Old Joke, New Twist

A sober alcoholic was strolling along a beautiful California beach while in deep meditation and prayer. As he was walking, he stubbed his toe on something.  It was an old, encrusted bottle. The man uncorked the bottle and with a puff of smoke a genie appeared.
In a loud voice the genie said, “You have freed me! In return for your kind act, I will grant you one wish.”
The man thought hard, not wanting to waste his wish. Finally he said, “I want a bridge from California to Hawaii. That way I can drive to the most beautiful place I have ever been, anytime I want.”
The Genie looked disappointed. “Your request is very materialistic and has great repercussions you could never imagine. Picture the environmental consequences of such a self-centered wish! What about the supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific? What of the concrete and steel would take hundreds of miles to construct? I can do it, but it is hard to justify your selfish desires. Perhaps you might think of another wish?”
The man contemplated for a few moments and said, “Genie, I wish that I could understand Alcoholism. I want to know why, despite the most horrendous and negative consequences, untreated alcoholics continue to drink again and again. I want to understand what they are thinking when they take another drink when they know it will ruin their lives. I wish that I could know why alcoholics, filled with knowledge of self, will power and incredible self-determination and resolve, can’t stop after they take that first drink!”
The Genie laughed out loud. “So, would you prefer two lanes or four?”
~S.D.

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