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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, August 01, 2005
The Fortune Cookie
I was recently in China on business, and I took many meals in Chinese restaurants great and modest. This may surprise you, but I was not offered a single fortune cookie during the entire trip.

At the Chinese restaurant near my workplace in the OC, I always get an after-lunch fortune cookie. When the fortunes are good, I keep them and tape them to my monitor, to remind myself and inform others that my destiny has already been written by the ancient Chinese philosophers. The last four in a row were keepers:

1. You are admired by everyone for your talent and ability.

2. You are a happy man.

3. You are going on well with your business.

4. You are going on well with your business. (Yes, the same message - perhaps repeated for emphasis.)

A friend of mine consistently draws bad fortunes from the same restaurant, like "You will suffer a setback." and "A friend asks for your time, not your money." I explain to him that it's just the luck of the draw, influenced heavily by his unclean spirit. Then I ask him for money.
Penn & Teller, in their book "How to Play With Your Food" have preprinted fortunes you can cut out and palm and pretend that you find in a cookie when you go out to eat. They're all very dark like "You are surrounded by enemies." and "That lump is cancer."
Wait a minute. I just reread your fortunes. They're actually true!
I got a good laugh out of this one. Thanks.
"Help, I'm being held captive in a Chinese fortune cookie factory!"
You know about adding "in bed" to the end of them, right?
The first fortune cookies reached Chinese shores in 1992. They were imported from Brooklyn and were proudly advertised as "genuine American fortune cookies."

Like chop suey, fortune cookies are an American invention. They originated in California, but who the actual inventor was, and which city in California is the true home of the fortune cookie, has continued to be a matter of debate. Unequivocally not Chinese, the fortune cookie may in fact not even be Chinese American.

More at The History of the Fortune Cookie.

Who knew?
Right. Next you're gonna tell me that Hong Kong Phooey was not from Hong Kong.
but how can you be sure that you're going on well with your business?
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