Monday November 27, 2006

Regarding The Dismal State of Fortunes.

Kids, one of my favorite things about eating at Chinese-type establishments is fortune cookies. And it’s not just that thick cookie crunch that draws me — it’s the idea of a message hidden inside, too. Now maybe it’s just a false memory (kind of like how great steak tastes inside the Matrix), but I seem to remember fortune cookies being a lot more interesting that anything I’ve noticed lately.

My wife and I met up with our Dead Friend™ Abel and his fiancée (not dead) for dinner this weekend at our favorite Westernized-Chinese food establishment, Pei Wei. Check out the abysmal level of effort gracing these notes we unwrapped at the end of our meal:

  • Good things come to those who wait. Be patient.
  • Share your happiness with others today.
  • Be patient. Good things come to those who wait.

Gosh, what scintillating news. Never mind that the first and third fortunes are basically identical (and bad advice to boot). Or that the second item is more of a suggestion than a fortune. The important thing to note is that these notes wrapped inside a crunchy sweet cookie are incredibly boring. At least throw in some Confucius sayings or Bob Dylan lyrics — something I can use to impress people at meetings or parties.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather crack open a fortune cookie and read something like:

  • Your next high school reunion will end in gunfire. Book a flight to a South Pacific island instead.
  • If you’re reading this, the sniper already has you in his sight.
  • Help! I’m locked in the trunk of my Hyundai out in the parking lot! Please call my mom: 411-337-9448.

And that questionable hilarity is just off the top of my head. Unfortunately, the creativity and passion surrounding fortune cookies seems to be right on par with cowtipping or Nickelback in Portugal. There’s no imagination, no fun, and certainly no differentiation between one fortune cookie experience and the next.

Well thank goodness for this crazy series of tubes, eh? Until the Chinese eatery industry realizes the snoozefest they’re baking into each and every cookie, we’ll have to be satisfied with the superior creativity available on the interweb:

What message would you rather find in your fortune cookie?


Chris Auel » 5409 days ago #

My wife recently got a fortune cookie that read: You could prosper in the field of medical research. She in fact had started a career in medical research earlier this year. It’s one of those crazy coincidence.

Aaron Christensen » 5409 days ago #

I can’t immediately think of something I’d rather see, but I admit, the current fare of “fortunes” are completely lame.

One of the better fortunes I received indicated I had an admirer who was too shy to meet me :-p

In case anyone else didn’t already know of this game, I like to append my fortunes with “..between the sheets”. Makes them more interesting.

Jared Christensen » 5409 days ago #

“ a bathtub” also has the potential for equal hilarity.

Abel Rios » 5409 days ago #

Your next high school reunion will end in gunfire. Book a flight to a South Pacific island instead.

Violence is not funny, Jared. ;) This made my day. It was good to see you guys, again. Boy these last few months have been hectic, eh?

Anne » 5404 days ago #

Thought you might enjoy this book. It’s out of print but you’ll usually find a copy or two at Alibris,com dirt cheap: You Were Born ON A Rotten Day by Jim Critchfield and Jerry Hopkins.

Sample fortunes:

“Go to the movies. Darkness becomes you.”
“Good news. Ten weeks from friday will be a pretty good day.”

It’s a tad dated, but wildly funny. And enjoy a splendid tomorrow!

Lelia Katherine Thomas » 5403 days ago #

Fortune cookies are incredibly boring, it seems. This is why a friend of mine ends all the sayings with “in bed.” Thus, the fortunes you and your friends got the other night would become at least somewhat more interesting:

- Good things come to those who wait. Be patient in bed.

- Share your happiness with others today in bed.

Can’t do a damn thing about that duplicate fortune, though. That’s terrible. Did you demand a fortune exchange?

« Older writing is available in the Archives.