*Forward only, at a preset rate
**Via her hands, usually
***When the water is contained in a glass
Years ago I went to a dinner party. In attendance at this party were an old soldier, who had traveled extensively in India and a Houston Oilers fan. After dinner, over brandy and cigars, the Oilers fan was complaining about Bud Adams’s management of the team. He was quite right of course, but not wanting the conversation to stray into distressing territory I interrupted and asked the soldier about an amulet I spotted on a nearby shelf.
“Oh, that, the Monkey’s Paw. It’s a bit of old magic you could say, best to leave it alone”
The mention of magic captured everyone’s interest and we pressed him to explain.
“An old fakir made it, to impress on people the power of fate. Mess with it at your own peril. It’s a rather shriveled old thing, but it is invested with the power to grant three men, three wishes. I’ve had mine. I hold onto it to prevent it creating more mischief”
The Oilers fan scoffed at this, and desired the item for himself. Reluctantly the soldier agreed, but begged him not to use the wishes, lest a horrible fate befall him.
Then and there the Oilers fan, somewhat drunk at this point, grabbed the paw and loudly wished, “I WISH BUD ADAMS DIDN’T OWN THE HOUSTON OILERS.” The next day the headline on the paper proclaimed the Oilers were leaving the city, and would henceforth be the Nashville Oilers. His wish had come true, Bud no longer owned the HOUSTON Oilers, but at what cost?! From that day he wandered listlessly through life, a man without a fandom. He tried rooting for the Cowboys, but he felt too dirty inside. One day, as he watched a football match with a depressing lack of interest, he remembered. The Paw! He still had two wishes left!
He hurriedly dug the paw out from the back of his closet, behind the pants where no one would ever look. He took the paw in his hand, and once more he made a wish.
“I wish Houston had an NFL team again.”
The paw jumped in his hand and he dropped it in horror. He walked back to the TV and the game was different. Some team called the “Houston Texans” was playing. “The Texans?” he thought, “I suppose they are my team now.” The next Sunday he want to a local sports bar to watch the “Texans” play. None of the TVs were showing the game, so he asked the bartender to put it on. “The who now? That’s a dumb name for a football team.” commented the bartender. He had never heard of the team, no one in the bar had. It was the same everywhere. He was the only Texans fan. When he tried to talk football with his buddies they all just sort of tuned him out. He was alone. Bitterly, utterly, alone. He took up the paw one last time. Sadly, he uttered his last wish. “I wish I wasn’t a Texans fan.”
His surroundings faded, and his consciousness filled with aggression and superfluous spikes. His closet filled with black and silver. The next week he was stabbed to death at a Raiders game.