Sunday, February 05, 2006

if its called a fortune cookie

it should contain a fortune.

my friends ed, heather and becky came down on friday night. we went out to azul and the mint. good times. on sat we went for pizza and the boys went to the casino while the girls went shopping. for dinner we went to bill lees bamboo chopstick. great chinese food and all, just one little problem:

why is it that fortune cookies dont contain fortunes? woody says that it is because the word 'fortune' doesnt translate from chinese the way it does in english. i think that is bull. out of the five of us that got fortune cookies, only one was a semi-fortune. it happened to be mine, which i guess was ironic, since i had started in on how dumb it was for the cookies that are called fortune cookies to not have fortunes in them before the cookies ever got to the table, but whatever. i had meant to take the 'fortunes' with me, but in mt anger forgot them on the table.

then everyone starts telling me that adam feels the same way, which made me feel petty (adam picks little things to get tiffed about), but at the same time, it was nice to know that im not the only one who has had an issue with this. it almost ruins the chinese dining experience for me.

so, im not really sure what they should be called, but fortune cookie is definately not it.


edluv said...

so, what is a fortune, in your opinion? what exactly should it say?

i think it could be advice type thing, or it could be a prediction. or, maybe even an affirmation. for instance, while i would call you a godless heathen for going to a fortune teller, i think they may say all these different things as they read the cards (or whatever sort you went to). that is your "fortune."

so, i guess i think of the fortune cookie in the same manner.

also, i figure it's not worth my time to get worked up about a dessert cookie. now, some goofy dancing guys, that's something to get worked up about. or at least mock.

Adam said...

I disagree Ed. Fortune is definitely not advice. Though they should in essence be called "advice cookies" when they say something like, "Take a chance in love," or, "Make a strong choice in business."

Now, if they actually fortold one's destiny, like a fortune ought to, they would be worded slightly differently. They'd say, "Love will lead you somewhere new," or "Your business will boom based on decisions you make."

dana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dana said...

If I understand you right, adam, I think I disagree. I feel that fortune cookies that give advice have an implied sense of foretelling a future event.
To use Ed's example, if you went to a fortune teller, she might forsee an unaviodable but minor car accident. Since it is unaviodable, she wouldn't tell you about the accident, but she might tell you to always wear your seatbelt this week.
So if a fortune cookie tells you to "Take a chance in love." It is implied that there is an opportinity for romance it sees in your future.

As a side note, I have notice that whatever brand of cookie Bill Lee's uses tends to have alot of these.

Adam said...

That's not what I got from the definition of fortune that I looked up. Maybe I'm being to pedantic, but really, the best you two have is a hypothetical fortune teller?

-The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events.
-The turns of luck in the course of one's life.
-Success, especially when at least partially resulting from luck.
-A hypothetical, often personified force or power that favororably or unfavorably governs the even of one's life.
-Fate; destiny.

I mean, if you want to call them "implied fortune cookies" that's cool too. But if you're going to explicitely call them fortune cookies, why not put explicit fortunes in them?

I mean, if you're going to be mystical/luck oriented, why half-ass it and be all wishy-washy about it? Write some friggin' fortunes. None of this, "You may or may not be in a car accident and depending on if you are wearing your seatbelt (and also, what kind of collision and at what speed) you may or may not survive."

You know why they don't work, because they're bogus. Maybe they should just be advice cookies.

"Tell your mom you love her."
"Tie your shoes tightly."
"Drive safely."

timidvenus said...

yay adam!

i have no problem with calling them 'implied fortune cookies' and i also think that you are right when you say they should write some friggin fortunes. i mean, come on guys, its funner that way. i want to know what my dessert cookie (also not a bad alternate name) thinks will happen to me.

edluv said...

peking cookie company was the maker. i think a lot of restaurants use their brand.

edluv said...

"Fortune teller, one who professes to tell future events in the life of another.

Fortune telling, the practice or art of professing to reveal future events in the life of another."

those are from

so, i think a fortune cookie follows that line of thought, fortelling a future event. now, i don't think that every cookie out there is doing that. yes, many seem to give advice. but, for instance, if it said, "be wise with your money," that is advice, but it could be advice based on the future seen by the magic cookie.

Adam said...

Yes, yes, that's why you can call them "implied fortune cookies" if you like.

The Jay said...

You could just call them cookies. Then be surprised when you get a little message inside!

Or call them "busybody cookies" and resent it when they tell you how to live your life.

dana said...

Good call Jay. From now on, I will call them busybody cookies. If anyone ever hears me say "fortune cookie," correct me immediately (without kicking me in the groin).

Heather said...

Here is the history of the Fortune Cookie. If you take the time to read it you will find in no way does it relate to the idea of for-telling but rather to express good will or good fortune which is what I find most fortune cookies I read offer.

For many centuries the Chinese have marked special occasions and festival times such as harvest and New Year with the giving and receiving of Moon Cakes these were made from Lotus Nut Paste. During the 13th and 14th centuries China was occupied by the Mongols. When plans were made in Peking for a popular uprising to oust the invaders, much thought was given how news of the date of the uprising could be circulated without alerting the Mongols.

The story goes that the Mongols had no taste for Lotus Nut Paste and so the Chinese hid the message containing the date in the middle Yuan Chang took on the disguise of a Taoist priest and entered occupied walled cities handing out Moon Cakes. These were the instructions to co-ordinate the uprising which successfully formed the basis of the Ming Dynasty.

Thus the tradition of giving cakes with messages was born and became a popular way of expressing wishes of goodwill or good fortune on an important occasion. The origins of the Fortune Cookie as we know it today were laid down by the Chinese 49'ers who worked on the building of the great American railways through the Sierra Nevada into California.

Work was very hard and pleasures were few in isolated camps, those hard workers had only biscuits with happy messages inside, to exchange at the Moon festival instead of traditional cakes with happy messages, thus the FORTUNE COOKIE was born. This became something of a cottage industry and as the Chinese settled in San Francisco after the railway and the Gold boom the custom continued. Today it is almost impossible to have a Chinese meal in America and Canada without finishing with a Fortune Cookie.

edluv said...

"happy messages"

preach it!

timidvenus said...

wow heather, very impressive. also, now i dont mind the name, although i think i will refer to them as good fortune cookies insteat of just fortune cookies.

edluv said...

heather says thank you. and that it is very mature of you.

timidvenus said...

really? did you get it on tape?

edluv said...

adam admitted that he bowed out.

timidvenus said...

i dont know how that happened....i was responding to eds comment about adam and it posted mine above his....very strange

edluv said...

no,but i've got witnesses

Adam said...

I'll admit it, why is it such a big deal? I felt a bit slighted by the implication of the "that is very mature of you" comment.

I actually felt the whole time like there was an underlying judgement against me for taking issue with this at all. Like, "It's just a friggin' cookie, get over it," or some similar feeling.

So I like splitting hairs, get over it.

Heather said...

Sorry Adam- I even told Ed not to post my comment because I didn't want it to sound like I was comming down on you. Unfortunately you like to spilt hairs and we give you a hard time about it. But it is what makes you such a great individual. I don't know anyone one else who pays such close attention to the fine details in life. Even though I give you a hard time about it you challenge me to think more.

edluv said...

see, i took the mature post more as, 'that's big of to admit being wrong/less right'. not as any sort of slight to anyone in particular. although, looking @ sara's initial statement about feeling petty, in conjunction with the mature thing, it could be seen as a slight.

but, please believe that neither heather or i had you in mind at all in saying that sara was being mature in admitting that she was corrected.

(and, your repetitive use of get over it in your post made me laugh.)

Adam said...

Thanks guys, I'm glad you clarified. I sometimes tend toward excitability and text is not always the best medium for conveying attitudes and emotions.

(Yeah Ed, a little self-deprecation can go a long way)

Anonymous said...

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timidvenus said...

thats a gas!

can you imagine...