Five Bows On Five Boxes, Holy Smokes!

by Kevin Burton

   There was this last Friday from the heart and voice box of my loving wife Jeannette: “I want you to give me a list of five things you want for your birthday.”

   This had already been an especially productive and fun day.  Then in the winding down part came this “give me five” mandate.

   Can you believe it? 

   Your standard genie in a bottle grants only three wishes, and I get five?  I am astonished, undeserving, humbled.

   You know where this is probably coming from? I love your birthday but I hate my own. Usually Jeannette mentions my birthday and I start mumbling about Amazon and “we don’t have a specific day to get things.”

   I’ll get up and start washing dishes, anything to avoid the topic. But she sounded serious this time.

   Even if I go the “I have you, what else could I ever want?” route – and that is a winner guys, believe me – I still have four wishes to go, four blank lines to fill in.

   If I tell her I want “a quintuple helping of your love” does that count as one wish or five?

   I’ve previously been outed on Page 7 as an overthinker (“The Final Musings Of Captain Sage,” June 26). So here I am, all frowny-faced concentration, pacing, my great bounty now a great quandary.

   What should I ask for?

   My research begins with Great Wishes in History. 

   In 2 Chronicles 1:10-13, King Solomon is granted a wish from God. He’s new to the king gig and he’s replacing King David, a tough act to follow.

   Solomon asks for wisdom to govern Israel.  Because he did not ask selfishly, for riches and long life, God also added those things to his new-king package.  He really made out!

   Maybe that’s how I should go? 

   Guys, asking your wife for wisdom could be problematic. You want to make the inquiry topic-specific and take a lawyerly approach, i.e. asking only questions you already know the answers to.  But the idea has possibilities.

   In King Solomon’s case, he later signs himself up for the thousand-woman plan (700 wives and 300 concubines), leading me to conclude that he ended up with a lot more long life and riches than wisdom. 

   Wait, how about this? I could ask for long life and riches for my wife, the riches part being community property.

   Pretty smooth, but she doesn’t have that power.  Got to stick to what she can deliver.

   In Greek mythology you had King Midas, granted the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. No thanks.  We’ve learned a thing or two about mindless touching in the virus era.

   In Matthew chapter 14 Herod’s daughter was given one wish by her father the king after her dancing pleased him.  After some coaching from her mommy, she asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter. 

   My wife doesn’t have that kind of power, and anyway, I don’t want a severed head cluttering up the place. We are trying to downsize.

   There is no use talking about wishing wells either, though I found two nickels under a piece of furniture I moved yesterday that would do the trick nicely. Better keep it real.

   The reality is, ever since our wedding day and before that even, all wishes have been joint wishes.  So I won’t be asking for anything that doesn’t make Jeannette’s life better at least indirectly.

   For example I can’t receive liver and onions without smelling up her household environment too.  I would never even think of liver and onions, but what else could I selfishly ask for that would be stinky in some other sense?

   Five bows, five joint boxes.

   Two final questions: One, what would you ask for in this situation? Two, could this five wishes deal be a setup by my wife for her birthday?

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