I was driving down the 110 north of downtown. This nine-mile stretch of asphalt happens to be the world’s first freeway; so not only is it as twisted as Dee Snyder, it also doesn’t bank too much around the curves.
A woman driving in front of me in a Corolla overcompensated around one of those curves and her front tire clipped the center divider. This caused her car to do 360’s all the way across the freeway, where her car smashed into a wall on the right side and bounced right back in front of me. As I slammed the brakes and looked behind me to make see if I was going to get rear-ended, I thought about that fortune cookie.
About every week I do takeout at this Chinese joint. The kung pao chicken’s above average, but it’s the fortune cookies I look forward to. Not just because they usually give me optimistic future forecasts in terms of my personal life, career path and genital well-being; but also because they always seem to strike that Asian part of me that’s superstitious.
For instance, a week after the lucky, lucky-ass Patriots beat the Steelers in the AFC championship game, the fortune cookie told me, "A past misfortune will bring you good luck." Based on that fortune I bet on the Patriots in the Super Bowl, even though they were14-point underdogs. And wouldn’t you know it, the bastards actually won.
Last Thursday, however, I got a fortune that sounded a bit ominous: "You will have a close encounter, of a serious kind." I looked up and shook my fist and the Fortune Cookie God.
ME: Why? Why this? I thought I was your favorite.
COOKIE GOD: All these years I’ve been giving you great fortunes, and you never eat the damn cookie. You just read the fortune and toss the sweet, crunchy goodness aside like trash. Well now I’m teaching you a lesson, fortune cookie-style!
ME: I’ll eat the cookies from now on. Just let this bad fortune slide why don’t you?
COOKIE GOD: Ah stop whining like a bitch and eat your kung pao, fool!
That weekend, I had three near-collisions while driving. Granted it may be sheer coincidence, my sudden lack of driving skills, a case of self-fulfilling prophesy, or all of the above. But on Monday morning, when that Corolla pinballed back and forth across the lanes directly in front of me, I have to admit I was spooked.
At the end of the day, as soon as I got out of the office, I drove straight to the Chinese restaurant and picked up my order. Once I was home, I tore open the cookie and read the fortune.
"Happiness is where you find it."
For once it was a lame fortune, but my superstitious ass couldn't have been happier.