My magic lamp. Not very impressive, is it.

As I've mentioned on this blog quite a good number of times now, I can't
seem to get my damn magic lamp to work. Most recently, Danny Roma has
suggested that the unknown object that I found in a gutter might be a
Magic Lamp Activator — though he does note that it is the wrong color.
I don't know what the right color for something like a Magic Lamp
Activator would be, but I assume that it's not silver. In any case, it
doesn't seem to cause the lamp to work.

We have also discussed the possibility that it might be a language
problem. Danny has suggested Elven. My own thought is that magic lamps
are from Turkey or Persia, and thus perhaps you would have to use
Aramaic or some other regional language to get it to work — assuming,
of course, that magic lamps aren't by their nature multi-lingual. It
would almost seem as if they would have to be multi-lingual, inasmuch as
a lamp could, at least theoretically, end up in just about any beach or
cave or pawn shop on the planet. So you'd think that the lamp would work
regardless. In any case, either English doesn't work or I just haven't
figured out the right incantation to get the genie to pop out.

I don't remember Major Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie having all
these problems. Although, granted, he didn't have so much a magic lamp
as a genie in a bottle kind of thing. Perhaps bottles work differently.

In fact Major Nelson's only problem seemed to be knowing what the hell
to do with Barbara Eden once she popped out of the thing. You really
have to wonder about that one. Granted that you have to be careful about
wishing for things, sure — "be careful of what you wish for, it may
come true." But at the very least you'd think that being a NASA
astronaut that he would have Jeannie cross her arms and bob her head just
ONCE and maybe put the US space program thirty or forty years ahead. In
fact, he could have moved us into Star Trek: Next Generation
territory with just one quick command to his gifted and rather scantily
clad genie. You think he would have at least done that one.

Instead what we've got in the year 2007, some 40 years later, is a tiny
and rather pathetic little space station that doesn't even live up to the
promise of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Gee thanks, Major Nelson. Way to
blow it. I guess the most we can do is tell ourselves that the space station
we did get was all our own human effort, with no genie/Jeannie help. Which
isn't a lot of consolation.

Who knows. Perhaps he was gay and had a problem with women. He did
eventually become engaged to Jeannie after a good number of years. But
that doesn't always mean much. I doubt that NASA in the 60s would have
allowed Gays in Space. And perhaps he decided to marry Jeannie because
rumors were starting to get around about his trips down to Key West on the

Major Healy seemed like the only sane person on the entire show. And
he was portrayed as an idiot. Which maybe tells us something about our
national priorities back then.

If there is a Magic Lamp Distribution Board that governs a person's fate
in finding lamps and bottles, they seem totally whacked. I should have
gotten the bottle. It's simpler, and it has Barbara Eden in it. Whereas
Major Nelson should have gotten the more high-tech magic lamp with a
big, muscular, homo-erotic genie. That way we'd both have been happy.

In any case, I've got a lamp and not a bottle. Spring is here, and with
it will come all sorts of garage sales — the number one hot spot for us
magic lamp connoisseurs. It might be time to bring in a new lamp. Or
maybe a bottle.

I'd have no problem with this whatsoever.