Fortune Cookies No Longer What They Are Cracked Up to Be

A Recent, Mostly Lackluster Collection

Is it just me or were fortune cookies once upon a time more interesting, more likely to cause a reaction or elicit an, “oooh?” These days the ones I open seem to be more little affirmations, or positive-thinking slogans, not that I have anything against the power of positive thinking unless of course, it means unrealistic thinking, and I suppose that touches on a different and debatable topic. I only wish to point out that fortune cookies used to be more intriguing, mysterious, and fun. Maybe I’ve just finally grown up, but I don’t look forward to opening them anymore.

On the left is a grouping from our last order (we must have gotten a lot of food). The first one seems to have a bit of the old mystery about it; the last one is a Yoda quote, but the ones in between? Eh. Nice thoughts, but there is no gut punch to them. Does that make any sense? Do I really want my fortune cookies to be tiny Chinese poems? Maybe I do. Maybe I do.

I suppose you can still add the words “in bed” at the end of them, particularly the Yoda quote.

Here is an old poem of mine that came about as a series of reactions to a collection of more interesting cookie fortunes:

The Cynic and the Fortune Cookie


From listening comes wisdom. 
From speaking comes repentance-- 
   So shut up and hear
   what I'm saying.

Keep true to the dreams of youth. 
Plan for pleasures ahead. 
   But be ready for pain; 
   you'll be disillusioned soon enough. 

Small steps you take 
will ultimately bring you fortune—
   or disaster. 


Enthusiasm will bring promotion 
when you least expect it—
   but too much passion 
   will bring suspicion. 

Your ideals are within your reach. 
All your hard work will soon pay off— 
   for someone else who will get the credit 
   while you stand accused 
   of being an idealistic dreamer.

Honesty and integrity are two 
of your best attributes. 
   Too bad they're so impractical. 


Time and Patience are called for; 
many surprises await you, 
   but hesitate and you'll fail. 

You are well liked and much-loved. 
Someone is speaking well of you, 
   but don't turn around just now. 

Your luck has entirely changed today—
   and you thought it was bad before.

Good luck will bestow upon you. 
   Hopefully. Someday. 

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh, this was great! Love how you twisted them into something darker and much more real.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you! I didn’t realize that there were a couple of lines that were not quite right. I must have a later edited draft of this somewhere. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂


  2. I decided to peek in on WordPress and your post was first in my reader. My instant thought was, “Oh, no! Yoda is being held captive in a fortune cookie factory!”


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Afraid he is not! 🙂


  3. slpmartin says:

    Just love what you added to the fortune cookies….made them far more interesting…bravo!


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thanks! I think one or two lines need tweaking, but didn’t realize I had posted an earlier version until now. lol So where the heck is my editor? 🙂


  4. Sharon says:

    I don’t know, the universe is guiding you? That seems a little mysterious to me. I get what you’re saying, though, and I’m on board. Nice poem, too.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, Sharon! So nice to meet you. I think the universe is a cunning trickster. 🙂


    2. Sharon says:

      Haha, it is! So nice to meet you too. 🙂


  5. mixedupmeme says:

    I haven’t dined at a place where fortune cookies were given since I was single. Then it was with a bunch of girl friends. And we squealed and giggled with little knowing smiles at the fortunes we got and said, “Naughty, Naughty”.

    Those were the fortunes of the good old days.


  6. Jane says:

    I so enjoyed this poem. Maybe it’s the cynic in me but I love the angel and devil motif.


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, Jane. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right. It is sort of a twist on the good angel/ bad angel on each shoulder. Thanks for the insight!


  7. poetrycurator says:

    I love it! Great poem! Fortunes never sounded so good!


    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, PC! I appreciate those words very much.


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