The geek had no idea what the bottle contained. It had been a long night though – one in which he had spent hours trying to explain to a client why cookies on a website were not called biscuits – and he was seeking spiritual peace. He hoped the contents of the bottle were alcoholic – that was the sort of spirituality he needed at the moment.
He picked up the bottle. Opened it.
And sure enough, out came a spirit. But not of the alcoholic type. This was something that looked like the product of an all too hasty mating between a large potato and an unwashed sack, and it seemed to float in the air, had a distinctly vaporous appearance, and a sense of dress that was definitely more BC than Versace. He (we assume it was a “he” because of a profusion of facial fungus on either cheek, a moustache, and a voice that sounded like Robin Williams) was, in short, a genie.
“Thank you for freeing me from that urology lab bottle, my friend,” he boomed at the geek. “I am an all-powerful genie and I will…”
“Wow!” the geek interrupted. “So you can grant me three wishes. I want a date with Selena Gomez, four billion dollars and…”
“Hang on, lad,” snapped the genie. “Times have changed. There has been demonetisation. Governments have been Trumped. You now get only one wish!”
“Oh all right,” said the geek. “Ten billion dollars then, of which one billion in tens, two billion in hundreds and…”
“Steady, pasha,” the genie butted in again. “As I said, times have changed. You get just one wish. And given the new terms and conditions, I get to make it.”
“What! That’s unfair!” shouted the geek.
“Lad, you are getting a freebie from a smoky, mystical being coming out of a bottle. What are you complaining about?”
“Oh all right, what do I get then?”
The genie looked the geek up and down, checked the battered jeans, the dishevelled hair, the crazed expression and the clutched smartphone. He thought and then spoke:
“Behold! I give thee the power to get a new phone!”
“A phone?” the geek shook his head. “Can’t I get a date with Selena Gomez?”
“All right, just one billion dollars. In whatever denomination.”
“A job at Google?”
“No!” Thundered the genie. “A phone. Take it or leave it.”
“Oh all right,” said the geek. “Can I do some research online and drop you a mail?”
“Dude, I live in bottles and air. No mail access! Tell me which phone. Now!” snapped the genie.
The geek looked at his current handset. Well, all said and done, perhaps it WAS time to upgrade. And the genie did say he could get options. A thought suddenly struck him.
“Wait,” he said. “It could be any phone, right?”
“Yep, totally,” said the genie. “Any phone!”
“Even from the future?”
The genie pondered this. “It would have to be a logical extension of the roadmaps… hmmm… well with some mystical extrapolation, I guess that could be managed. Go right ahead!”
The geek thought carefully.
“I want an iPhone from the future.”
“Nah,” said the genie. “You have to be particular. Give me a model name!”
“All right,” said the geek. “The iPhone 15!”
The genie pulled out a crystal sphere out of thin air and looked at it.
“Hmm…which edition? This one says there could be six – the miniSE, the SuperSE, the SE, the iPhone, the iPhone Plus and the Mini iPhone Plus…”
“Which is the best?”
“How am I to know? You are the geek!”
“Well, let’s go with the iPhone Plus then!”
“Well, which version?”
“I told you -the iPhone Plus!”
“No, Sultan! There are different variants – there are two camera, three camera and four camera versions…”
“Four cameras? Take that one!”
“Wait! I have not finished yet. There are storage capacities going from 8 MB to 3 TB , one model which is waterproof, one which is merely water resistant, one with an AMOLED display, one with a regular display, two with retina scanners as well as fingerprint scanners, one with a retina scanner but no fingerprint scanner, Three with fingerprint scanners but…”
“Hang on, hang on!” screamed the geek. “Get me the…let’s see, the Pixel 10 then!”
“There’s nothing of that name here!”
“Dude, there is a phone by Google here but evidently even the company does not know its name. Evidently, there will be a rebranding to accommodate a new version of Android called DissIsADessert! ”
“The Moto Z5”
“With or without mods? Waterproof edition, kevlar back, Batman logo edition, Drone enabled super edition,…”
“Wait wait wait. The Galaxy S12 from Samsung…”
“You want it with the stylus, without the stylus, with AMOLED, with dual camera or single camera, with removable battery or non-removable battery, with quick charging or slow charging, with a glass back or a stone front, with RAM, CRAM or DRAM…”
“Wait, wait, wait…is there not a simple phone out there?”
“As in?” said the Genie. “You are the geek!”
“Is there a phone that is just a simple one. Just one version?”
“You seen the present, sahib?”
“You have got so many variants already of every damn phone. What makes you feel it is going to change in the future?”
“Oh come on, standardisation…”
“…is always defeated by commercialisation, old chap,” said the Genie. “Way of the world. Many models mean more sales. Confusion be damned.”
The bytes in the geek’s soul kicked in.
“Wait, can I make my own device!” he asked
“Hmm…I don’t know much engineering, but if you stick to functionality, we could try. Just don’t give me too many details, just stick to the outlines. And get a move on. I have a party to attend. I don’t have all day to sit around waiting for just one wish”
The geek thought fast.
“Right,” he said. “Gimme something that is a pearly white, water and dust resistant, and has a fluid interface that can be refreshed easily…”
“What network?” asked the genie.
A thought struck the geek.
“Wait, can I use it to talk to anything?”
“Pretty much,” said the Genie. “If it has a language, you can speak to it…”
“I want to speak to the Almighty,” said the Geek.
“Trump or Putin?”
“No, I mean: God. The Supreme Being. Nature. You know!”
“Nature, eh?” said the genie. “Done! Close your eyes and when I say abracadabra, open your eyes and you will see your device. Bye! Thanks for the bottle opening and it was fun chatting.”
And then the genie said the magic word
Where he had floated there was now a product. The geek looked in disbelief.
It was pearly white all right. And it did seem resistant to dust and water. And it had a fluid interface definitely. And a small handle titled “refresh” as well.
Tagged to it was a small notice: “When nature calls, answer!”
It was a toilet.