Friday, September 6, 2013


My wife and I eat out fairly often: a bowl of soup or a bagel sandwich when we go to the gym.   About once a month we will go out for a nice restaurant meal – usually right after our retirement checks come in.   Occasionally we will go down to Augusta for a VA appointment at which time we will eat at a Chinese buffet called The Great Wall. 

We always start out with the soup: my wife will have the chicken broth with a dumpling in it and I will have the hot-and-spicy with a dumpling added.   After the soup we allow ourselves one plate: some fish and mostly vegetables.   And of course, we finish off the meal with a fortune cookie and tea.   

I could easily do a post about fat people at the Great Wall; but this is about fortune cookies.  

About six months ago we went to the Great Wall and had the usual meal.   The young Chinese girl dressed in oriental attire brought our bill and the usual two fortune cookies.   We always open the cookies; read our fortunes; glance at the pronunciation of the Chinese word on the back; share the fortunes and then immediately forget them.    But this time my fortune was: YOU HAVE NO FORTUNE – I shit you not…YOU HAVE NO FORTUNE.  

I am sure that some fat person would have taken that fortune slip, stormed out of the restaurant without paying, gone directly to a ambulance-chasing lawyer and claimed to have suffered untold mental anguish as a result of ‘having no fortune.”

However, that is the best fortune cookie I have ever had – and the only one I will ever remember.   I like to think that someone in a fortune cookie bakery in some Chinese sweat shop – put one across on the bosses and slipped in the ‘no fortune’ fortune: a little act of defiance. 

My only regret is that I didn’t keep the fortune slip.   

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. Fortune cookies are one of the few products made in the U.S. Most likely because they are strictly an American creation. According to, "...the world's largest fortune cookie manufacturer, Wonton Food Inc. of Long Island City, Queens ships out 60 million cookies a month." That's a lot of sweat, methinks.

  2. We usually read the fortune and then add either "with no clothes on" or "in bed". Makes them even funnier.

    jadedj beat me to it. Fortune cookies are unheard of in China. Just like Chop Suey and a number of other so-called foreign dishes we have in this country.

    1. Did you ever wonder about the girls that serve at these restaurants. There are at least ten that work at the Great Wall. Are they here on work visas? Do they live in group housings? How are they paid, treated etc?

    2. Never once seen a fortune cookie in Asia. Now, my teelock in Thailand consulted some tea reading hag on a weekly basis.


  3. On the fortune cookies we get, there are allegedly "lucky numbers" on the back. Haven't won the lottery with them yet, though. I'm starting to think it's a con.

  4. My favorite fortune ever read, "Put on your party clothes. Go on. The clean ones." Also liked when my daughter got one saying "You are an honorable man."


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."