No Fortunate Son

May 17, 2010

Director, Quality Control
Dah Sing Noodle Company
5430 E Ponce De Leon Ave
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Dear Sir or Madam,

I wish to lodge a complaint in regards to a recent encounter with one of your products.

Outwardly, I could ask no more of an after dinner snack. The sugary shell, with its hint of lemon, possessed the perfect mix of crunch and compromise. The inevitable crumble moment was delayed until the cookie had made its way to my taste buds, rather than shattering when snapped to liberate the ribbon of wisdom inside.

Which brings me to my grievance: My fortune cookie was empty.

When I glimpsed no white paper corner through the crevice, I told myself that the fortune must have shifted and was lodged inside one of the hemispheres. I slowly cracked the cookie down the middle, only to find emptiness where there had once been promise.

I am certain I felt a hiccup in time and space when I realized the gravity of the moment. In all my years of dining at various establishments that offer such post meal meditations, I have never encountered a fortune cookie with no fortune. So reliable are these crisp capsules of insight that I’ve come to think of them as pieces of a fragmented life map.

“You will travel to faraway places.”

I went to Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia.

“Now is a good time to make a new friend.”

I asked my waitress out for drinks. And she went!

So, you can imagine my distress at finding no words of guidance. What did it mean? Had someone meticulously shimmied the fortune out of the cookie before it got to me? No, that didn’t make sense; it was sealed in plastic. Was the supply of fortunes being depleted? Could the world be on a fast track to delicious dessert wafers with no higher purpose? Was the lack of a message actually the message?

As you can see, this experience has been a great source of anxiety. While I hold out little hope for true resolve, I would ask that you do me the flavor, eh… favor of looking around your building for a rogue slip of paper. Perhaps it blew from whatever spot fortune meets cookie to a corner or beneath a table. It could be lodged in a printer or some other piece of equipment. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it lost somewhere with its silent words waiting to be spoken under the nervous breath of a diner whose cookie came up empty.


Chance Chambers


  1. Chance!
    What a marvelous posting! In my world, You have just experienced a “Momentous Mobius Moment”… i think Your kind and gentle fondness for the very existence of the Fortune Cookie, Your pleasant musings over the years at the special moments brought to You by this ocasionally perplexing doughy semi-director have opened an oriental portal for You into a place insight that few (if any) others have ever visited.
    i wonder if my portal leads to just next door……..c

  2. That’s funny. I got two fortunes in one cookie the other day. One said, “Now is the right time for procrastination.” The other said, “Mum’s the word.”

    Any idea which one is yours?

  3. Okay. Where do I sign up? I’m officially a fan. Really. Where do I sign up to get this delicious blog? I don’t want to miss a single post! Yes, it’s just at the bottom of this page…awesome!

    All things fortune cookie come to mind with this. I created fortunes by buying several fortune cookies, removing and writing my own fortunes for this guy I LOVED (in grad school). Over the course of about two weeks, the fortunes provided little clues to the mystery of his secret admirer’s identity. He finally figured it out and was quite pleased. We even had a fiery hot romance.

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