Bob Bryar isn’t sure how the dog biscuit got into his pocket. He can only assume that he picked the biscuit up at Pete Wentz’s house. Pete is the only person Bob has visited lately that has a dog. And hadn’t Hemmy been really trying to get into Bob’s pocket when Bob had been leaving? That had to be where the biscuit had somehow made its way into the pocket of the hoodie Bob had been wearing.
He finds the biscuit when he is getting his laundry ready to wash. The hoodie is overdue for the laundry, and Bob is meticulous about cleaning out the pockets of his clothing before dropping them into the washing machine. He was meticulous because the last time he had left something in his pockets, it had dyed all of his white clothes this hideously sickly green, and Bob had not been fond of the color at all. He still isn’t sure what could possibly have turned everything that appalling shade of green. Probably something Mikey Way had slipped into his pocket. Mikey would have found the expression on Bob’s face amusing.
Mikey is weird like that.
Anyway, back to the biscuit.
The biscuit looks like a normal MilkBone. It’s one of those colors that are only found on dog biscuits—not in anything natural. But when Bob pulls it out of his hoodie pocket, he feels a tingle go all the way from the tips of his fingers to his shoulder.
No way that’s normal.
Bob drops the biscuit, and it lies on the tile of the laundry room floor. It just lies there. It doesn’t spark, or glow, or anything strange. It just lies there.
Bob stares at the biscuit.
The biscuit still doesn’t move.
Finally, Bob leans over and touches the biscuit cautiously. Still no sparks, but the tingle comes back. Bob jerks his hand back.
Then, bright pink smoke begins coming out of the biscuit.
“OK,” Bob says aloud. “What the fuck did Frank put in the coffee this morning?”
The question actually does have merit. Frank Iero lives next door to Bob, and they take turns making StarBucks runs each morning. Frank has been known to put really weird shit in his own coffee, and Bob would not be at all surprised if he hadn’t thrown some mind-altering substance into Bob’s coffee. Just to see what it would do.
That’s the only explanation. Because there simply is not any pink smoke rising from a Milk Bone dog biscuit. And there definitely is not a Pete Wentz dressed in an I Dream of Jeannie outfit standing in the laundry room.
But, just in case it’s really happening, Bob says carefully, “Pete?”
“Close enough,” Genie Pete says, shrugging. “I look like whoever you want me to. Apparently, you want me to look like this.”
Bob decides that’s too disturbing to think about. Instead, he asks, “Are you a genie?”
“You think I dress like this because I want to? Dumbass. Look, you touched the magic biscuit, so I have to give you three wishes. Come on, hurry up, I don’t have all day.”
Three wishes and an impatient Genie Pete. Bob doesn’t think the day can get any stranger.
Then, Frank opens the door to the laundry room. His ever present bag of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans is in his hand, and he swallows a large mouthful of the rainbow colored sugary concoction before he says, “Hey, Bob, do you wanna—why is Pete Wentz dressed like a genie?”
“You see him, too?” Bob isn’t sure if he’s happy or upset by this news. He guesses he should be happy because he isn’t crazy—someone else is seeing this. But, maybe he should be upset that insanity is catching, and he just gave a really big dose of it to Frank.
“Sure. He’s standing right there.”
“It’s not Pete,” Bob says slowly. “It’s a real genie. He came out of that dog biscuit on the floor.”
“Three wishes,” Genie Pete says in a frustrated voice. “Come on, chop chop. What the hell do you want?”
“What’s the fucking hurry?” Frank asks. “What do genies do other than grant wishes? And why are you in a fucking dog biscuit? Aren’t genies supposed to come out of bottles or something?”
Genie Pete rolls his eyes. “This short one asks a lot of questions, doesn’t he?” he asks Bob. Bob simply shrugs; Frank does ask a lot of questions, and it does get annoying.
This time, however, Bob would like to know the answers to Frank’s questions, so he waits for Genie Pete to answer. After a few moments of silence, Genie Pete finally says, “I pissed off the guy who gives out the assignments, so I got assigned the fucking dog biscuit. And to answer your other question, I hate granting wishes. It makes me fucking tired. So make your damned wishes and let me go back to sleep.”
“I know, I know!” Frank says in an excited tone. “A lifetime supply of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans!”
“I hate Jelly Belly Jelly Beans,” Bob tells him, and Frank begins to pout. “Stop with the pouting. These are my wishes, not yours. If you had come with me like I asked when I went to visit Pete, then maybe you would have gotten the fucking dog biscuit. So just stop it.”
Bob stands in his laundry room and ponders his opportunity. Three wishes, and he can wish for pretty much whatever he wants. After a bit of consideration, he looks up at Genie Pete, a triumphant look on his face. “I want my Wal-Mart slippers to stay exactly as they are right now.”
“Done,” Genie Pete says, waving his hand. “Next.”
“Dude!” Frank protests in a disbelieving voice. “You couldn’t think of anything better than that?”
“These are my wishes,” Bob says, “so let me make them.” He thinks a little bit more, then says, “A drum set that’s Frankie-proof.”
“Hey!” Frank exclaims. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“You jump on my drum sets and break them the fuck up,” Bob says. He looked back to Genie Pete. “Frankie-proof drum set.”
“Done,” Genie Pete repeats, yawning as though bored. “Next.”
Bob thinks long and hard. This is difficult, with Frank jumping up and down next to him and shouting ‘helpful’ suggestions. At last, Bob smiles. He walks up to Genie Pete and whispers in his ear. Genie Pete nods. “Done.”
Then, in a puff of pink smoke, he’s gone. Bob picks up the dog biscuit. His arm doesn’t tingle, and he wonders what to do with the dog biscuit. At last, he shrugs and puts it on a shelf. He’ll return it to Pete’s house the next time he visits.
“What’d you wish for?” Frank asks, bouncing around. “Come on, Bob, tell me.”
But, Bob remains silent. He won’t say a word, and Frank leaves, very perturbed at Bob.
After Frank leaves Bob’s house, he goes home. There is a pack of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans with his name on it waiting for him.
Ripping open the package, Frank selects a green Jelly Belly Jelly Bean and pops it in his mouth. A terrible taste floods his tongue, and he spits the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean out into the trash.
“Hm,” Frank says to himself. “It must be bad. Let’s try a purple one.”
Frank goes through the entire bag of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. All of them taste terrible, and he looks at the bag in sorrow. Dropping the empty bag into the trash, Frank sighs. He is still lamenting the Jelly Belly Jelly Beans when his phone rings.
Frank answers, and Bob’s voice comes over the receiver. Frank can hear the laughter in Bob’s voice as he asks, “How are those Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Frankie?”
Frank’s mouth drops in horror. “You bastard,” he says, and Bob’s laughter rings out over the phone. “Your last wish . . . .”
“I never have to look at Jelly Belly Jelly Beans again!” Bob cackles, and hangs up the phone.
Frank gently replaces the receiver. There’s only one solution.
He has to get his hands on that magic dog biscuit.
It’s the only way.