Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Reluctant Genie

Van der Merwe is walking along the beach at Knysna, and between the dunes he discovers a Persian lamp. He rubs it, and to his surprise a genie appears. “Your wish is my command, master!” the genie says.

Not knowing how long his luck would last, van der Merwe has to think deep. Finally he says, “I would like to have a bridge between South Africa and Australia. Most of my family now lives over there, and this will allow me to visit them over weekends”.

The genie shakes his head. “Impossible. Do you know how much concrete is needed for such an affair? And where am I going to get all the steel for the cables? I am not even talking about the millions of lights we will need to illuminate the thing.”

“Anyway, even if it was feasible, you would never make it to Australia in a weekend. It would take you two weeks of driving, if you are lucky. Perhaps you want to reconsider?”

“All right”, van der Merwe says, “give me a moment to think it over”. But he has trouble coming up with an alternative idea, and he grasps onto the first thought that crosses his mind: “OK, I would really like to understand women.”

After a moment of hesitation, the genie replies: “How many lanes do you want each way?”

Pieter Schutte

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