He was a very modern genie. Once he’d recovered from the psychic shock of being wrenched from perpetual slumber in the astral realm, he beheld himself naked and dressed in the manner of the century he found himself in. He chose a well-cut cream linen suit (it was summer), brogues, a plum tie, a pink silk handkerchief tucked into his breast pocket. And he declared himself to be the slave of one Tyrell Morris, a customer service adviser at Vodafone UK.
Tyrell – shocked, fearful, lying in the wreckage of his office chair – had just received an email requesting that all employees change their computer passwords because of an increased risk of hacking. The IT department insisted that new passwords should be a long sequence of unrelated letters, numbers and symbols.
As Tyrell mouthed the last letter of his new password, the genie had exploded into being like a bubble popping but backwards, and informed Tyrell that what he’d just said constituted the genie’s ancient and irrevocable name, and therefore the genie was formally summoned. As Tyrell’s slave, the genie would answer a single question. It could be anything that Tyrell wanted, and the genie would answer immediately and truthfully.