Fortune cookies; those things that no one seems to like except me (which is fine, since that means fellow diners give them to me) have really seem to have been on the decline lately.
I’m not talking about the cookies themselves, but the so-called “fortunes” that come with them.
Remember the good-old days when those little slips of paper actually told you what was in your future?
Sure, they were hokey and only told you of the good things that were going to happen to you (and it was always “soon”), classic examples including:
“You will achieve great success soon!”
“You will soon meet the love of your life!”
“You will soon obtain great wealth!”
I’m still waiting on all those, by the way… for years. Now, if I had gotten ones like these a few years ago:
“You will soon lie dead in the gutter!”
“You will soon take a fascinating trip to the emergency room!”
The first one is realistic… the second one would actually have come true.
“I just don’t get these types of fortunes anymore. I don’t know why they stopped, probably because some of these restaurants were being sued because their fortunes didn’t come true.
Only in America…
For awhile, instead of getting actual fortunes, I was getting notes that described my personality (or at least they tried to), like these three:
“You have a shining personality!”
“You are widely admired for your intelligence!”
“Friends come to you for your wisdom!”
Wow, were these guys ever wide-off the mark. Still, I guess it’s better than “You are a boorish braggart that annoys people.”
I don’t even see much of these anymore. Nowadays, they seem to concentrate either on the sayings of Confucius, or giving you some confusing so-called “wisdom” that sounds beautiful, but make no sense, like this one:
“In this world of contradiction, it’s better to be merry than wise.”
Then of course, we have the “no duh, Sherlock” wisdom, like this little gem I received:
“No hay límite a la inteligencia.”
Oops, sorry… let’s try the other side.
“There is no limit to intelligence.”
But now we have entered the latest stage of Chinese fortunes, and the reason I started this article. Just awhile ago, I opened a cookie to read this one:
“To achieve true happiness, you must work for it.”
OK, let me get this straight… they have gone from saying what will happen to me, to telling me what to do. Just what kind of cockamamie fortune is this anyway?
However, I’ll admit that I have some ambivalence (that’s a fancy way of saying “conflicting emotions”) about this one.
On the one hand, I want to excoriate whoever wrote that one for his laziness. The next fortune I read may as well say “We busy now, you make fortune yourself, round-eye”.
But on the other hand, I also want to commend the guy. After all, the message does fit into my belief of self-reliance. The message is right; if you want success, you have to work for it.
Besides, those “lucky numbers” have never done a damn thing for me anyway.