A mathematician came across a lamp. He rubbed it, and a genie appeared. “Can I have three wishes?” asked the mathematician.
The genie had decided long ago that granting three wishes for his release was passé, and he generally refused such requests. With the holidays just around the corner, however, he was feeling charitable. “Okay, fine,” he said. “But agreeing to grant you three wishes takes care of your first wish, so you have only two remaining.”
The mathematician thought for a moment. It sure would be helpful to have a little extra money with which to buy gifts for my friends and family, he thought. “Okay,” said the mathematician, “I’d like a coin bag that is always full of gold; no matter how many gold coins I remove, there will always be some left.”
“Done,” said the genie as he handed the mathematician a coin bag.
The mathematician tried it out and, sure enough, no matter how many coins he removed from the bag, it always remained full. He was absolutely delighted.
“So, then, what would you like for your third wish?” asked the genie.
“Ah, well, that coin bag is awesome,” said the mathematician. “In fact, it’s so good, I’d like another one just like it!”