“I tried to wish on the star too,” said Richard #29, “but nothing happened.”
Photo by Dylan Schmidt
In a series of events reported as “rare” by NASA, local 25-year-old hiker Deion “Dee” Zire’s wishes have been granted by a shooting star. The incident occurred on January 3, 2024, on a small trail near Zire’s apartment. Zire reports that he was “just going for a casual evening stroll” when he noticed how clear the night sky was. Remembering the popular Greek astronomy myth of “wishing upon a star,” he decided to “test his luck.” The most recent report of a successful wish was 12 years ago, when a UCSD student wished for a zero-minute commute to their classes in Jacobs Hall.
Zire recalls the moment he finally spotted a shooting star. “The first thing that popped into my head was money,” Zire said. Thus, he wished for “plenty of riches.” What happened next “confused [him] more than the time [he] read manga left to right.” The previously secluded trail was suddenly filled with a group of people Zire did not recognize. Zire reported that each one of them was named Richard, but they all introduced themselves to him as “Rich.” “In hindsight, I should have just asked for a billion dollars or something simple like that,” Zire concluded.
Some of the Richards also reflected on their experience. “I was mid-brushing my teeth when all of a sudden I found myself on a freezing cold trail, mouth full of toothpaste,” Richard #27 reported. “Someone saw me when I was walking the seven miles back to my apartment and probably thought I was rabid.”
However, Zire’s night didn’t end there. After shaking hands with all 42 Richards that showed up to meet him, Zire’s second wish was granted. A tadpole farm starter kit dropped from the sky to Zire’s feet. It contained a terrarium, which reportedly almost crushed Richard #12; 500 live tadpoles; and three different frog predators, including a stork, eagle, and snake. “I only briefly contemplated raising tadpoles because I heard frogs croaking during my walk,” Zire recalled. “It was more of a subconscious thought, though… like my paternal instincts were triggered. I didn’t know the shooting star was still listening.”
When asked about Zire, astronomer Dr. Teli Scope shared that the shooting star could have chosen to listen to his wishes “because of the sheer lack of internal monologue in his brain.” Scope stated, “The less brain traffic, the easier it is for meteors to intercept a wish. We call this phenomenon cerebrum inane, Latin for ‘empty brain.’” Scope theorized that Zire was in a meditative state while he made his wish, which may also explain why 73% of wishes on a star are granted to people under the influence of Steely Dan, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s records. “I don’t know, bro, I think I was just really tired of thinking that day, so I stopped,” Zire speculated.
As for the efficacy of the shooting star, Scope has argued that meteors are very literal bodies of matter and require intense levels of detail in order to successfully fulfill a wish. Scope advised Zire after the fact, “What you should have said was ‘I wish for a billion dollars to be put in my savings account’ and then you should have stated your savings account number and security code. Which was… what again?”
There have yet to be any more recorded cases of wishes granted by shooting stars, but Scope is encouraging people to empty their mind and wish upon a star. “And be specific with your wishes. Don’t forget to include your three-digit CVV code.”