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  • Kate Forest

Un-Fortune Cookie

The following are all real fortunes I have found in those pasty almond-flavored cookies that come in crinkly plastic wrapping. And before you say, “Wow, she must eat a ton of Chinese take-out to amass so many odd fortunes,” let me set the record straight. Yes, I eat a ton of Chinese take-out for several legitimate reasons. 1) I am a terrible cook. I neither enjoy nor excel in food preparation. 2) I’m a working parent and apparently the children enjoy being fed on a semi-regular basis. And most relevant, 3) I’m a Jew. Moo shoo pork is as important to Jewish culture as latkes.

Fortunes in fortune cookies have longed ceased being fortunes. They are more commonly bits of advice, platitudes, or inane compliments to the reader. I don’t get these. While the rest of my family cracks open the thin wafer and reads aloud things such as, “Be a good friend and others will do the same.” Or even, “Treasures are for the poor man who is rich in spirit.” I get crap like this:

I could spend twenty minutes unpacking that, but who has time? I got takeout because I don’t have twenty minutes.

This was one of my favorites:

Thanks fortune cookie gods for putting another dent in my already fragile self-esteem and confidence.

This one is noteworthy in that I like to imagine my counterpart, the recipient of the other half, maybe somewhere in a Midwestern state. Another overwhelmed mom looking for guidance and validation from any little sign only to be met with half a fortune:

If e.e. cummings got his start in a fortune cookie factory it would look like this:

I would like to say this was inspirational in its simplicity. But it merely made me think of how Dan Rather used to end his broadcasts on the CBS News: “Courage!” WTF? How is this helpful?

And then I get the downright creepy:

I’m not emotionally stable enough to handle much more of this. Tonight, I’ll be getting pizza.

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