How many times has this happened to you? You just finished stuffing your eating hole with sodium-filled Chinese food, when the waitress delivers your bill complete with a psychic-powered cookie. You break it open, toss the cardboard cookie to the side and read, “People appreciate your fun-loving personality.”
If your blood wasn’t now moving at glacial speed, it would boil as you scream, “This cookie is a fucking fake! Why, it’s no fortune at all. It’s a mere statement. A statement! If there’s any justice in the world, everyone working at this buffet will be thrown in jail and forgotten about until the sky fills with fire and magic is real!” Unfortunately for your pancreas, you’ve consumed a weekend’s worth of calories in thirty minutes. So you grunt, loosen your belt, and grab a toothpick on your way out the door.
With the power of mathematics, I’ve taken it upon myself to expose fortune cookie manufacturers’ evil plot to cheat us and find out some neat-o facts along the way.
My friends and I risked our waistlines to collect hundreds of fortunes in the name of statistical accuracy. Next I read them all, placed them in various categories, played Angry Birds to fight off the monotony, and made use of my expensive math degree by taking averages.
FORTUNE VS. STATEMENT
Nerds and Nerdettes, we all have been fed cookies wrapped around lies. Lazy bums sitting at typewriters in sweatshops have tricked us in to believing fate-filled cookies control our lives. However, 70% of fortunes are nothing more than bland, catch-all statements that tell us nothing about our future! How dare you, Chinese confections. When I open these cookies, I expect the comfort of knowing I’ll be a happily married rich man, having grapes lowered into my mouth by models and MIT-designed robots. I do NOT care if someone is speaking well of me. It’s probably just my mother talking to her sister anyway.
THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE TEST
You are a person of imaginative, yet honest intentions…in bed. Cue the laugh track!
It is widely assumed adding “in bed” to the end of a fortune is as hilarious as a giddy goose. Truth is 88.33% of fortunes are enhanced by shameless sexual humor. The remaining 11.67% sound like a homeless man on Hollywood Boulevard minus the impromptu audition for the screenplay you aren’t writing.
Confucius wannabes, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You are paid, full-time writers. 3.33% of your words of wisdom came in the form of sentence fragments. It may be a low number, but I demand professionalism, dammit. I don’t appreciate being assumed as the subject of a sentence. I’m at least worth a pronoun.
You should be able to make money and hold onto it. Weeeeee! I’m gonna be rich.
Wait a second. Should be? “Should be” does not indicate my destiny. In fact, you’re talking down to me. Who are you to ridicule me for using my hard earned paychecks to repurchase Resident Evil 4 on multiple systems and not buy stock with limit buys? It may not read, “Bad luck and (extreme) misfortune will infest your pathetic soul for all eternity,” but it’s still a dick move. I am a paying customer. Treat me with respect. 6.67% of fortunes belittled me. Your condescending attitude has no place here.
So there you have it. Cover blown, fortune cookie industry. All we want are fake fortunes. It’s not like we’re looking for the meaning of life. Oh. One more thing. Would it kill you to give me the lucky numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42?
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Image: Doug Belshaw/Flickr