Thursday, April 02, 2009
That's the way the cookie crumbles
Eventually the day came to an end and at around 10:30pm, David, Tim (the guy from Science North) and I ended up at a chinese restaurant near Broadview and Gerrard. It was there that I got this message from the post meal fortune cookie.
While it's message is simple, it's also true. It's a step up from the fortune cookie message that reads "You like chinese food." Who was writing the fortune cookie text at that point?
I could just see some fortune cookie master sitting at the top of a hill writing profound sayings while stroking his silver white beard and then handing the stack of papers to the student to take down the mountain to the fortune cookie press. Of course, on the way down some of the papers get blown away by a gust of wind and the student has to replace some so the note count is retained. "You like chinese food" is born.
Not too profound and not too much of a stretch. It's a safe statement. Chances are you did eat some chinese food before getting the cookie and even if you didn't like all the food there's a good chance you might have liked some of it.
It's not like the message said "You will have a happy love life", a message that takes some risk just by stating that. The writer's neck is on the line on this one. At the same time it's not like the writers have people coming back to them if things don't work out. They could say pretty much anything they want (within reason) and the reader would be sucked into the all encompassing fortune cookie magic.
A message that read "You will meet a beautiful woman who will greet you next tuesday with the memorization of all 79 original Star Trek episode scripts" would raise suspicion. Who do these writers think they are? I'm not that stupid to believe that. Ambiguity, much like in astrology, helps a lot in the credibility department. "You will meet a person in the future." is totally believable.
If it were up to my cousin Bryce (when in 3rd grade) the cookie would read "You will fall into a hole.". Perhaps it's just as well the cookie says something simple and good as opposed to something bad. No one wants to read "You will slip on a banana peel" or "This cookie will self-destruct in 30 seconds taking you and everyone in the restaurant with it".
Be thankful for the fortune cookie writer that writes those little notes and the power they wield.