I Take Life Advice from Snack Foods

I get it. I am fully aware that fortune cookies are not Chinese and have no cosmic pathway to a reincarnated Confucius. But I can’t help the eager feeling of cracking open the cookie and reading the words, “You can quit your job and still send your children to college.”

Instead, I get fortunes with this crap:

WTF***k, Fortune Cookie??? Who does this? on Twitpic

So when I got one last week that not only told me specifically WHAT to do but actually gave me a time line of when I should do it, I admit I thought it was a ransom note. (Author’s Note: how cool would that be? A book where the bad guys keep leaving instructions in fortune cookies? “Drop the bag with the sixteen million in unmarked bills in the garbage can inside the men’s room.” And then in a shocking plot twist the cookies get swapped in the restaurant and an elderly couple from New Jersey who HATE each other gets that fortune, and they each think the other spouse is plotting to kill them, only the real kidnapping victim is still chained to a steel I-beam on the 400th floor of an unfinished skyscraper in Dubai because no one put the money in the bathroom! Don’t steal that idea!)

But my fortune from last week told me to not only play the lottery, but to do it THAT weekend. Ordinarily I don’t fall for pranks from the Universe, but when everything kind of falls into place, you start to think just maybe you’re going to play the lottery AND win, and then you won’t have to be a teacher in a prison anymore. Our state doesn’t have a lottery, even though we have one of the worst educational funding records in the history of people going to school; BUT I happened to be going out of town THAT WEEKEND! I COULD PLAY THE LOTTERY IN THE STATE WHERE I WAS GOING!

You can guess how it turned out. Obviously, since I’m still sitting here writing blog posts hoping against hope that someone thinks I’m funny enough to want to publish all my drivel in one bound edition and make it available at your local bookstore, I probably didn’t win anything other than the receipt from buying the ticket.

Here’s the punch in the throat part: the cookie never promised that I was going to WIN the lottery, it just merely suggested that I PLAY the lottery. What a crumby joke. (See? Get it? I’m FREAKIN’ hilarious!)

The problem is you would think I would have learned my lesson after the state government of Georgia suckered me out of one dollar, but no. I had to go to McDonald’s on my lunch hour yesterday to play Monopoly. My co-worker and I had it all planned out. She was to get Park Place, I was going to get Boardwalk, and then we just wouldn’t come back from our lunch breaks. And I mean wouldn’t come back to civilization, not just to work. Sure enough, she gets to her pieces first (because I’m driving with two hands on the steering wheel) and she’s got Park Place! It was meant to be! The Universe is in line with our lust for financial security! I went ahead and veered the car towards the Interstate to head to Florida.

And then I got Baltic Avenue. Even my snack foods are underachievers. No one wants Baltic, even when playing ACTUAL Monopoly. The rent on it is like $3, and that’s if you own both purple properties AND you have nine hotels on it.

All of this has taught me a valuable lesson. If I can’t win the lottery when the cookie clearly told me I was going to, and if I can’t even win a free small French fries at McDonald’s, it’s a damn good thing I didn’t try to meet my husband on eHarmony. The one I ended up with wouldn’t have had a pulse.

16 thoughts on “I Take Life Advice from Snack Foods

  1. I love fortune cookies! Actually, I hate the cookies themselves because they taste like paste, but I love smashing them opening and getting a really vague message about something in my future.

  2. I once got a fortune cookie in college that honestly told me to “Get really high”. So I did. And only then did my roommate share with me that he had a bunch of novelty fortune cookies of which I had been given one. Still the best fortune cookie I ever got.

  3. Loved your screenplay!

    You’re right, evidence suggests that the quality of snack-food advice is declining. The fortune cookies from our local Chinese-food joint don’t stoop as low as a lame “Drive cautiously”, but they’re disturbingly contradictory.

    I frequently get two or even three fortunes crammed into one cookie. Is that the equivalent of the Universe yelling at you? I wouldn’t mind so much if they agreed, but I’ll get one that says, “Today is an excellent day for travel”, and in the same cookie, “Concentrate on priorities at home.” Either the Universe doesn’t know what it’s doing, or the cookie stuffers are messing with me.

    Still though, the ones I find truly disturbing are the ones that say, “You will soon travel to a distant destination”, paired with “Strangers may try to take advantage of you” and “If you leave your house, you will DIE in a FIERY CAR CRASH”… Okay, I might have made that last one up. But you know what I’m saying, right?

    • So you’re telling me it’s an epidemic! Who are these freaks that are messing with our heads? Cuz I’m completely a sitting duck in the “It’s bad enough that I’m taking advice from cookies!”

    • I know, right! It’s like they left the rest of it off or something! It was supposed to read, “Drive cautiously, so you can see way up ahead on the road to where the really hot guy is sitting there with car trouble and he will need a ride into town and he’ll be so grateful that he decides to move in with you and oh by the way he’s filthy rich.” (There’s a reason why I don’t write for the fortune cookie company.)

  4. Another brilliant post Lorca. I love your stuff.

    I found some of it a tad confusing, though. You had both hands on the steering wheel while playing Monopoly?? Mobile Monopoly, maybe?

    And is there a prize-winning game of Monopoly that you can play in McDonalds?


    • Sorry, I keep neglecting my friends abroad! Yes, McDonalds in the US has an annual promotion where there are game pieces actually stuck to the side of the soda cup or french fry container. You save up the pieces for different prizes. If you get all three green properties, for example, the prize might be $10,000. The two blue properties are the jackpot of one million dollars. Obviously, there are LOTS of the pieces, but only a small handful of the “final” piece you need to collect. It keeps people coming back for french fries!

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