So it was that, pawing through a trashcan, he was surprised to find a small and ornate urn, because he seldom had good fortune. He took it home to his hovel, and was rubbing the dust off, when — poof! — in a puff of smoke appeared a genii!
“You have three wishes,” the genii said, “but there’s a condition.”
As you can imagine, Benny was very surprised, and naturally suspicious. “What kind of condition?” he demanded.
“Nothing much,” said the genii with a smile. “You can have anything you wish, but you must agree never to get a shave or a haircut.”
“What happens if I do?” asked Benny. The genii looked somber.
“Then you will spend the rest of your very long life trapped inside the urn,” said the genii, “Just as I have done.”
“It’s a deal!” said Benny.
“What are your wishes?” asked the genii.
“I’d like health, and happiness, and more money than I can ever spend,” said Benny.
“Done!” said the genii, and vanished in a puff of smoke. There was a knock on the door. When Benny answered, he found Ed McMahon from Publishers Clearing House, with a very large check.
Benny didn’t know what to think, but, oddly, he felt happy and healthy. And that’s the way it went. He spent money madly, but more kept showing up. He started dressing better and going out more, and women began to pay attention.
Some years later, his hair fell down his back below his knees, and his beard almost as long in front. But he had a great life, and a good woman. Everything was wonderful.
Well, there was one little thing. The woman. The woman was very, very happy, except that she kept bugging him to get a shave and a haircut. Relentless, she was, and it was making him crazy. While on a world cruise, in the tiny cabin, after a few too many margaritas, she was chiding him to get a haircut and he blew up.
“All right!” Benny yelled, and stomped to the barber, and ordered a shave and a haircut. The barber rolled his eyes, and began. Some time later, the barber handed him a mirror to see how it looked, but a genii appeared in a puff of smoke, and then Benny and the genii vanished, and the mirror clattered to the floor.
There is a moral to this story:
A Benny shaved is a Benny urned.