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My Fortune Cookie Story


It was 12 years ago. I ate Chinese food at the Jade Garden in Carrboro. Fortune cookie came with fortune; it was plain slip of paper, black type, no smiley faces, no lucky numbers. Two days later, the fortune comes true.

Big deal. Coincidence.

A week later, I go back to the Jade Garden, eat meal, get cookie. Once again, a simple slip of paper, black type, no smiley faces, no lucky numbers. Once again, two days later, the fortune comes true.

Eyebrows raise.  I become superstitious.


I wait a week and go back.  If it happens three times then it is the truth.

I eat my meal, though I barely taste it. 

Cookie comes and I crack it open and put it in my mouth.  You have to chew and swallow the whole cookie before looking at the fortune; that's just what I believe. 

The fortune is a simple slip of paper, but this time it was printed in red letters instead of black.  This time there were smiley faces on either side of the written fortune.  This time there was a list of lucky numbers. 

"You are kind to animals."  That's what it said.  As if I didn't know that already.  That's not even a fortune, to be a stickler about it.  It's just a statement.     


I complained.  I asked, "What happened to the old fortune cookies?"

The cookies come from a wholesaler in New Jersey - huge boxes of them.  There are probably hundreds of small-scale fortune cookie bakeries, all sending their cookies to the wholesaler to be sent out at random to restaurants up and down the east coast.  One of these bakeries may tell accurate fortunes.  

I will probably never know - though I obviously suspect.


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April - National Poetry Month 2008

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