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

13 comments on “An Open Letter to Chinese Restaurants That Serve Fortune Cookies

  1. Could not disagree more. I love the flavor and the crispiness. It is a great way to end a meal. I have even had Fortune Cookie ice cream that was wonderful.

  2. Fortune cookies always tell me what I want to hear. “You are a friend to many” (in bed); “Many exciting adventures await you” (in bed); “You will find a treasure beyond your wildest dream” (in bed); “You are a born leader” (yep, in bed.) What’s not to love?

  3. I’d much rather have a mint. Better for both your digestion and breath.

    Maybe if they did mint flavored……………Nah.

  4. The cookies are more for American tastes. They seem to like it. Also, mints are actually bad for your digestion if you have acid reflux and the sugar in the mint will cause bacteria which will then cause bad breath.

  5. Don’t freaking eat them then you whiner. Blah blah blah. American food sucks, American corporations suck. We get it. You are much superior to us.

  6. One time I bought a giant box, 350 count, of fortune cookies at Restaurant Depot. For myself. That’s how much I like the butt shaped sandpaper.

  7. They do have lucky lottery numbers. I know a fellow who years ago had his own cookies and fortunes manufactured. The fortunes were his attempt to simulate an endearing kismet with his dates.

  8. Dear Carol: MYOB. Signed pretty much everybody else who ever gets a fortune cookie. Nah, they’re not remotely Chinese. So?

    Y’know what’s good? Using them as scoops for vanilla ice cream.

  9. OMG! Get over yourself! Have you ever thought that maybe there is something wrong with the way you are looking at things? That article sounded like it was written by the playground bully! Remember what your Mom always told you, if don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And by the way, I’m indifferent to fortune cookies. But my kids love them. They are a fun way to teach two kids to share … because they break into two pieces so easily. How’s that for another way to view them? :)