Joining Andy Rooney, restaurant critics and weather forecasters, fortune cookie fortune writers have the easiest jobs in the world, in my opinion. I have a proposal, though, to eliminate them and make the cookies even more inexpensively! Articles about the first three can be found by searching my queue here on Associated Content.
The latest in this (so far) short list of ridiculously easy ways to make a living is the person or persons who think up the innocuous but expected one liners we find inside the little folded cookies served with your check at most Chinese restaurants.
I have four here in front of me from a recent take-out order. The ‘fortunes’ include 1) You will make many changes before settling down happily, 2) You will soon be crossing desert sands for a fun vacation, 3) A long lost relative will surface soon to your benefit!, and 4) Your careful nature will bring you financial success. Wow! How did they know all those things about ME ?!
These are what I would call ‘generic’ fortunes. There are lots of varieties of specialized ones that you can find on line or in many food specialty stores. Some are intended for specific professions or social situations. Some are intended to be insulting or even barbaric. Most have, as my four do, six ‘lucky’ numbers printed on the obverse side to help assure your good fortune the next time you decide to drop a few bucks on a painfully low probability lottery ticket. They DO try to think of everything!
Someone actually gets paid to write these little and literal nothings. What a life! Sit around noting one liners that will bring a mild smile to the face and make no indelible impact, whatever, on the mind. It’s just a quick harmless thought for a light desert.
However, I think I have a notion that I am offering here, free, to the fortune cookie manufacturers that will save them a lot of money. I propose randomly generated machine written fortunes. The mechanics would be pretty straight forward.
Take five columns. Each column has four words or phrases. Each random combination (of which there would be a total of 4,096 or 4 to the 5th power) would be a complete and acceptable ‘fortune. As one model, column #1 would contain the words The, Your, Some and A; Column #2 lists Financial, Personal, Relationship and Health; Column #3 has Situation, Future, Plan and Wishes; #4, Will, May, Will Probably and Likely Will and the final (5th) column would contain the final touch of either Come True, Improve, Get A Lot Better and Make You Happy Soon.
A simple slot machine-type device would randomly match one selection from each Column, thereby creating a ‘fortune.’ Any similarity between this idea and ordering in a Chinese restaurant with “One from column #1, One from Column #2, etc.” is entirely and honestly coincidental!
Of course, the initial investment in this simple Fortune Making Machine might not be worth the cost if the labor to continue to do them by hand is cheap enough. If that is the case, then my attempt to elevate and mechanize the process should be quickly ignored and my initial proposition – the nomination of Fortune Cookie Writers as having one of the four easiest jobs in the world stands.