Because it might come true. Or at least not in the way you were expecting it to. Genies and other magical beings have a habit of granting wishes that can be troublesome. My favourite is the one about the woman who has three, on the proviso that that whatever she asks for, her husband will get double.
She asks for £10 million and the genie warns her that hubby will get £20 million. Then she asks that she irresistible to the world’s sexist men and the genie tells her that hubby will be doubly so. Her last wish is that she suffers a mild heart attack.
What led me here is the genie that was let out of the bottle when we invaded Iraq and today’s news that our troops are being brought back home. And the reasons that took us there in the first place. I thought that the phrase MD was something that we had created for justification, but not so as “The Chef Who Died of Shame” from Hancock (24 May 1955) illustrates:
Bill Kerr:Then at last came the turning point. Moishe rushed round to my flat in a panic.
Sydney James: What am I going to do? I’m in dead trouble.
BK: What’s wrong?
SJ: I’ve got the United Nations’ delegates staying at my hotel. They’re holding a big banquet tomorrow and my cook’s turned his hat in.
SJ: One of the delegates had a row with him about his dumplings. He’s trying to get them on the list.
BK: What list?
SJ: Banned weapons of mass destruction!
Nothing new under the sun, that is the thermo-nuclear device we orbit. Next on the invade and conquer list?