Another WordPress “what about this for your next post?” suggestion, paraphrased because I moved away from that page already: “What would you want a lifetime supply of?”
No explanations necessary.
But that is a dull answer.
Depends on what “a lifetime supply” means. If it means “as much as you want”, almost anything would do; if a lifetime supply of lemons fails to make your life perfect, just want and sell a few truckloads and buy that other thing you crave. (While money can’t buy happiness, a man doth not live on happiness alone.)
But what if “a lifetime supply” is meant in the marketing, award-winning sense: as much as you, and you alone, would consume, were you an average person?
And does this mean, you get it all right now, or bit by bit as your life goes on? If you get the whole lifetime supply of, say, lemons right now, truckloads and truckloads, you will not be enjoying those lemons all your life — unless you kill yourself trying to consume them all before they go bad. (Now that would be the work of a cruel, evil genie.)
And what, exactly, is a lifetime supply of caviar? Is that an average Joe-person’s supply, all that he’d ever want or have, i.e. nothing; or the average caviar-eating refined type person’s lifetime supply, one tin a month? Do you get to choose?
“Why yes, my lifetime supply of Jaguars means one per week.”
It feels as if a lifetime supply of Jaguars should mean “you’ll always have one; if you wreck one, you get a new one” — with the assumption that you get a permanent option for a functioning car, and not an accumulation of junked ones. A lifetime supply of books feels as if there should ever be the next one waiting, and those that are read quietly go away; but what’s a lifetime supply of assassinations?
“Hey Clive, what’s the average number of hired killings your average Joe gets to order?”
“None! Nada! Zip! Zero! Easiest reward ever!”
A lifetime supply of Nobel prizes?
“Well, I have this one but I’m tired of it. I want a new one!”
“You can’t stop having a Nobel prize, you greedy git! Consequently, you don’t get another!”
Does “a lifetime supply” mean all that you need, just the amount you can’t do without? Cannot be that; you (or I) don’t need caviar; not toilet paper or cars, either; most things are not necessary for human life; and (except toilet paper) not for a humane life either.
And so I find myself unable to choose, because the damn question makes no sense. I’ll just link to a short story of mine, a story of the wurst kind of speculation over infinities like this, and stop.
(There’s a thread over on Metafilter that answers the contest “lifetime supply” question; the answer is unfortunately drab.)