If you watch television, you are probably familiar with the DirectTV genie commercial where a mysterious genie appears in front of a television screen like Vanna White, and I guess adjusts the volume or changes the channel for you. I have nothing against genies and was a big fan of “I Dream of Jeannie” with Barbara Eden, and I even enjoy the genie from Bugs Bunny cartoons. But for some reason I find the Direct TV genie about as appealing as a week-old tumbler of bourbon and coke with cigarette butts soaking in it. She looks like an underage streetwalker after a really bad night.
So, although the genie is supposed to entice us into ordering Direct TV, I just get horrific images of her materializing out of nowhere:
. . . I came back from the kitchen with a bowl of popcorn in my hand when I noticed the genie draped across my television set. She smiled and waved at me, then fell to the floor with a shriek.
“I'm good, I'm okay,” she said, struggling to her feet. “So, you want some Direct TV?”
“No thank you. I have cable.”
She pouted, crossed her arms, then dropped to the floor cross-legged.
“How'd you get in here?”
“I'm a genie. I snap my fingers, wiggle my nose. Or something. Actually, Direct TV pushes a button and sends me through the television.”
“Says the guy that still has ancient cable.” She stood up and walked towards our bar. “You got any vodka?”
“No, just Scotch and tequila.”
“Cranberry or apple infused?”
“No, and I don’t think you should have--.”
She interrupted me by grabbing the tequila and heading back into the living room. She plopped down on the couch and took a swig from the bottle.
She swiped her mouth with the back of a hand then burped. “Anything good on?” she said, pointing at the television.
“I was just getting ready to watch a basketball game.”
“Pppffft. Bo-ring! You need Direct TV. Turn on Downton Abbey, and we'll do a shot every time someone says, 'my lord' or 'my lady.'”
“I don't want Direct TV, and I want to watch basketball. And you shouldn’t--”
“Whatever.” She pulled a cigarette from somewhere in her lacy outfit. “Mind if I smoke?”
“Yes. In fact, you should leave.”
She produced a lighter shaped like a grenade, lit up, and took a puff. A funny smell wafted my way.
“Yeah,” she said with a smirk. “Should I have brought my bong?” She said this while holding her breath, holding the wet end towards me.
“No thanks. You need to go. And I don't think a 14-year-old should be drinking and smoking.”
“Fourteen? Ha! I'm legal.”
“Really? Old enough to drink?”
“Well, old enough for your dirty thoughts.” She winked. I shuddered.
“Get out of here!” I looked around as if an older, wiser genie was going to materialize and offer to take her off my hands.
She giggled. “Call some friends. Let's have a party.”
“You're the genie. Why don’t you call someone? Better yet, order us a dozen pizzas.” My freezer was empty at the moment.
“No wishes granted until you order Direct TV.” She stood up and walked to the kitchen. “Got any food?”
She came back into the living room munching from a bag of cheetos. She wiped her hand on her dress, ate another handful, then smeared the orange stuff across the back of the couch.
That was it. “Stop! Look, I'm not interested in Direct TV. You need to leave. Now.”
“Suit yourself.” She blinked, snapped her fingers, wiggled her nose, then crossed her arms and nodded. “Whoopsie! Still here! Looks like you’re stuck with me until you sign up.”
“Fine, sign me up,” I said, figuring I could cancel as soon as she left. I went to my office and grabbed an expired credit card, came back, and handed it to her.
“Great! I'll have to go swipe this and bring it right back to you.”
She started to snap her fingers then ran to the bar and grabbed a bottle of bourbon.
“A little something for the road,” she said.
This time she snapped her fingers and disappeared in a cloud of smoke through the television screen. I waited a minute then turned off the television. I haven't watched it since.