The past few Sundays I’ve gone down to Galveston to do a little fishing and to scour the beaches with my metal detector. It’s amazing what you can find in the sand a month or two after hundreds of homes were destroyed.
Last Sunday after my fishing trip I was strolling down the beach with my metal detector when it started going ballistic. I thought I’d finally hit it big. I pulled out my miniature shovel and dug up an old empty can of STP oil treatment. It actually seemed to be in decent shape with minimal rust, so I started wiping some of the sand off with a rag. Suddenly, this smoke starts pouring out of the can and a lifelike figure in a wife beater tee shirt and jeans with no shoes appeared right there in front of me on the beach in Galveston, Texas.
“You the one that rubbed the can?” he asked.
“That was me,” I said.
“Okay,” he said, “Here’s the deal. My name is Adolph Von Schamann. I’m a genie. I’ve been in the back of a 1971 Ford LTD in an auto salvage yard near Norman, Oklahoma for the past twenty-five years. Someone just stripped that car clean in the past year and was driving down here when my can flew out of the back of a pickup and I ended up somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico before floating up on this beach and getting buried by that hurricane. I don’t feel good. I’m kind of can sick.”
The name sounded familiar. “Are you related to Uwe Von Schamann?” I asked.
“Sort of. I’m his counter soul. That’s what Genies are. Counter souls. Usually, when there’s a good person on Earth that makes a single bad choice or has a few bad breaks, a genie is born to make things right to offset the damage by what should have been a good person. Uwe made a mistake. He opted to play college football in Oklahoma. I’m here to try to amend that situation and keep a balance between good and the evil my counter soul created by spending his college years in Norman.”
I still didn’t trust this Genie. “Do I get three wishes?”
Adolph scratched his head and spit in the sand. “Not really. Sorry. Look, I’ve spent almost all of my time in an auto salvage yard in Oklahoma. It’s a spiritually dead environment. Usually, a Genie can get his powers by staying in his container for a year. I’d been up there twenty plus years and I couldn’t get it together. The nothingness, the stench, the simplistic nature of the place just sucked any magic from me. I think I’ve gained a little something these past few weeks in Galveston, but I was dead dry up there.”
At this point, I was a little confused. It looked like I had hit the jackpot with three wishes from a Genie, but now he was telling me he just couldn’t perform. “What do I get out of this?” I asked him.
“I’m sorry,” he answered, “but this is what I can do for you. I can give your car a free lube job and tuneup. I can answer three questions about cars, or I can answer three questions about Oklahoma football.”
I had to think about it for a while before I chose the three questions about Oklahoma football.
“Okay, Adolph, here’s the first question. What was the deal with Big Red Motors?”
“You’re making it easy for me, Deathburger. Everyone in his right mind knows that Norman cannot support a car dealership. People in Oklahoma don’t buy new cars, they buy used cars, usually from people in Texas. They buy used cars and spend their weekends at Auto Salvage yards trying to keep them running. This auto dealership was just a way to pay some football players. Any self respecting Oklahoma kid that wanted a job would work in an auto salvage yard. Everyone up here knew that whole thing was a setup. Hell, I bet that dealership never sold a new car.”
For my second question, I asked Adolph if the program had been dirty under Barry Switzer.
“Deathburger, all I’m going to say is that Charles Thompson got a bad rap. He was actually one of the nicer, better behaved players on the Switzwer teams.”
That wasn’t much of an answer, but I took it in stride and thought I would throw him off with a humdinger of a third question. “Adolph, what would Bob Stoops be doing today if he wasn’t coaching the Oklahoma Sooners and had never gotten into coaching football?”
Adolph scratched his head and seemed to strain his brain for a moment. “Deathburger, that’s a tough question for a genie. I can look into Bob Stoops’ soul right now and tell you what he would be doing if he wasn’t coaching Oklahoma. The problem is, he has been coaching Oklahoma. His soul has been corrupted. I can’t see what he would have been like if he had never lived in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is like a boa consticter. It grabs you and keeps ahold of you until all the magic has run out of you. Just like I couldn’t get my magic together up there, he is losing his soul. Did you notice how successful he was right from the get go up there? That was a masterful victory over Florida State in the Orange Bowl. But, now, the magic is gone. He can’t beat Boise. He can’t beat LSU. He’s finished. Hell, he has way better players now than he did back then, and he simply can’t win the truly big games at the end of the season.”
“He does pretty well,” I said.
“No, he doesn’t. To answer your question, Stoops today would be running his own auto salvage yard south of Oklahoma City near Norman. He would also be working part time selling manufactured housing and, in the next few years, he would actually buy into that business. He would be very successful up in Oklahoma. He would own a used bass boat. I just don’t have the power to see what would have happened to him if his soul had not been corrupted. Remember, I exist because my couter soul’s soul was corrupted up in Norman. He was a good guy, though.”
Right before my eyes, Adolph turned into a fine mist and oozed back into the STP can.
“Hey, Adolph, who’s going to win this weekend?” I yelled into the can.
I put my ear against the can and heard him say, “You should have asked that as one of your three questions. I will say that good guys don’t always win, but in this case they have a chance. Watch the bootleg action to the tight end and don’t turn the ball over.”
I threw the can into the Gulf of Mexico and turned my metal dectector back on. I’m convinced that one of these days I’ll find something big.