bourbon Street, and I’m telling you right now that you may not want to stare, but you’re going to. And now, back here in good ol’ church bell ringing Franklin, Tennessee, a young woman walked into the library where we were working this afternoon with butt cheeks on full display.

See, I’m not wishing harm on them. I’m not even wishing them fat, because trust me, even the fat ones display the butt cheeks. All I’m saying is how about we just… uninvent those kinds of shorts?

Here is a good one: I wish I had magically shrinking Tupperware so when you have a container of leftover pasta, for example, and you use some so that the amount of food goes down, the container magically shrinks so you don’t have to put the food in a smaller container and keep washing the big ones.


Just think of how much cabinet space you’d free up if all you needed was one size container! So much room for more cocktail ingredients.

I wish I could do a magical swish of my hand and water my plants so while I’m away for a week the tomato I’ve been nursing for five months doesn’t die.

I wish I knew what the best way to make wishes was. Think about it. You can make wishes if you find a genie lamp, or a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow. You can wish on a star, or by throwing a penny in a well. You can wish on dandelions and you can wish on chicken bones.

In high school we used to make wishes every time the clock repeated a number, like 11:11 or 5:55. That’s a lot of opportunities for wishing in a day, and yet the cute boy in my French class never asked me out. I’m going on record and saying wishing on clocks is stupid.

I have never done a scientific study to figure out which one produced the best results, but judging by the fact that the construction trucks are still here, I can’t eat all the cake I want without getting fat, and I have never, to this day, been able to conjure up a bit of cheese when I really want it, I’m not sure wishing works as well as, say, getting up and going to the grocery store.

Wishes have their place, though, and they’re fun to imagine. The only problem is that now I’ve told you all my wishes so they’ll never, ever come true. Especially the one about the construction trucks.

Photo: a dandelion wish bomb in Harlinsdale Park.