A big-time negotiator was out fishing one day when he caught a strange looking fish. He reeled the fish in, unhooked it, and threw it on the ground next to him. The fish started writhing in agony and, to the negotiator’s surprise, said, “Please throw me back into the lake and I’ll grant you three wishes.”
“Any three wishes, huh?” the negotiator mused as visions of expensive fast cars and beautiful women paraded through his head.
“Fish,” he finally exclaimed, “Give me five wishes and I’ll throw you back.”
“Sorry,” the fish answered while struggling for breath, “only three wishes.”
The negotiator’s pride was at stake and after giving the matter some thought he announced, “What do you take me for? A sucker? I’ll settle for four wishes.”
“Only three,” the fish murmured weakly.
Fuming, the man debated the pros and cons of accepting the three wishes or continuing to bargain for that one extra wish. Finally, the negotiator decided it wasn’t worth looking a gift fish in the mouth and said “All right fish, you win, three wishes.”
Unfortunately, by then the fish was dead.