Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cookie closure

Quoth the fourth and final fortune cookie: "No one conquers who doesn't fight."

Certainly true, and likely good advice, but a fortune? Mmm... no. It may imply a choice implicit in one's future (you'll have to fight if you want to win), and it may offer insight into a cruel world (you can't get what you want without a struggle), but strictly speaking it is not a fortune.

I assume fortune cookies used to give out fortunes, but these days they mostly just flatter or pontificate. They either tell you how great you are or offer timeless truisms, dispensing so many pearls of wisdom they should be called oyster cookies.

I have no idea why. Is it lazy writing? A language barrier or cultural divide? Creative desperation at the cookie factory?

In any case, the game is over. Final total: one fortune in four cookies. Despite the admittedly small sample size, a .250 batting average is not too impressive considering that whoever wrote these "fortunes" could have written whatever they wanted. In baseball, there's a pitcher and eight other defenders trying to get you out; in fortune writing you can bat 1.000 if you just keep your eye on the ball. The only limit is your own imagination.

Come on, fortune writers. I know it's tough, but you can do it. No one conquers who doesn't fight.

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