If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away---Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Unfortunate Cookie: cracks me up

Here is part of a humorous book I have been working on and hope to get published in the near future (Any interested publishers out there?):


I love Chinese food. Well, at least the Americanized version. When my family lived in Houston, Texas we made a regular habit of going out to eat with our close friends at a Hunan Chef Chinese restaurant. At the end of a great meal we would always get a fortune cookie, along with orange slices. I would crack open the fortune cookie and read something like, “You will meet a stranger who will change your life.” And I thought, “Yeah, Charles Manson.” I wondered to myself, “Why don’t these fortunes tell it like it really it is?” Or at least how my warped mind sees things.

The fortunes in the Chinese cookies reminded me of the astrology columns in newspapers that only say flattering things about those aligned under a certain constellation of planets. Where were the descriptions of all the jerks, the pain-in-the…necks and lunatics (from lunar, as in “moon madness”) that I ran into on the freeway or saw on the 6 o’clock news? I should expect to read, “Today, as a Taurus, the alignment of Mars with Uranus will cause you to get fired, come home, and kick the cat out the window!” There is a dark side of the earth and the human species. And, as you read these misfortunes, also a dark sense of humor.

So, being the cheerful and optimistic kind of guy that I am, I started to add my own lines at the end of the fortunes that might add a dose of reality, and sick twist, to the fortunes of those fortunate enough to be eating Chinese food with me. Over the years I continued to add my quirky lines to the fortunes after meals with family and friends. Many of these unfortunate fortunes were written after moving to Pennsylvania and finding Tony Wang’s, the best Chinese restaurant in Lancaster.

Finishing the fortunes has become a ritual when eating Chinese…no, not the people! The meal isn’t complete until everyone has given me their fortunes to add my revisionist twist to these all-too-optimistic pieces of wisdom. Even my children have on occasion taken up the practice of “finishing” the fortunes when eating at Tony Wang’s when I’m out of town. Now, some friends know of my weird habit and pass Chinese fortunes on to me.

It’s nice to be optimistic and to look on the sunny side of life. I offer these samples of unfortunate fortunes in various categories as a reality check on overly optimistic fortunes and as a bit of sick humor to those who look at life askew.

Italics- my twisted addition

Looks can be deceiving...
or just butt ugly.

In youth and beauty, wisdom is rare.
No, I meant to say, in you beauty and wisdom are rare.

Many admire your social and physical appearance.
Particularly horror film directors.

The face of nature reflects all of life’s ups and downs.
Your face reflects life’s cruelty.

Nuts anyone?

You are going to have a very comfortable retirement.
In a padded cell.

Your success will astonish everyone.
You will break loose from your strait jacket.

Blood is thicker than catsup

A well-aimed spear is worth three.
A well-aimed shot gun is worth a son-in-law.

Put some old business behind you today.
Go out and get a young man.

Wanted: Village idiot

Learn to be flexible and amazing opportunities reveal themselves.
WANTED: Contortionist for the Barnum and Bailey circus!

You are talented in many ways.
Just not in the ones that pay the rent.

Good bakers always make plenty of dough.
Firefighters always kick lots of ash.

I think therefore I is

Our first love and our last love is…Self-love
Said Narcissus to his reflection.

There is no security in life, only opportunity.
Yeah, opportunity to feel more insecure.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
To get your name on the will.

Actions speak louder than stupidity

Do you know that the busiest person has the largest amount of time?
You have so little time you can’t put down the chips and turn off the TV.

Your good deeds are never forgotten.
On the other hand, you are.

Anything worth doing can be done.
Some other day.

Character Floss

It is not your character to give up.
It is your character to give in.

It is hard for an empty bag to stand up right.
Especially when she’s drunk.

Helping a friend is like helping yourself.
Especially when you are helping yourself to what is your friend’s.

One who admires you greatly is hidden from your eyes.
Charles Manson.

A word to the not-so-wise

Physician heals, nature makes well.
Doctor sends bill.

When you speak honestly and openly, others truly listen to you.
What did you say?

Compromise is always wrong if it means sacrificing a principle.
Or a goat.

The future is behind us

You will have a close encounter of a surprising kind.
E.T. with an attitude.

You will meet a short, dark stranger
Gary Coleman.

Pleasures await you by the seashore.
And crabs.

Folks...I got a million of 'em...hot..cha...cha!

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