The bill, usually in Chinese restaurants, comes with a side of fortune cookies for everyone at the table. You break yours open and roll your eyes at its charming contents. It’s like those horoscopes in newspapers. The statements are so general that they will be fairly accurate for at least one person in every sign, thereby perpetuating that person’s belief in the stuff. Coming back to the cookies that predict the future, I got a couple of extra ones at a 4 am dinner last night (actually, it was this morning).
I thought there were two for me when our bill was brought to us, but I’d overlooked a friend’s brother who’d come back after saying his goodbyes and leaving 15 minutes ago. We passed the “extra” one to him and he showed us he already had a few. I raised that valid point so he gave me back two. Quite a nice trade, I thought. I cracked open my first one, which said:
“Never would’ve guessed,” I said, biting into the sugary fortune-holder. “Who comes up with this brilliant stuff?” That’s the kind of inane fortunes these cookies usually hold. If the person seeing this in front of their empty dinner plate suddenly had The Question popped to them or received an unexpected gift they’d have their belief in fortune cookies renewed for quite a while. After this any proving inaccurate would simply be written off as anomalies until they tire of it.
The second one held this:
Well, it better had, I thought. Going by popular opinion, persistence must pay off eventually, but better sooner than later, I suppose. If I ever figure out what they’re talking about, what persistence in my life they may be referring to and if it does come true, I’ll try to inform you so this story can have an unsuspenseful ending.
In the meantime, let’s move on to the third one. Now, this one really had me going. It went to the right person, that’s for sure. If they wish to make a believer of me this certainly would be the route to take. I will not hazard a guess as to how many of a million it would have been meaningful for, but it definitely was for me. It elicited from me squeals of great delight and I turned excitedly to the friend sitting in the next chair, jabbing him with my finger, forcing him to look at it and read as deeply into its meaning as I was. What made it even more interesting was the fact that there were two of these in the cookie! Without further ado, here it is:
I don’t know if it will ever come true, but if it does I do hope you’ll know about it. I will think of it, however, as an anomaly–the rare cookie that held a fortune truer than the cookie-cutter knew.
Have you ever seen one that was perfect for the moment in which you read it or one that actually came true?