It was the summer of 2001. Bill Clinton had left the Oval Office which allowed him more time to chase skirts and wife Hillary was ensconced in the U. S. Senate. On a beach in Florida, the barefoot former president hit a hard object in the sand with his foot. He reached down to unearth what appeared to be a lamp of the shape and style which Aladdin discovered to summon his genie.
Clinton thought a moment, “Could this be an authentic genie’s lamp – and would it work?” So he rubbed the lamp and sure as shooting a stream of smoke emerged which turned into a real live genie. Clinton was thrilled at his good fortune and for a fleeting moment the thought of 72 virgins flew through his mind.
The genie introduced himself as the “Real Moustaffah” and said, “Mr. President, as you have released me from the bondage of the lamp, you are entitled to ask me to fulfill one wish.”
Clinton was taken aback. “One wish. I thought the person who found the lamp was entitled to three wishes.”
“Well, that’s the way it used to be. But we formed a union and entered into a collective bargaining agreement and now the standard is one wish to a customer. Surely, given your background, you can appreciate how we were being overworked and oppressed and this is a much more equitable arrangement.”
Although Clinton was disappointed that he would only get one wish he began considering what he would ask the genie to grant him.
After a few minutes he said to the genie, “You know, I had always hoped to achieve an accord in the Middle East where all the parties could live together in harmony and peace. I hoped that would be the defining achievement of my presidency. But what with the impeachment trial and the sex scandal, I am afraid that is how my time in office will be remembered. So, can you make it so that there is peace in the Middle East and security for Israel?”
The genie shrugged his shoulders, removed his turban and scratched his bald head. He turned to Clinton and said, “Look, let me show you something.”
The genie reached into his outer garment and pulled out a weathered, fragile map and unfolded it.
“This is an ancient map of the region. You can see that there has been conflict there for thousands of years. The Jews have been targeted by the Philistines and the Egyptians, just to name a few peoples who have sought their annihilation. I have to tell you, I don’t even think the Most Supreme and Exalted Leader, (our chief genie and union head) could accomplish what you have asked me to do.”
Clinton was obviously disappointed. But he began to think what else he would wish for as the genie refolded the map and put it away.
He turned to the genie and said, “You know, most people don’t understand the relationship that Hillary and I have. I realize that our marriage is not exactly what you would call traditional. But in my own way, I really do care about her. And it bothers me when I hear people speak ill of her. When she got elected to the Senate in New York, they called her a ‘carpetbagger’ and I’ve even heard people use the “B” word when they refer to her. She clearly has a very poor public image. So, for my wish, I would ask that you make people like Hillary.”
The genie looked at Clinton, nibbled at his lower lip and said, “Let me take another look at that map.”