Chinese Cheesiness

When did fortune cookies become politically correct?

fortune-cookies_2094Have you noticed this? Back in the days of yore, the papers tucked inside the almost-tasteless cookies offered actual fortunes. Something along the lines of You are about to come into a large amount of money or maybe something like A tall, dark, and good-looking stranger is about to enter your life, or my favorite, Whatever the hell you do, don’t open that secret locked door in your Great Aunt Stella’s basement and if you do – and survive – don’t  come back crying to me in Chinese.

Now the fortunes are not fortunes at all but are completely innocuous. Here are the fortunes contained within the two cookies Bill and I had after our sushi yesterday: Bill’s – Hope is the best stimulant of life; mine – Fearless courage is the foundation of victory.

See? Not fortunes. More like stuff your mother told you the next day when you came home past curfew the night before and you blamed it on your best friend’s car. Not fortunes; nags.

I’m blaming it on the trial lawyers. Maybe someone sued a Chinese restaurant because they spent their entire savings on lottery tickets when they got a fortune that read A small investment will result in great riches for you. Let’s face it; if Taylor Swift can be sued for plagiarism for the words Haters gonna hate in her song Shake it Off, Chinese fortune cookies can’t profess to see into your future without threat of lawsuit if their prediction, in fact, doesn’t transpire.

And why did the sushi restaurant from which we got these fortune cookies serve fortune cookies anyway? Aren’t fortune cookies usually served in Chinese restaurants? And really only Chinese restaurants in the United States because I’m pretty darn sure you wouldn’t go into a restaurant in, say, Beijing, and end your meal with a fortune cookie containing the fortune Our nuclear weapons are superior to your nuclear weapons or You’re wasting your time learning Spanish when if you really had foresight you would be learning Mandarin.

However, despite the fact that it was at a Japanese restaurant where we got the cookies containing these watered-down fortunes, I remain firm in my belief that there is not a prettier food than sushi. See what I mean?……


The first time I tasted sushi was many, many years ago when I visited a college chum who had left Colorado and moved with his wife to the island of Maui, Hawaii. On that trip, I also learned to use chopsticks for the first time. Surprisingly enough for a young woman who spent (at that time) most of her life eating beef on the Nebraska plains, I loved sushi from the first bite. I’m pretty sure that I recognized immediately that it was a great vehicle for what I really loved – the wasabi. My tastes have matured since then and I actually now enjoy the flavor of the fresh fish and wouldn’t even need the wasabi. Well, except for the fact that I can’t get enough of that feeling that your head is about to explode and your sinuses become completely open.

But back to fortune cookies. I promised Kaiya that she and I would make fortune cookies sometime soon. Since I will see them this weekend, I see a fortune cookie making experience in my future. I assure you that she and I will put our heads together and come up with more meaningful fortunes than A smile is your passport into the hearts of others.