"3 wishes", she articulated. "I trust you know the drill? Can't wish for more wishes, or to be God, etc. That's about the size of it."
I nodded. "I understand, but one thing I want to make clear: I don't want to find out there's some crazy side effect, or hidden curse for all eternity or some shit.
I want the things I wish for to benefit me, NOT to somehow turn around and hurt me. You promise that's how this works?"
She cocked her head quizzically, as toddlers do when confronted with a conundrum. "Well of course, dear boy. Contrary to what you may think, I'm not out to get you.
I have no reason to want to harm you. You have literally no risk in this endeavor."
My gut tightened nervously.
"Satisfied?" she asked me with an impatient sigh, like a tired old tutor who has been teaching math for decades.
"Ok, I'm sold." I grasped the pen and signed the contract before I waivered again.
For my first wish, I elected to have a weekly paycheck bigger than anyone else's on earth.
Rather than have a lump sum of cash, and risk spending it on a stupid island or being robbed, now I was guaranteed to be wealthy for the rest of my life.
Next, I took a cultured approach: fine art! I wished for an entire house full of famous pieces. My own showcase of literally priceless paintings.
Finally, I made sure to cover my ass for all eternity. "Heaven! I shouted joyously. I want to spend my afterlife enjoying limitless ecstasy & fulfillment forever.”
Smiling broadly, she signed her portion of the now-completed contract. "You've made some marvelous selections, child. You will indeed be satisfied, now & forevermore."
She tore off my copy, folded it, sealed it with wax, & slipped the document into a stately leather pouch.
Her eyes met mine, for a consummating moment filled with irrevocability, and then she gave final instructions:
"And now, our collections agency will set about obtaining your desires! Unfortunately it's not like Aladdin, you understand. These things cannot be contrived from thin air," she winked.
I didn't hide my worried tone, "Whoa, Collections Agency? What the fuck does that mean? You told me I had nothing to worry about!"
"Of course not, dear boy", she assured me. "We must simply go about the business of collecting what is rightfully yours."
"The money, we will procure from various banks around the world, and of course those places can spare it."
"The art, we will replace what we take from museums, with replicas. Not a soul can tell the difference, behind the security glass."
"And as for your eternal life in heaven, you will certainly be getting that as well! Though you didn't earn it with your actions, tisk tisk" she slapped her tongue.
"That's why we had you list a character reference on the contract; you chose well! Your lovely daughter has lived a very honorable life."