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Hypothetically

Another favor! Your habit of performing minor kindnesses (offering directions to a bowling alley, maybe) benefits yet another extra-dimensional sorcerer. Surprise! This time the sorcerer gives you a special stone that will change you in a very specific way.

The grateful sorcerer informs you that all you have to do is close you eyes and say “I wish that, for the rest of my life, I will never…” and then say a single thing you will never do, or never do again. It must be something you do with your mind: an emotion, an addiction, a thought, a memory, etc. You can’t say “… will never die of a heart attack” or “will never have less than a million dollars in my bank account” because those things aren’t habits, thoughts, feelings.

You mention, politely, that there is a long storytelling tradition in our world in which magical gifts such as this one always operate in such a way to harm the person using it in an unexpected way. The sorcerer laughs at this in a startled way, as though you’ve said something scandalous, then assures you that such a person would be an infamous criminal back home, and then assures you that there is nothing sneaky or underhanded about this gift. It will perform as described.

The sorcerer vanishes (to go bowling, I’m sure) leaving you with the stone. You have a chance to rid yourself, for the remainder of your life, of a particular mental quirk. Would you make the wish? What would the wish be?

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
seawasp
Apr. 13th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
Making the assumption I believe the sorcerer, "Never procrastinate (as opposed to rationally and correctly prioritize my actions)."
barbarienne
Apr. 13th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
"I wish that I will never find it difficult to sit down and get some good writing done."

Potential loopholes:

1. "Good" is nonspecific. Perhaps I'll never be able to write anything brilliant.

2. I may not find it difficult because all the things that distract me but which I enjoy may go away. For instance, I suspect I could get a lot of writing done if I were in jail, or marooned on a desert island with sufficient ink and paper.
autopope
Apr. 13th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
“I wish that, for the rest of my life, I will never…”
" ... want to eat cauliflower ever again."

I have always hated all brassicae, especially cauliflower -- so I don't want to eat it to begin with. It's something I can happily live without wanting to eat for the rest of my life, and it's so highly specific that I am unlikely ever to be in a situation where cauliflower is the only available foodstuff for long enough to starve to death due to not eating it. So this answer is entirely safe even if the sorcerer is a treacherous rat-bastard who means me ill: it reinforces an existing quirk.

If I trust the sorcerer, I'll go for something more complex:

" ... never decide not to learn something solely because previous experience tells me that doing so is difficult."

For example: I know I'm crap at learning foreign languages, so I usually don't even bother to try. That's a self-imposed limit I could do without.

On the other hand, note that I didn't say "difficult or dangerous".

Edited at 2011-04-13 01:55 pm (UTC)
avitzur
Apr. 13th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Re: “I wish that, for the rest of my life, I will never…”
All brassicae? Even mustard? Inconceivable!
autopope
Apr. 13th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Re: “I wish that, for the rest of my life, I will never…”
Mustard is revolting. I can cope with tiny amounts as an ingredient, but applied as a sauce it's enough to poison good food irretrievably.
seawasp
Apr. 13th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: “I wish that, for the rest of my life, I will never…”
I don't think that word means what you think it means.
martianmooncrab
Apr. 13th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
1. Put it in a jar with the other shiny magical items these damn types keep bringing you.

2. Craigslist, make a couple of bucks off of it.

3. Ask for the warranty on it.
rosefox
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
...forget anything that I want to remember.

The rider is important. There are some things I'm really happy to forget. I once met a man with a perfect memory who was incapable of forgetting even a single detail of all the ways his father abused him. *shudder* I don't want that to happen to me. But I do want to be able to remember anything, if I choose to.
buymeaclue
Apr. 13th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
The sorcerer laughs at this in a startled way, as though you’ve said something scandalous, then assures you that such a person would be an infamous criminal back home, and then assures you that there is nothing sneaky or underhanded about this gift.

I am increasingly dubious about these claims!
mizkit
Apr. 13th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
Overeat. :p
brownkitty
Apr. 13th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Assuming I trust this sorcerer, "I wish that, for the rest of my life, I will never believe someone else's lies."

Assuming I don't believe him, keep the stone and trade it to the next wandering sorcerer. They're certainly as thick as fleas on a dog in summer, aren't they?
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )