We all know what’s coming in five days now. Presents, family, friends, good will towards man, and the 24-hour ceaseless replay of the 1983 Christmas classic, A Christmas Story. Now I used to love this movie, honestly. I thought it had some of the greatest depictions of classic Americana of the time period (1950s). Who can forget the countless cultural images that stemmed from that movie. ‘I double dog dare you’, ‘You’ll poke your eye out’, the leg lamp. One of my favorite scenes is at the end where (spoiler alert) after a disastrous run in with neighborhood dogs and their turkey, they go to a local Chinese restaurant for their Christmas party. ‘It was the year we were introduced to Chinese turkey.’
You know what comes at the end of every American Chinese meal, don’t you?
And I want to stress this with utmost importance, that this is strictly a western tradition. You would be hard pressed to find a fortune cookie in China. They originated in California, though its origins are, like many things that have permeated our culture, foggy and disputed. Supposedly they were started in 1918 by Chinese immigrant David Jung at the Hong Kong Noodle Company. The original cookies simply had thank you notes for patrons. The ‘lucky numbers’, ‘learn Chinese’, and more humorous notes were products of time and popularity.
And in case you’re tired of your one friend always making the same old ‘help I’m trapped in a fortune cookie factory’ joke, Wonton Food in Queens set out to make more serious, value-added, and fortune-related sayings.
I’ve even seen some videos on YouTube of people using fortune cookies to propose. I can’t recall the movie, but I do remember there was a comedy where the main guy was planning to propose to his girlfriend at a Chinese restaurant, but the restaurant accidentally gave the proposal cookie to the wrong table!
In case you were ever wondering about what those blue boxes on the corners are for, they are markers for the paper-cutters as to where one fortune ends and another begins. Sometimes though mistakes are made, to great effect.
I hope I am not the only one who likes to play the ‘in bed’ game with fortune cookies too. This is when you try to see who gets the funniest/most inappropriate fortune by adding the phrase ‘in bed’ to the very end. Any winners?
It’s not the catchiest or funniest out there, but my wish for you all is to have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year. May the holiday season bring you fortune, laughter, and love.
Man: 137 Loneliness: 28