Fortune Cookies

The other day I got a menu from a new Chinese delivery place. It said in big letters, “WE DELIVERY!” But that’s not what I’m up in arms about. It’s too easy, and I make too many typos to get preachy about it.
Yes, it’s the exciting conclusion to my Asian-themed trilogy o’ rants!

Here’s my latest beef (and I don’t mean with broccoli): fortune cookies — They’re not fortunes!!!! A fortune cookie should have a prediction about what could happen in the future. I’m not asking for specific, testable prediction, a simple “You will find great happiness next year” will do. Or “If you have no love for others, you will find yourself alone.” Some sense of consequences.

Instead what you get is inane blather. “Love is it’s own reward”. It’s even that way online, try a few sample fortunes at the Fortune Cookie Generator, or an Astrological Fortune Cookie.

Resist everything but temptation.
Well begun is half done.
Faith is the answer to success
” .” — Harpo Marx

Here are two from my favorite Chinese place growing up:

Today, by civil, but don’t go out of your way to be over friendly.

Draw upa budget and figure out how to cut down on your debt.

Folks, these aren’t fortunes. Half of them don’t even make sense. That last one is a quote. You might as well start adding in Jon Stewart’s latest one-liner, or directions to the bus stop. It makes as much sense as these, and would be more in line with the lottery numbers often added. Yep, the lottery numbers, there’s another alarming twist. C’mon, who is so desparate for tips on the lottery they think that a mass-produced fortune cookie has the answer, just for them. Anyone who plays the numbers on a fortune cookie should instantly be taken out back and castrated.

***LATE UPDATES***
I am informed by an old source that once the California lottery was in fact won by the number from fortune cookies. There were 300 winners. Lottery officials suspected fraud until the truth came out. (The truth being that they were all idiots, having to split the pot 300 ways).

Someone actually sent my wife a fortune cookie in the mail that said “You are the life of any party”. That’s not a fortune! (Although it probably does apply to her a lot more than me.)

5 thoughts on “Fortune Cookies”

  1. Speaking of lottery numbers from fortune cookies, that reminds me of some wise words from that famous Statistics professor we always love to imitate — the only thing you’re doing by playing numbers that are published anywhere is decreasing your expected value from the gamble. The reasoning is that if numbers are published in any manner, more people than average will play them, thereby diminishing the potential winnings even in the remote chance you win. Wouldn’t that be satisfying for Muttrox to find out that numbers posted on fortune cookie inserts were the winning numbers, and 388 stupid people had followed fortune cookies to guess the correct numbers, splitting the first prize 388 ways? After taxes, that might even be enough to take care of a panda for a couple of weeks.

  2. Leave the Asians alone, they make great dumplings. Besides, where else are you gonna’ go but a Chinese restaurant when you’re hungry on Christmas?

    All you South Pacific fans out there know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

  3. Aaron, it is only because I need a quality food experience so badly on those days that I hold them to this high standard!

    Edward D, so very true! That would be poetic justice. Also a good reason not to play numbers that are birthdays.

  4. I still carry a ‘fortune’ I got over a decade ago – it reads “This fortune entitiles you to one introduction to a beautiful woman”. Of course, I’m happily married, so that’s beside the point…

    …also, the Lost numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42) almost won in England a couple months ago, if I remember recently. Anyone who would play those numbers needs to get their head checked…

  5. I still carry a ‘fortune’ I got over a decade ago – it reads “This fortune entitiles you to one introduction to a beautiful woman”. Of course, I’m happily married, so that’s beside the point…

    …also, the Lost numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42) almost won in England a couple months ago, if I remember recently. Anyone who would play those numbers needs to get their head checked…

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