One of the best things about going to a Chinese restaurant even if the food is overcooked and writhing in monosodium glutamate is the fortune cookies.  They usually come bunched together on a tiny plastic tray with the bill.  I always wave my hand over them, hoping I can feel the energy of the fortune that is meant specifically for me.  I take my fortunes seriously.  I find them in pockets of various coats I’ve worn, in slacks that have gone through the wash, and in the bottom of my handbags.  Recently, I taped this one to the top of my Kitchen Aid:  “Your dearest wish will come true.” 

What irritates me is when I receive a fortune that is not a fortune but a statement of fact, such as, “You are not a person who can be ignored,” or “A kind word will keep someone warm for years.”

Tell me something I don’t know.

Years ago, Tom, Ed and I came up with an idea for unfortunate fortunes: dark fortunes, ominous fortunes, wrapped in dark chocolate cookie dough.  We were punch drunk at the time.  I wrote them down in frantic enthusiasm, three pages full.

I kept the list around for a while, and then we moved, and moved again, and still again.  I lost the list.  We tried reconstructing it later, but failed.  Last night, I sifted through a box removed from the garage, marked “Louise’s files” and found the list folded twice like a note in third grade.  Here is just a smattering of dark fortunes:

  • You will lose a nipple in a freak accident in a shoe store.
  • Some day you will live in Mississippi.
  • Toe fungus is in your future.
  • Watch out for your toaster.
  • Your doctor is lying.  There is no cure.
  • Don’t worry; you don’t need your thumbs anyway.
  • You have no lucky numbers.
  • You’re going to need braces again.
  • Make sure you’re buried with a flashlight in the casket.
  • Blood in your stools on Friday.
  • Better take baby steps this week.
  • Your father isn’t your father.
  • Don’t open your door to anyone the last week of this month.
  • All your children will look like Yogi Berra.
  • Don’t bother counting your lucky stars.
  • Dead man walking.
  • You ARE the tooth fairy.
  • Walk with a limp on Monday.
  • Kiss all the princes you want, you’ll still be a frog.
  • Go ahead—step on that crack!

Add your own dark fortune, if you like.