Oh Cool, My Fortune Is….Wait, What?
With Thai Basil Tofu, potstickers and spicy eggplant simmering in my tum, I excitedly reached for my fortune cookie, ready to crack it open and read my fate.
I have a mild obsession with fortune cookies and the wise and occasionally silly words inside. I have several of the small slips of paper tucked into my wallet. A few are taped to my work monitor. Some just drift around in my writing workspace like tumbleweeds of clever words intended to poke and prod at my mind.
So it was on this day, celebrating the birth of the kind and patient woman who gave birth to The Good Man, that I cracked open a fortune cookie and found…
“A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.”
Okay, okay, now wait just a second here. This is not fortune. This is propaganda.
Believe you me I’ve never, not once, rejoiced in a parking ticket. And living where I do, parking tickets are something that find their way into my life more often than I appreciate.
One short Google search later I discovered this happens to be a quote attributed to a man named Bill Vaughan.
Fine, okay. Who in the hell is this Bill Vaughan?
According to Wikipedia, he’s an American columnist who wrote a syndicated column for the Kansas City Star from 1946 to 1977.
We break here for the requisite Roger Miller sing along.
I drive a big old Cadillac with wire wheels, got rhinestones on the spokes
I got credit down at the grocery store
And my barber tells me jokes
I’m the number one attraction every supermarket parkin’ lot
I’m the king of Kansas City, no thanks, Omaha, thanks a lot
Kansas City star, that’s what I are
Yodel-deedle ay-hee, you oughta see my car
Aaaaand we’re back.
So I read the rest of the Wikipedia page trying to understand if this Vaughan guy is a communist or what. Because that quote, ooh damn. That runs a bit into a political spectrum that I’m not sure I run toward.
Turns out Mr. Bill Vaughan was sort of a quippy guy. Here’s some others attributed to him:
“A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.”
“Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”
“The groundhog is like most prophets; it delivers its prediction then disappears.”
“If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.”
Ok, I might be warming up to this guy. Still not sure what he’s doing in my fortune cookie, though.
Maybe the business of fortune cookies has gone from slight puns and fake Confucius quotes to smart, scholarly, and thoughtful fortunes.
To that I say: Harumph
I may be a bit a traditionalist when it comes to the fortune cookie. I guess I’ll just have to keep going to the kind of restaurants where they can be found in order to do additional (delicious) research.
While we’re on the topic, here’s one of my all time favorite fortune cookies. I got it almost a decade ago but it still rings true:
Birds are entangled by their feet and men by their tongues
Now that one is a thinker! And a little more fortune cookie-eque. With all due respect to Mr. Bill Vaughan.
Both cookie fortune photos ©2016 Karen Fayeth. Taken with an iPhone6, questionable light, questionable photographer and a song in my heart. Subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page.