Comments: O, I am fortune's fool

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/06/050606ta_talk_olshan

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Posted by gotcha at February 13, 2008 02:23 AM

For those who go to Chinese restaurants with children along, may I suggest the Boynton Variation? Instead of "in bed", add "but not the hippopotamus" to the fortune, making your combined fortunes, "it is better to have a hen today than an egg tomorrow, but not the hippopotamus." A six-year-old, however, may well prefer to have a hippo today than an egg tomorrow.

Thanks,
-V.

Posted by Vardibidian at February 13, 2008 07:54 AM

The last time I went out for Chinese, the vocab word on the back of the fortune was correct pinyin with tonal markings. Not that most people can read pinyin.

Posted by Marc Moskowitz at February 13, 2008 03:31 PM

It's not bad if you bend the rules and allow infixing of the "in bed". Surely it is better to have a hen in bed tomorrow than an egg in bed today.

Posted by Rubrick at February 13, 2008 03:50 PM

If someone can read pinyin, the odds are probably good that they don't need the vocabulary lesson.

Posted by Francis at February 13, 2008 03:51 PM

This reminds me of a Gary Shandling stand-up comedy bit I saw several eternities ago. As the story went, he was trying to impress a girl over dinner, and in the process had angered his waiter in a Chinese restaurant.

When the fortune cookies came, he opened his and it read " I peed in your hot and sour soup."

And, he then deadpanned, "...it was written in pencil!"

Ouch.

Posted by Peyton at February 13, 2008 07:57 PM

Once I got a fortune that said "A gambler loses not only what he has, but also what he does not have. Lucky Numbers: 6,17,42. . . "

Posted by Eileen at February 13, 2008 08:46 PM

that's great. i got one recently that said something like: "always listen to your mother, she knows best." since my mother is no longer on planet earth, i was a little taken aback. MESSAGE FROM THE GRAVE, MOM?

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