They made me a wizard about a year ago, I guess. I say “they” because for all I know, it could have been anyone: three guys in dark suits and sunglasses. At first I thought they were CSIS or something. Then when they said they wanted to make me a wizard, I figured it was one of those software scams (I’m an accountant; I see a lot of that). When I told them I didn’t like computers, they laughed and said, no, they really wanted to make me a wizard — and before I knew it, they’d put this stupid crown on my head, given me a stick wand thing and an owner’s manual, and left.
The crown, by the way, doesn’t come off. Try explaining that to your boss. Good thing I know my stuff; otherwise, they would have canned me on the spot for dress code violations.
So I look through the owner’s manual. Seems I’m restricted in my powers from 1401 Beltline to 1722 7th Street SW, no further. Now, I can live with that. I like knowing my boundaries. But then I thought, hey, I’m a wizard, right? Let’s see a pile of money on the table now.
Nothing happened. So I called the 800 Helpline number in the manual. “Look, when we made you a wizard, it wasn’t so you could run around ruining the economy, okay?”
“Great,” says I. “So what can I do?”
“Hey, important stuff, okay? Heal the sick, mend broken hearts, that kind of thing. Nothing big, no cures for cancer or raising the dead. Oh, and you can’t tell them when you do it, understand?”
“Yep, basic wizard rule. By the way, you want a familiar?”
“A familiar. An animal sidekick. We have an extra warthog here if you want it.”
“No thanks,” I said and hung up the phone.
So, without their knowing, I cured Mrs. Andretti’s arthritis and gave Mr. McElheny a little more bounce in the bed, if you know what I mean. Helped the McMaster twins get over a cold, and did something about my neighbour’s tennis elbow. Got Twinkles down from a tree when no one was looking. Pretty simple stuff all around.
Then Gerald, that nice kid down the street, got dumped by his girlfriend. It hit him pretty hard, and I thought, hey, maybe I can fix that too. So I waved the stick wand thing, and all of a sudden he’s like he hasn’t got a care in the world.
And it felt wrong somehow.
So I changed him back and instead asked him if he was still interested in cutting my lawn, figuring every kid needs some pocket money, right? So he comes over, cuts the grass, then when we sit outside and talk. About sports, politics, family, stuff like that. Then he starts on his girlfriend. So we talk about love. Nothing big, y’know, just little stuff, like you’re gonna get your heart broken a few times anyway, so best to get used to it early on. When he leaves, he’s twenty bucks richer and actually smiling for the first time in a week.
And I thought, hey, I didn’t the stick wand thing to do that.
That felt pretty good.
Now, if I can just get rid of the stupid crown….