Genies and Demons and Muses, Oh My


Full disclosure: I don’t want to write about politics, inflation, mass shootings, or anything else in the news today. Fortunately, I don’t have to because this “news”letter is mine. If the genie from I Dream of Jeannie were here to grant me three wishes, I’d wish her to just blink a fully written G-File into existence. Although to be honest, if there were a limit on the wishes, today’s G-File would go unwritten because I wouldn’t waste a wish on this—unless the whole “more wishes” thing was in the cards. But since I’m on my own, I’m going to do what I often do: have fun with words and see where that takes me. If that’s not for you, come back Friday or check out our other wares at The Dispatch.

Younger readers may not remember or know about the TV show I Dream of Jeannie, and frankly they’re not missing much because it wasn’t very good. I mean I watched it, but even as a kid I could tell it wasn’t exactly well-written. Then again, it didn’t need to be. Barbara Eden with a bare midriff and some double-entendres carried a lot of the load in the writer’s room (though the double-entendres were pretty tame compared to Three’s Company, which premiered a few years after I Dream of Jeannie was finally canceled because—spoiler—no one wanted to watch it after they got married and all the sexual tension vanished). You could hardly blame a writer if he had a few extra gin and tonics at lunch.

The premise of I Dream of Jeannie was that astronaut Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) finds a bottle on the beach and it turns out to be occupied by a 2,000-year-old genie who, for reasons never quite laid out in the text but fairly obvious in the subtext, is a hot blonde played by an actress whose family tree goes back to Ben Franklin, not Muhammad.

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