The way the cookie crumbles


Deep into this recession (or is it depression yet? let’s just call it a “repression”) a lot of fingers are still being pointed in all sorts of directions, asking who dropped the ball?

Well, someone has certainly been “phoning in” their job lately – but I am not here to speculate whether this is the fault of Wall Street, or Washington, or the obvious failure of “the invisible hand” (maybe it’s arthritic these days?) – there is a much bigger concern on my mind. 

I recently discovered that another group – equally important in these tough economic times – has started to let us down, too. I am, of course, speaking of the world’s fortune cookie writers.

In a world us tumultuous as this, we turn to those small signs of something to look forward to, so often delivered to us on a little slip of paper, carried inside a neatly folded cookie. A little piece of sugary hope.

But, I am sorry to say, in our greatest hour of need, with the world in financial freefall, and too many wars interrupting too many lives, the fortune writers have abandoned us.

I got the message on a cold Chicago night – away from home, working at 8pm – when a pick-me up and a phonetic translation of a useful Chinese word like “carrot” could really have ended my day on a high note. Then there it was, the Kung Foo Sing equivalent of the white flag of surrender:

“YOUR FORTUNE IS IN YOUR HANDS”

What?!?!?! You were meant to tell me something up-lifting, not flip me one tall finger and say, “You’re on your own, buddy! Good luck with that!” You guys can do better than that. At least make it something that sounds funny if I apply the “…‘In Bed’ Rule”.

But then, I realized that this could be a little comic irony… “your fortune is in your hands” – literally, this little slip of paper is right in your hands. Oh, bravo… well played! Even the fortune-writer guy is allowed to have a laugh every now and then. Faith restored.

Fast forward nine days. Sick. Coughing, spluttering and choking like the Cleveland Cavaliers: the only remedy is egg drop soup. One hoarse phone conversation with the Dumpling King later, I get the soup, feel a bit better, and – looking for that final little boost to my spirits – crack open my cookie-crusted message of future delights.

“IF YOU SEEK GOOD ADVICE, ASK YOUR MOTHER”

What the FUCK?!? Sure, Mum is full of good advice, but since when can fortune-cookie-guy 
DELEGATE. Are you kidding me? This is atrocious. 

Did the fortune cookie company re-employ the Magic 8 Ball writer? He of the famous: “Reply hazy – try again”… give me a break!! If I wanted a vague, non-committal answer to a question, I’d ask GM what they are doing with the bailout money.

Whatever happened to gems like “you will meet a stranger with an interesting story” or “your luck will change on Tuesday”? Maybe it’s some kind of hangover from the 2008 writers’ strike.

But I persevered and jiggled my hand around the bottom of the bag. Do you get it, Fortune Cookies? I’m giving you one last chance… this being New York, they always add more than enough cutlery, duck sauce, soy sauce, napkins and fortune cookies to every order. There must be one in here somewhere… aha!

“THE ANSWERS ARE ALL IN FRONT OF YOU”

Oh, for crying out loud!!!! All that’s in front of me is another cop out!!! Trust me, I have been looking, and if I had the answers in front of me, I’d already have some idea of it, let me tell you.

For now, the only answer I have is to stop ordering Chinese food until you lift your game, fortune cookie writers!! When that day comes, send me a 4cm by 1cm note to let me know. And please make sure it has my lucky lottery numbers on the back!!!

— Irish

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2 Responses to “The way the cookie crumbles”

  1. CJ (CMO) Says:

    The way the cookie crumbles fo sho…I luv fortune cookies but I must say they are starting to become more like a kerri-anne episode! Like take the fortune that my cous and I got…”never wrestle with a pig – you’ll both get dirty and the pig likes it…” Now I dont know about you but I dont know that the opportunity to wrestle a pig would even come up and should it why would I?! And even if that fortune is metaphoric – can I really imagine Confucius saying that without catching a flu or throwing a dollop of sweet and sour on it?!
    Then there was the one that said..”if you walk forward, you will go places…” clearly from the Captain Obvious brand of fortune cookies…what ever happened to a good fortune? Did it leave with baby John Burgess?

  2. clightnirish Says:

    It’s about time someone pointed out this egregious dereliction of duty.

    Perhaps the sage who wrote the following gems is now retired:

    “Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.”

    “Man who masturbates into cash register will come into money.”

    “Man with hole in pants pocket feel cocky all day.”

    “Man who walk through airport door sideways going to Bangkok.”

    “Man who drop watch in toilet have shitty time.”

    “Man who run in front of car get tired, but man who run behind car get exhausted.”

    “People who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.”

    “Man with head up ass have shitty outlook on life.”

    “Man who fucks on table gets his ass in jam”

    And, my personal favourite:

    “Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat house.”

    -Clight

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