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An Open Letter to Chinese Restaurants That Serve Fortune Cookies

Dear every Chinese restaurant that serves those crunchy fortune cookies at the end of a meal,

I know you are just trying to be nice. It’s sweet of you, really, to leave us with dessert that comes with the paycheck – for free! I love free gifts as much as you love serving General Tso’s chicken and broccoli beef stir-fry. I’ll bite my tongue when it comes to your cheap, white-powdered chopsticks that break into lopsided halves, and the overabundant red lanterns hanging from your ceilings that scream CHINESE, but I gotta draw the line at fortune cookies.

First of all, the fortunes inside the fortune cookie suck.¬†I might as well go to a five-year-old and ask her what my life is going to look like in ten years. Maybe she’ll tell me something less vague than “You will take a ¬†pleasant journey to a place far away.” And why would I want a stupid cookie telling me “Practice makes perfect” when parents and teachers have drilled those words into my noggin’ more than enough times? Thanks. Thanks for reminding me of all those days I sat inside, withering away in front of my baby grand piano, while all the lucky children got to play outside.

As for all the Dove chocolatey-messages those fortunes have now, heck to the no. I don’t need no ego-boosting slip of paper telling me I have a magnetic personality. Have you seen my personality? Uh, yeah. Maybe you should start running in the opposite direction.

Then there’s the issue with the cookie. It’s horrible. It’s way too crunchy. It’s like eating butt-shaped sandpaper, for goodness sakes. You’re lucky I still have all my teeth. If I were a granny with not-so-healthy gums, I’d curse the fortune cookie company to Kingdom Come and back.

So, why, Chinese restaurants, do you end a perfectly fine meal with a terrible dessert? (If you can even call it ‘dessert.’) Fortune cookies are not even environmentally friendly. One day, future generations will dig for artifacts in our dumps and find plastic-wrapped shriveled pieces of fortune cookies. Historians will ponder and write essays on why people in the past ate the junk that they did, like these cookies. It will all be your fault. Think about it.

—Carol