Horace Walliker, 56, knew in the back of his mind he was being foolish.
“You find a magic lamp containing a seemingly benevolent genie in a musty antique store, you know there’s going to be a catch,” said the Freeport man. “They have their own agenda. It’s part of the entire genie canon. It just slipped my mind in the moment. This is my fault.”
Walliker’s wish for the genie: “I want the Minnesota Twins to finally have good starting pitching this year.”
The wish, while granted, has not prevented the team’s offense from being massively disappointing.
“Let’s see, they just sent (Miguel) Sano to single-A ball,” said Walliker. “Then you have (Byron) Buxton struggling and broken, Jorge Polanco suspended, (Logan) Morrison not living up to his deal, Max Kepler not maintaining, (Joe) Mauer getting concussion symptoms, the starting catcher (Jason Castro) out for the year...do I even need to keep going?”
Walliker said his first wish met a similar bad end.
“I was kind of shocked that this was really happening, and I’ll admit I panicked a bit. I had a thousand different things going through my mind like money, power, world peace, all that stuff. For some reason, what floated up to the surface was, ‘I’d like to be less stressed out at work.’”
Walliker was laid off the next day.
“Not just laid off. They gave my severance to ISIS in my name. I didn’t know they could do that, but they showed me the contract I signed saying explicitly to do that, and waiving my right to dispute or alter it.
“Then they threw rocks at me until I left. Which was also in the contract.”
For his part, Walliker is wary of using any further wishes.
“I’ve got a white board and I’m breaking things down, figuring out how I can phrase things so there aren’t unintended consequences. I already figured out if I asked for, you know, a million dollars, it would come with a dye pack and I’d get arrested for robbing a bank. I’m already unemployed and my favorite team couldn’t hit water if it fell out of a boat. No thanks.”
Walliker also wants people to know that there is a common misconception about magic lamps.
“I know the stories say that you get three wishes, but the genie says he’s good for 12-15 before he has to scoot. And I’m like, shit, I don’t even know what to do. Doug, that’s the genie’s name, he just says he’ll chill while I figure things out. I guess he’s got a condo around here.”