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Thursday, June 30, 2011

How the Fortune Cookie Crumbles

Today for lunch I, against my will, ended up at the Chinese buffet. I despise a buffet, with all those bodies jostling for food with heat-lamp skim over the top. Total strangers touching serving spoons and ducking below the sneeze guard glass to get a better breath on what they're scooping in large portions onto their plates. Restaurant workers assigned to scrape the last gooey dregs of emperor's surprise from a metal server and slap the spoonful into a freshly prepared replacement tray, ruining the triumph of getting to it first.

And that only touches the surface of how I truly feel about buffets.

But at least at the Chinese buffet, the ordeal ends with the suspense and adventure of a fortune cookie. The waitress put a handful of five in the center of our table. I have this belief that fate guides my choice of which cookie to open. So I usually look at the pile of cookies trying to listen to my gut tell me which one is meant to be mine. Today, my gut was bound up in unspeakable gastric processes and was slow to pull the trigger. I ended up with the cookie no one else chose. That's fate at work too I suppose.

I cracked the hard shell of cookie to reveal the white slip of paper within. Placing the shards aside - I don't eat those, but won't bore you with the long explanation of that - I spread the paper in my fingertips. Lottery numbers and a Spanish translation of my fortune. Hmp.

I turned it over to read the other side. It said, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

What? That's it? Fate delivers this to me? I don't need to go to a Chinese restaurant for this, I think. Then it hits me, holy crap! My mother is writing fortune cookies now.

I tore off a piece of my napkin in a small rectangle and wrote on it, then slid it amongst the cookie pieces. It said, "Please tell my mother I want a fortune, not advice."

14 comments:

Carrie said...

That's pretty funny. Fortune cookies are one of the perks of the Chinese buffet.
I don't like buffet's either. I can't eat at them. There is one Thai Buffet that I do eat at because I like the cashew chicken they serve and also for the fortune cookie and it is a small, less busy place so I feel like the germ factor is lower.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

You're not alone I am not a lover of buffets, It;s lovely to be waited on at a table. Enjoyed the read.

Have a good day.
Yvonne.

William Kendall said...

"Trust not the sneaky politico with the strange haircut."

Lisa said...

I think my my is sitting somewhere in a room with your mom writing those fortunes...;)

Norma Beishir said...

I love fortune cookies! I once got one that had a blank slip of paper inside. I wondered if that meant I had no future; my editor suggested it meant I could write my own.

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Lucy, you so funny!

The Write Soil

Susan Kane said...

Good thoughts, great times. Hate buffets, and Chinese buffets make me gag. Tell your mom "HI!".

Crystal Pistol said...

Very clever, Lucy. As ever.

I, however, must admit I enjoy a gooey buffet. It's especially convenient with small picky children. There is always something for everyone. I like the noodles and fried thingies with cream cheese inside.

Carol Kohl said...

I'm still laughing! ...the part about your gut slowing you down. I'm glad I found your blog! I need a laugh everyday...

http://www.adventureindementia.blogspot.com

shelly said...

You make me laugh.

William Kendall said...

I'm not one for buffets either, for the same reasons as you...

I do like chinese food, particularly egg rolls and chicken balls, that sort of thing. Better to have it in a restaurant that doesn't set itself up like a trough.

SouthMainMuse said...

Okay -- I try not to think at all if I'm eating from a buffet. My weird thing with fortune cookies is I save all the ones I like in a cup on the microwave. When I get down, I stand there and read them. I feel so much better because a slip of paper I've read a million times said everything is going to be okay.

Brianna said...

I share the same dread of buffets!
This was very amusing! I have to agree with Dawn, Lucy! You are too funny!

RJR said...

Interesting take on the Chinese buffet experience ! It must be the same the world over as I can relate as a native of England. !!


RJR daydreamer

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