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Your fortunes may improve .

Janet Urquhart

In my next life, I want to compose prose that everybody reads.

I think I’ve finally settled on a medium to reach the masses – the one place in which the written word is never ignored, no matter how worthless the reading material proves to be.

That’s right, I want to write the fortunes inside fortune cookies. Frankly, I think I can do a better job than whoever is writing them now. Sometimes they’re not even fortunes, they’re just lame observations. Example: “You make friends easily.”

Wouldn’t you rather crack open your cookie and get a heads-up: “You’re headed for a breakdown.” Who knows if that means your car’s about to go on the fritz or your mental state is about to deteriorate, but at least you’ve got a clue. If the cookie’s a crock and nothing breaks down, hey, all the better. If something does happen, don’t say you weren’t warned.

This week, a friend of mine opened a cookie to find this fortune: “You are admired for your adventurous ways,” sending me into yet another rant about unchecked mediocrity in the fortune cookie business.

Then she told me something that made my day. In fact, it was the most brilliant suggestion I’ve heard in some time.

“Just add ‘in bed,’ ” she advised.

“What?” I muttered.

No matter what the fortune inside the cookie, adding the words “in bed” to the end of it invariably improves the message.

Needless to say, I was a bit incredulous, though the strategy certainly spiced up the rather inane observation she received from the Peking Noodle Co.

Not one to shirk when it comes to scholarly research on a matter of literary import, I went to City Market and bought two boxes of fortune cookies, intent on testing this theory.

I am pleased to report, following a statistically significant sampling of cookies, that it works. What follows are actual fortunes pulled from crumbled cookies. You can add the “in bed” part.

– The gift of happiness is yours to give or receive.

– Patience will overcome adversity.

– Put your heart in it, you can’t miss.

– Go to the elders when you feel a confidence crisis.

– Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.

– A small incident will shortly develop to your advantage.

– You are on the right course. Follow through.

– Your kindness to another will not be forgotten.

– Desire for success will be achieved through effort.

– The near future holds change for the better.

– The world is always ready to receive talent.

– Take advantage of information given you.

– You have much to offer.

– You’ll find a successful career path.

Needless to say, I’m feeling much better, despite the bloating from all those cookies.

Janet Urquhart’s fortune might read: “You find yourself alone.” Her column appears on Fridays.


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