Cookie fortunes can crumble

I have always been fascinated by fortune cookies. More specifically, the printed pieces of paper they contain. Most are useless, arbitrary and meaningless.

Someone left a huge box of the treats in the teacher workroom and lunch?room recently. We all had a good time checking out the words of wisdom they contain. Too late, I thought about keeping all of them and sifting through the many messages to see if they contained any sage advice or uplifting comments. But not to worry. All a person has to do is Google ?fortune cookie messages? to find a plethora of papers to peruse.

All this thinking about fortunes led me to wonder how history might have been affected had certain people heeded the advice on those slips of paper at just the critical time. Perhaps, all someone needed was a little boost.

For example, the Puritan captains who brought colonists over could have opened a Chinese confection to find the following: ?There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.? Or, perhaps, Donald Trump might have read this: ?Every person is the creation of himself, the image of his own thinking and believing.?

Jacques Cousteau might have followed up a meal with this tidbit: ?How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges??

Sir Edmund Hillary may have read this in a restaurant in Nepal: ?Soon you will be sitting on top of the world.?

As a boy, Steven Hawking could have read: ?When it goes dark enough, you can see the stars.?

Albert Einstein might well have enjoyed a Chinese meal and read: ?You have both a lot of ideas and the energy to put them into action. Put enough energy into a bomb, and it goes nuclear.?

Then again, some famous historical figures might have taken some bad advice to heart. Julius Caesar may have read: ?You will always be surrounded by those who love you.? I can hear the conversation now.

Brutus: ?How many of those fortune cookies did you consume, Julius??

Caesar: ?Et two, Brute.?

Adolph Hitler may have been advised as follows: ?Pursue your wishes aggressively.? Rather, he should have heeded this message: ?When in anger, sing the alphabet.?

Luckily, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not follow this piece of advice, or Sherlock Holmes might never have been born: ?Life is not a mystery to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.?

Of course, lots of messages a person can find on the Internet are probably fake. But they are funny. Here are a few of my favorites.

?An alien of some sort will be appearing to you shortly.?

?A foolish man listens to his heart. A wise man listens to his cookies.?

?You will read this and say, ?Geez! I could come up with a better fortune than that.??

?Wrong cookie. Try again.?

?You will be hungry again in 10 minutes.?

?Marriage lets you annoy one special person for the rest of your life.?

?If you don?t like the fortune, don?t eat the cookie.?


?About time I got out of that cookie.?

?Ignore previous cookie.?

?If you think we?re going to sum up your whole life on this little bit of paper, you?re crazy.?

?Borrow money from pessimists; they don?t expect you to pay them back.?

?You are about to become $8.95 poorer, plus tip.?

?You will contract food poisoning in the next five hours.?

?Wouldn?t it be ironic if you died in the living room??

?Help! I?m being held captive in a fortune cookie factory.?

?You are about to finish reading a fortune cookie?.?

And this column.

Bob Woelk teaches English and journalism at Hillsboro Middle/High School. He can be reached at

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