Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Trust That Cookie!

"New and rewarding opportunities will soon develop for you."

That fortune came out of a cookie during a meal at one of our local Chinese buffets. If you haven't yet eaten at a Chinese buffet in rural North Carolina, it's an interesting experience.

As a child in New York, I recall being deathly afraid of the exotic selections served at the Chinese restaurant to which my parents would take us every now and then. It was a special treat for them. It usually turned into a night of "I'm Still Hungry" for me. My solution was to order wonton soup and egg rolls, the Happy Meal of Asian cuisine, then scarf down cookies and ice cream when we got home.

My sons have adopted a similar tactic. Their meal at the Chinese buffet includes wonton soup (broth only), "chicken on a stick," and that classic Chinese dish known to most of us as fried mozzarella sticks. I learned years ago that China is the real birthplace of pasta, but I had no idea Farm Rich was based in Hong Kong.

Anyway, back to the fortune cookie.

I had just launched this blog, and was seriously considering an attempt at writing the novel I had always dreamed of writing, so the fortune seemed timely. For several days, it helped inspire in me the notion of becoming a successful writer, maybe even achieving the ultimate goal of making enough money to be a full-time writer and quit the day job.

Time, however, can be cruel to dreams. As dust settled over the rectangular scrap of paper resting atop the laptop on my desk, it seemed as though I had foolishly allowed myself to be suckered in. No riches presented themselves. No books -- magnificently conceived and self-edited -- came flying from my fingertips. The abominable cookie lied!

Or did it? Maybe I misunderstood.

Yup, I'm pretty sure I did. Search for the verb in the fortune and you'll see what I mean.


New and rewarding opportunities will soon "develop" for you. They won't be handed across like a present, or awarded like a diploma. Just as when you plant a new flowerbed, the development begins the moment the plants are in the ground, but the flowerbed itself doesn't mature for another few years, if ever.

So that's where I am. I'm in the development stage, which began right around the time I ate that cookie. The blog is going strong, the first draft of the novel is nearly complete, and I've been able to experiment with self-publishing thanks to the blog. I'd have to say things are developing nicely.

Pretty smart cookie!

© 2011 Mark Feggeler


  1. Smart cookie indeed!

    My father, upon opening every fortune cookie he comes across, frowns in concentration and pretends to read: Help. I'm Being Held Captive in a Chinese Bakery.


  2. Ah, the classic jokes are the best, no matter how many times we here them, over and over again, regardless of how funny they are!

  3. I am going to become a new follower. I figure, if you're Pearl-worthy, that makes you worthy indeed!

    I read some of your older posts. The one about your daughter's unplanned anatomy lesson was hilarious.

  4. Always nice to know I'm Pearl-worthy. And thanks for the compliment! Welcome to the palest team on the planet!