Hi Alistair:
I recently had the extreme good fortune of finding a magic lamp at my local flea-market. Ever since I was a kid I thought about what I would pick if I ever did find a Genie so I was ready with my three wishes as soon as I was asked. I put a lot of thought over the years into what my three wishes should be (just in case) and made my choices carefully. 1. A cherry red Ferrari. 2. A lifetime supply of Skittles. 3. The world’s biggest and best collection of Elvis figurines. My dilemma is this, my Genie informs me that due to inflation I get a fourth wish! I never prepared for this and don’t know what to choose. I am leaning towards either the ability to breathe fire or a time machine. What do you advise?

Puzzled in Perth

Dear Puzzled,

Interestingly, there is no requirement for a released Djinn to go about offering wishes in triplicate. The extra was likely because he believed that you would wish him free, being an obviously soft-headed and likely brainlessly altruistic character. Don’t do that. At least, not unless you know exactly what this particular Djinn did to earn such treatment. The last thing you want to do is end up releasing a supernatural serial killer on the planet – heaven knows we have enough of those. On a similar token, don’t wish for ultimate power, intelligence, or something else that could be easily misinterpreted for revenge; at best managing to succeed at something like that tends to make entities take a marked and unhealthy interest in you. I suggest wishing for a small ice cream sundae. You certainly weren’t planning on getting something else anyway.