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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Suggestion Cookies

I recently had lunch at the Mandarin (yum, yum!) and after the meal, as usual, fortune cookies were offered. Know what mine said?

"You are a kind and thoughtful person."

My first thought was, "clearly these fuckers don't know me very well!" But upon further reflection I came to wonder, how exactly is that a fortune? Zain tells me he had a similar experience where a "fortune" cookie told him "You would make a good lawyer." Well, it's very kind of them to say so, possibly even a good bit of career advice, but again, not a fortune. Did they run out of fortunes or something? Call me crackers, but in my mind a fortune cookie should provide something other than a personal comment or vocational suggestion, something like, oh I dunno, a fucking fortune!

For me, "fortune" denotes imparted wisdom or prediction, something you couldn't have otherwise worked out for yourself. Something Zen, something Confucian, something that doesn't have to have lotto numbers printed on the back to maintain your attention for more than three seconds.

Imagine if, after eating your favorite bit of congealed MSG (in duck sauce), you opened your cookie and read "You will catch your nose in a kitchen drawer." And then, later that Friday, as you are packing gauze up your left nostril to stop the bleeding, you'd suddenly recall your fortune and think "Holy FUCK! Talk about being on the money!"

Well... it could happen.

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