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Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Monday, January 16, 2006

My First Wish? Fewer Terms and Conditions on My Wishes!

This funny New Yorker article, Your Three Wishes: F.A.Q., spells out the oft-overlooked T&Cs of the "three wish" offer made by the genie in the bottle.  This might be an amusing way to get students thinking about the ambiguity--and unintended consequences!--of the words they choose in contracts. 

It also brings to mind the three rules from one of my favorite movies, Aladdin (Disney 1992).

The Genie says to Aladdin: "Rule number one: I can't kill anybody. Bleurk! [Slices own head off] So don't ask. [Sticks head back on] Rule number two: I can't make anybody fall in love. [Kisses Aladdin] You little punim there! Rule number three! [Lies flat on back then rises, transforming into hideous 'undead' creature] I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty sight [clutching at Aladdin] I DON'T LIKE DOING IT! [Transforms back to normal] Other than that, you got it."

(As you may recall, Aladdin uses these putative limitations of the Genie's powers to trick the Genie into granting an extra wish).

[Eric Goldman]

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