The great powers of the blue genie.

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It was the first wedding anniversary and queen Jasmin wanted to prepare an extra special surprise for now king Alaa Deen. They had been married for a year and he had been ruling for a little under that and she thought something out of the ordinary was definitely needed, after all, she was always the strongest planner in this relationship. To that end, she decided to utilize the great powers of the blue genie. She had never used the magic lamp herself but saw firsthand how helpful it was when Alaa Deen used it to help convince her dad of their plan to get together. Her royal highness waited for his royal highness to go on one of those safaris that take at least three days. This, she thought, is perfect timing for her to plan and execute everything by the time the hunting trip was over. It will be a little before their actual anniversary date but the element of surprise is far more precious than accuracy under these circumstances.

After the kisses, hugs, and goodbyes, Queen Jasmin went to their suite and started looking for the magic lamp that she knew King Alaa Deen was keeping. She handled it with care and took it where she could sit and power it up. She was ready for the smoke, but the blue aura took her by surprise. Was it always so blue? She wondered. This is not a time for distractions. As soon as the blue genie was done stretching and yawning (it has been a while since the king has required his services) she said with assertion: “Oh, loyal genie! Plan a super surprise for my dear husband on our first wedding anniversary”. “Certainly, your highness”, the genie replied. “I can help you with that, but I do not have enough information about his royal highness preferences. You need to consider his interests. You should consider what his Royal Highness enjoys and personalize the experience. To craft a sentimental touch, you need to incorporate memories from your relationship”. He kept going,” You can handmade a gift that holds special meaning. Is His Royal Highness adventurous? If so, consider planning a weekend getaway, or book a thrilling experience. Is he the romantic type? Perhaps recreating the first time you met might be the way to go. Or is he foodie?” She thought he was going to stop there but alas; he kept producing options. “How about you take a cooking class together!” “Ok, STOP!” She said,” I think you are not getting my request. I want this to be a surprise.” “Oh, I see”, he was getting excited it seemed, “Here are some ways to expand on the element of surprise for his royal highness’ first wedding anniversary. You can give him some subtle clues to your plan, or better still tell him about your plan but what you tell him is all fake, meanwhile hide the real plan.” The expressions on her face were not those of contentment. The genie did not pick up on her growing disappointment as this was not a power that he possessed and of course, he kept going: “you can decorate the castle based on a shared memory or inside joke, adding a personal touch that will instantly bring a smile to his face.”” STOP!” She cried with frustration this time. “I want you to do the planning and include all of the details! YOU do it!”” Certainly, your highness! We are going to surprise your adventurous husband with an anniversary getaway. Pick a theme and then choose a destination, book accommodations, and plan the activities. Don’t forget to pack the bags prior and plan a misdirection. You might consider enlisting an accomplice to help you pull everything off. Plan for the day the surprise and then execute the getaway reveal …” He had not yet completed his sentence when she interrupted: “Alright let’s go with your suggestions. What destinations should we consider?” I am sorry Your Royal Highness. You have already maxed your three wishes per day. I now need to go back to my lamp. You can ask me again after twenty-four hours. And remember, you can only have three wishes. Or you can subscribe to expand the number of questions you can ask me. To do so you need to make monthly payments of twenty golden coins. My services include..” He was going on and on and she was struck by the memory of the three wishes. Alaa Deen had mentioned it. She had totally forgotten.

Eventually, the genie went back into the lamp. Everything was quiet again. Queen Jasmin had so many ideas dancing in her head. She also had this weird feeling. It’s like the genie said so much and did nothing at all. This was not what she was expecting. What was she expecting, she wondered. She was not sure. This was, after all, the first time she ever tried to use the magic lamp and the powerful services of the genie. He had so many great ideas. But was he helpful? She was not sure. Did he really ask her to do the work? What was he going to do then? Was she better off just working something out herself, and not resorting to extraordinary powers? Everyone always complimented her on her great plans. She shooed that idea away. Surely it is far superior to use extraordinary powers. She doesn’t want to be like everyone else. “I am going to be more prepared with my questions tomorrow when I get my new three wishes”, she thought. “I am not going to leave any detail behind.” It is not as easy as she thought. For some reason, she was also feeling tired. She decided to put the magic lamp back where her husband had kept it and start working on tomorrow’s wishes. She tucked it in with extra care thinking how extremely privileged she is to be the only person in the kingdom (along with her loving husband of course) who has access to the great powers of the blue genie. Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone had a magic lamp and a powerful blue genie!! Oh! That is a scary thought she said to herself. It is a serious responsibility.

Ironically, several hundred years later, Queen Jasmin’s great-granddaughter Yasmina (language faculty in a liberal arts university) would be going through the exact same experience as she sat facing the blue light emitting from her laptop screen, trying to use the great powers of generative AI for the first time to plan her lesson on celebrating anniversaries. With the booming world of technology and the always-evolving powers of AI, some “serious responsibilities” just don’t change.


Notes on the use of AI.

  • This piece was indeed written by a human.
  • The ideas of celebrating a first wedding anniversary were suggested by AI.
  • The images were created by AI using Adobe Firefly.
  • Creating Queen Jasmin’s image took two attempts with adjustments to the original prompt.
  • Creating Yasmina’s image took six attempts because AI kept creating her as a science professor even though the prompt specifically mentioned that she teaches languages.
  • Formatting Queen Jasmin and Professor Yasmina’s pictures (putting them together) was done manually without the use of AI.
  • The recording was done by Word’s read-aloud feature and recording via Voice Recorder.

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