Do You Know the Rules for Eating Fortune Cookies? by Author Elaine A. Powers

A recent fortune cookie I consumed had a typographical error. “It’s better to be looked than to be overlooked.”  The correct version of this Mae West quote is, “It’s better to be looked over than to be overlooked.” My mother often said this to me.

Above Photo is courtesy of RODNAE Productions from Pexels

As a writer, this incorrectly written fortune reinforces the need for proofreaders.  The proofreader needs to be someone other than the writer herself.  You just can’t proofread your own material. Not only for cookie fortunes but books, essays and, even blog posts.

To write this blog, I did a search on fortune cookies and discovered that there are rules for eating fortune cookies. Have you been eating the cookie incorrectly, too?  The following  list is from the World of Cookies:

1.) Do not grab the cookie closest to you, but the one furthest away when served by the host or hostess. I was taking the one closest to me.
2.) Pick a cookie that is most closely “pointing” towards you (i.e. , one of the two pointed ends, not the rounded part, that is facing you). I got one right!
3.) If you rip your fortune, it will not come true. I’ve done this, so now I open my cookie carefully.
4.) You have to keep the fortune for it to come true. Yes, my house is littered with little pieces of white paper with fortunes on them. I’m going to base a story on them some day.
5.) You cannot look at all the fortunes first, then claim the best one as your own — or give the worst one to someone else. Of course not!
6.) After reading the fortune, you must not tell anyone your fortune, and then eat your fortune cookie and put paper on fire for it to come true. I always share and insist others do so, too. Oops! I have never, ever been involved in burning them.
7.) If there is no fortune in a fortune cookie, it is a sign that something good will happen to you soon. (Because fortune-cookie-fairy owes you one fortune.) I’m still waiting for my owed fortune.
8.) If you get two fortunes in one cookie, they cancel each other out. The fortune from the next cookie is the one you will receive. So, if I get a double fortune, I’m supposed to get another cookie?  I like that!
9.) If you text your fortune to one person that is very close, the fortune can come true for both you and the person you texted! I apologize to all my friends that I have gypped out of fortunes.  I didn’t know.
10.) In order for fortune to work, you cannot tell anyone what it says. Nope, I have to share. (Could this be why I’m still waiting?)
11.) You can’t look at the fortune until you are done eating the entire cookie. What? Wait–I always eat the first half while reading the fortune, then finish the remaining half.
12.) You have to eat the entire cookie in order for the fortune (that came from the cookie) to come true. Of course!

There you go. You now know how to bring fortune to your side–which the poor guy in my story, How NOT to Photograph a Hummingbird could use. It’s a funny story about how the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert conspire against a would-be photographer. And, there’s a glossary about the desert life in the back of the book. Looking to learn about the desert in a fun way? Check out How NOT to Photograph a Hummingbird.

Colorful book cover illustrated with Anna's Hummingbird in The Sonoran Desert
This colorful picture book for all ages teaches about the Sonoran Desert—with a sense of humor. It pits one bumbling human against the desert as he carelessly attempts to photograph an Anna’s Hummingbird. Enjoy the chase as the photographer is tripped up by a rock, stabbed by a Mesquite tree and rattled by a Western Diamondback. Then use the glossary to teach about the rich variety of life in the Sonoran Desert. Humor makes learning fun and easy!
CURTIS CURLY-TAIL COMES ALIVE ON YOU TUBE!a curly tail lizard on a bahamian beach with blue sky and ocean, sand and green plants
Elaine A Powers Author Conservationalist Biologist
Click Image to Hear “Don’t Call Me Turtle!”image of woman reading book at tucson botanical gardens
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