Ask Dr. What Ho!: How accurate are fortune cookies?

Dear Dr. What Ho!,

I recently went out to dinner at this Chinese place, where I opened a fortune cookie which said the following-

“This year, you will be promoted because of your hard work and accomplishments.”

My annual review comes up in two weeks. Should I submit the fortune cookie message during the review in support of my demand for a raise and a promotion?

PS: I haven’t done any work over the last year. And neither do I have any accomplishments to speak of.

Yours truly,

Sushil Shinde.

*****

Dear Sushil,

The Chinese have been right about a number of things over thousands of years. Unfortunately, their fortune cookies which contain pearls of prognosis are not always accurate or trustworthy. Consider the following message I once got, much like you, at a reputable Chinese establishment.

“Your purse may be emptied, but your heart will be filled.”

Now tell me, what do the following have in common: Three sets of pillow covers+fitted sheets, half a dozen potted plants, a box of scented candles and a statuette of ambiguous gender which also doubles as a scented candle holder.

They will all appear as charges on your credit card after your missus has been out shopping, and will add up to thousands of rupees in (in my mind) needless emptying of the purse. This fortune cookie message clearly didn’t specify what my heart was going to be filled with.

As I said, deciphering fortune cookie messages can be fraught with peril and uncertainty. If you have accomplished as little as you have candidly confessed, I’m afraid that no amount of ancient wisdom can come between you and your imminent sacking which I foresee. You should perhaps cherish the days that remain on your job. Your days are numbered, my friend.

Best Regards,

Dr. What Ho!

  • Jas

    You are awesome dr whatho :) I will also get my fortune cookie problems to you

    • http://whatho.in What Ho!

      Thanks Jas.. ahem.. fees apply after the first three interpretations :)

  • http://tillingtheearthwoman.blogpost.com bhavana

    Hahahaha…brilliant piece.
    In btw fortune cookies is not part of chinese culture. In fact the messages are the aspirations of Chinese immigrants in United States and represent their dreams and fears and their insecurities. Ithas a heavy dose of American culture and dreams too.My friend Yoshitaka Miike had conducted research on this: http://www.improbable.com/2010/11/26/fortune-cookie-discourse/
    Enjoy, Dr. Whatho!

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