3 Wishes, 3 Times

genie

“The Genie will grant you three wishes.” Isn’t that the way the Fable went? And you said: “OK. I want to be healthy, happy, and handsome.” Yet, somehow, you ended up with a BMI of 37.13, a blood pressure reading of 300/200, and as happy as Prozac could make you. And when you look in a mirror, you still resemble a male character from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” or Nurse Ratched.

Maybe there was a mix-up in granting your wishes. Did you become “wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice” –to quote Bones from Star Trek? “No.” No success there either? Maybe you ran into the wrong Genie. (Apparently, you missed Robin Williams’ performance in “Aladdin.”)

A Genie I spoke with recently told me she was going to grant 3 wishes to people in baseball, film, and television. Her list looked like this:

3brownThe Cubs will win a World Series. Players and management will enjoy this. Fans have been waiting for this event since 1908. The Cubs won back to back World Series in 1907-8, and were in 4 Series in 5 years (1906-10). The main reason: a wonderful pitcher named Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. But, on the bright side, today’s Cubs have the colorful Joe Maddon as manager and talented young players (eg, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo). This wish might be granted.

kershawClayton Kershaw, the pitcher for the L. A. Dodgers, will remain healthy…for the rest of `his career. Yes, he’s had injury problems. But they’ll disappear permanently. He’ll continue his amazing pitching (eg, 3 Cy Young awards in 4 years, plus 4 consecutive ERA titles) and, eventually, rival Sandy Koufax as the best pitcher in Dodger history.

Mike Trout, the L. A. Angels centerfielder, will have an injury free career. He’s played 5trout  seasons in MLB and finished first or second in the MVP voting every year. He is a rare
combination of power and speed. Ken Griffey, Jr. started his career with as much excitement and, even with injuries, made it into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Without  injuries,Trout will have an even finer career, gain entrance to the Hall, and become one  of the 4 or 5 greatest centerfielders of all-time.
streepMeryl Streep. She’s had 19 Oscar nominations and won 3 times. What more could a Genie give her? Answer: 2 more Best Actress awards. That would give her a total of 4 and equal the record of most such awards held by Katherine Hepburn. Add her best supporting actress Oscar, already won, and Streep –the finest actress the world has ever produced– would become the most awarded, as well.

 

Emily Blunt. At age 33, she is an excellent actress who has already had 8-10 fine performances in first run films. She’s been in movies with Matt Damon, Anne Hathaway, ebluntEwan McGregor, Amy Adams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Meryl Streep (twice). In “Edge of Tomorrow,” she taught Tom Cruise how a soldier fights inter-planetary aliens. She’s skilled, attractive, and tough. So what can a Genie give her? One or two big budget, well-publicized films with prominent roles. That will happen in 2016’s “The Girl on the Train” and the anticipated 2018’s “Mary Poppins Returns” with “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda. From then on, she’ll pick films and directors, not the other way around.

Denzel Washington. Forty people have won 2 or more Oscars for acting. Denzel is the only dwashperson of color among them. He won for “Glory” (supporting actor) and “Training Day” (actor). He was nominated 4 other times. So when will he win his third Oscar? He would be the seventh person to do so. He has ability, charisma, and he’s handsome. Heck, I’ve seen over a dozen of his films and there wasn’t a dud among them. And he was born on my birthday. The Genie said to look for him in “Fences”, a film scheduled for release in late 2016. Originally, it won a Tony as Best Play in 1987. It’s author was August Wilson. And the film’s director will be Denzel.

A local TV station somewhere. The Genie would not be more specific. She said their wish was to have a different format and still get good ratings. Less violence. No more “if it localtvbleeds, it leads” as a coverage prerequisite. More “good” daily news. For example, a bucket list type item could be provided for someone in the community who served others (eg, arrange a special vacation for an individual who coordinated a “meals-on-wheels” program in a small community). Or, for a group who used a shuttered library for neighborhood functions (such as Senior or homeless activities), the staff at the TV station would provide 100 hours of free volunteering. Of course, local weather and sports coverage would continue.

Public television will be properly funded by a combination of Federal and State governments. For viewers, no more bi-monthly fund raisers will be necessary. No more pbstvneed to choose between donations of: a) $5-a-month for a year ($60) for which you receive a mug inscribed, “Thank$”; b) $1-a-day for a year ($365) for which you receive DVRs containing all Sherlock Holmes films for TV starring Jeremy Brett OR all Sherlock Holmes films for theaters starring Basil Rathbone –your choice!; c) for a one time $1,000 donation you will receive 2 tickets to a Christmas Eve concert by Frankie Avalon or Christopher Cross –your choice!

joliverJohn Oliver. His weekly show, “Last Week Tonight,” which provides the most humorous and best journalism on television, will receive a major award. Oh, wait! It’s already happened. Mr. Oliver’s work was given an Emmy, in September, for “Outstanding Variety Talk Series.” The Genie delivered.

 

I wonder if a Genie would grant a wish for someone who has everything. People like: George Clooney, Tom Brady, Oprah, Donald Trump.

 

 

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About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures above...it's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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