A man walks into a bar, and half his head is an orange.

He sits down, orders a drink. The bartender eyes him warily, but gets him what he wants. The man sits sipping the drink, idly watching the soccer game on the bar television. After a while, he runs dry and orders another.

"Tell you what," says the bartender, "this next one's on the house -- but you've got to tell me what happened to your head. I don't mean to be rude there, but..."

The man smiles. "No, not at all. I get this all the time.

Well, it started with the Gulf War. I was a young kid fresh out of high school, but I was poor. I needed money for college, and the Army looked like a good way out of the ghetto. But then they shipped me over to Kuwait. My platoon took some heavy fire during Desert Storm, and I was separated from them.

I wandered the desert for days, with only the contents of my pack to sustain me. I ran out of water, I ran out of food. I was desperate, on the virge of death -- when suddenly, I saw a glint of metal in the distance...

I forced myself onward, hoping the shining brightness was a glint of gunmetal from my platoon, or a city on the horizon, or anything. When I finally reached it, it was a piece of metal half-burried in the sand. I dug around it and excavated what appeared to be an old Persian oil lamp.

There was an inscription on the lamp, too covered in dust to read. I rubbed at the embossed lettering -- and then, a swirl of smoke and light surrounded me. Suddenly, before me, stood a ten-foot tall being, dressed in traditional Arabian garb, arms crossed.

'I am the Djinni of the lamp,' said the entity. 'For releasing me, I shall grant you three wishes. What is your first wish, my master?'

I was incredulous, of course. I deduced I must be hallucinating, that this was desert madness. I decided to test the mirage. 'Alright,' I tasked it, 'I wish for a wallet with a million dollars in it, that I can never lose, and whenever I take any money out of it the sum is immediately replenished.'

'Your wish is granted!' boomed the Djinni. I felt a bluge in one of my uniform pockets. Reaching in, I pulled out a new wallet, stuffed to bursting with crisp, new American bills. I counted them -- sure enough, it was a million dollars. I ripped up the bills, cast them to the four winds, and threw the wallet as hard as I could. The moment it was beyond my sight, it teleported instantaneously back to my pocket, refilled with another million dollars.

'What is you second wish, my master?'

I pondered the notion for a long moment, assessing my needs. 'Djinni,' I said, 'for my second wish, I want to be transported to a cool, abandoned palace, into a harem room with a hundred beautiful young virgins who will all fall madly in love with me at first sight, before a buffet table set with a feast fit for a king.'

'Your wish is granted!' Poof! I found myself in a royal harem, escaped from the heat of the desert. All around me, nubile girls eyed me with keen interest. In front of me, every conceivable type of meat was roasted to perfect tenderness, set with all the appetizers, side-dishes, salads, soups, and desserts of the four corners of the globe.

I dined until I was near-bloated, and then I had a lot of sex. I mean a lot. Several hours later, laying upon a bed of feathers, brown and blonde and red haired beauties nuzzling into me like puppies at their mother's underbelly, the Djinni stood before me, looking down in satisfaction at his work so far.

'What is your third wish, my master?'

I thought long and hard. Truly, this last wish tasked the very limits of my imagination, my beliefs, my ethics, my philosophy. Hours passed in silence, save for the gentle snoring of the ladies surrounding me.

At last, I spoke.

'Djinni, for my third wish, I want half my head to be an orange.'"