The Q&A with Robert Coover doesn’t help.
I’m just not a fan of these reimagined fairy tales of Coover’s. I find them lacking in significance, to put it mildly. I’m sorry if that offends you Coover fans out there.
This one involves a waitress who serves some soup to a bag lady. When she wishes out loud that she like for people to stop looking at her—another customer has ogled her behind—suddenly her wish is granted. Everyone’s head snaps away from her and no one can look at her. The waitress suspects the bag lady, who has disappeared.
The waitress knows not to squander her wishes, so her last wish is for wealth, which arrives in the form of the abandoned loot from a bank robbery. She’s afraid taking the cash will result in more problems for her, but the security cameras can’t look at her (thanks to the first wish), so she grabs the bags of money and jumps into a cab.
The end, more or less.