Not the cookies themselves; I've always liked them, actually. Crunchy, with a touch of vanilla, like a folded, almost guilt-free sugar cookie.
It's the fortunes. Dullsville. These are pretty typical.
I am under the impression that in my childhood, fortune cookies actually worked like fortune telling, giving cute predictions about the future. Like, "You are going on a long journey." Or, "You will be rewarded for your strength of character." You know, nonsense predictions that could make for fun chitchat after dinner. Sometimes they were even humorous, like, "You will never turn into a giant shoelace."* Or, "Help, I'm a prisoner in a Chinese bakery."**
Nowadays they're just dull bits of wisdom, suitable for Facebook posting and little else. Usually attributed to some famous person, wrongly.
Infoplease says that the fortune cookie seems to have developed in San Francisco in 1914, or maybe Los Angeles in 1918, but beyond its supposed origins with thank-you notes or Biblical verse, there's not a lot of information about the cookie's fearless forecasting. Nowadays it's almost always some blah advice that sounds like they're being written by a school guidance counselor.
Come on, cookies! We can do better than that. We want the fortune back in our fortune cookies! Otherwise they're just ______ cookies, and who needs that?
I decided to get the ball rolling by writing some new fortunes. Here are a baker's dozen, offered for free:
You will wish you had not eaten the Tien Tsin peppers.
Don't take the Browns no matter how many the points.
You will go on a long journey. Your luggage will go on a completely different but equally long journey.
Tip the waiter well, or next time he will spit in your tea.
Your plan to open a Thai seafood doughnut shop will not meet with success.
You shall never be as rich as King Tutankhamun, but then again, he's dead.
Everyone will be cheesed off after the election next week.
Next time you'll get the General Tso's chicken. Delish.
Beware the Ides of March. They only have Ides for you.
You will go to work next week with your fly open and unmatching socks. Have fun.
Your date will not end happily.
Remember that other cookie where I said the Cubs would never win the Series? Skip it.
Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.
Continued on next cookie.
Go ahead, Chinese cookie bakeries. I double-dog dare ya to use these in place of your paper placebos. Everyone will love them.
And if not? Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
* Actually from a Bazooka Joe comic, which would have humorous fortunes along with the nonhumorous cartoon.
**Actually an Alan King book.