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August 19, 2008


Twice recently I was eating Chinese food with friends and a precocious pre-teen or tween ate all of the fortune cookies prior to the meal. I had to bite my tongue from pointedly reprimanding these little bastards.


If you eat the cookie, the fortunes won’t come true! That’s science. It is ritual. Tradition. You don’t dive into the wedding cake if you need a snack before the ceremony…I’m not sure if the cake would be at the same location as the ceremony, it might be waiting at the banquet hall…but you understand what I’m getting at.


Fortune cookies are not particularly tasty. I would never be at 7-11 and think “hmmm…I want a snack. Yeah, how bout them fortune cookies.” They are a marginally sweet cookie, qualifying as the scantest of desserts.


It is not about the taste. This is decorum. There are just certain things you don’t do. Will you drink all of the beer without pitching in any cash? What kind of monster will you grow up and become? This is indicative of a lack of respect for humanity. Will you become the person that pulls into traffic without waving to car that waited for you? Are you going to zing into parking spaces that others have been waiting patiently for? Will you commit vehicular manslaughter then speed away from the scene of the crime in your ghoulish bloodsoaked murder mobile?


Eat one cookie! That’s all you get. If somebody doesn’t want one, then maybe you get another. That’s it.


I want my fortune. Does it pertain to my life? Is it kismet that this Eastern wisdom on slip of paper has arrived in a cookie shell wrapped in plastic? I need to know if my “ability with numbers will lead to prosperity.” Maybe I need it to be reinforced that I “possess the traits of charm and courtesy.” Perhaps I would benefit by a reminder to “never trouble trouble until trouble troubles me.”


Lousy parenting could be the culprit. Don’t sit by idly as your offspring callously ingests then shits out the only source of spirituality in my life.