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2017 - Week 7: Why I Hate Fortune Cookies

I have a major issue with today's fortune cookies. I'm not the only one.

Let me explain.

First, take a look at the photo below. This is a real life, actual fortune I received from a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant recently (we won't even get into the fact that fortune cookies are completely foreign to Chinese culture).

I know what you're thinking, and you're correct. No, that is NOT a fortune. Cute, perhaps. But a fortune? Most assuredly not. And yet, it's called a fortune cookie.

I can't tell you the last time I have actually received an honest-to-God fortune from a fortune cookie, and in truth, I can't even guarantee that I've ever received one. What a travesty.

You hear stories of people opening their crispy wafers just after finishing their General Tsao's Chicken to find a tiny piece of paper that says something akin to, "You will inherit a large sum of money," or "Cheer up, tomorrow will be much better!" Those are fortunes. They make some sort of prediction for the future. Awesome. Good job, fortune cookies.

The ones I get? Nope. They're like the ones in the above image.

  • About time I got out of that cookie!
  • The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  • Your family is young, gifted, and attractive.
  • Pick another fortune cookie.
  • You just ate cat.
Turns out there's a reason for that. The vast majority (around 90%) of all of these so-called "fortunes" are supplied by a single, family-owned company in San Francisco, and they simply cannot keep up with the demand. As a result, they end up using slightly altered (to keep themselves safe from plagiarism lawsuits) proverbs, poetry snippets, quotes, and such to fill their orders.

I get it. It's hard to come up with original fortunes to supply an entire nation with quippy, appropriate sayings that aren't going to piss anyone off (good Lord, that must be hard to do in today's climate). But here's the thing...

We don't need new fortunes. We just need the old ones, the ones that actually make a silly prediction about the future. And you are welcome to rotate the shit out of those. We like those.

But for the love of God, please stop it with the inane statements about my family being young and attractive. My parents are both in their 60s, my sister and I are in our 30s. We're not young anymore. Attractive, sure, but most assuredly not young.


Anyways... That's it for this week. This was on my mind recently, and I felt the urge to write about it.

What is the last "fortune" you've gotten from a fortune cookie?



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