Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Dilemma of Artie Brill

The thing about not getting a fortune cookie at the end of a meal in a Chinese restaurant, if you really don’t want one, that is as far not getting a fortune cookie is concerned, well then, I mean the thing about having to actually ask the server, who may not completely understand you, who may not have English like mastered, let’s just say that the guy wouldn’t list English as his first language, if he had to do so, if he had to make a list, let’s just say English wouldn’t be first on that list, whatever that list would be, so it might be hard, and often times is difficult, to get the waiter, who is not really very used to this kind of a request, he probably doesn’t get these kinds of requests often, regarding the fortune cookie preemptively being un-asked for by a diner, and so will not be expecting this type of request, even if the whole language-barrier thing isn’t insurmountable, if the whole language-barrier is not such a big deal, if it doesn’t even come into play, it still might be difficult to get the point across about not wanting the fortune cookie, to make the festinate waiter, who will most likely be trying to do more than a few things at once, who will most likely be doing his best to not spend more time than he absolutely has to with the diner, to make that harried waiter see, when it comes to the fortune cookie, the thing about the fortune cookie is, is that it is not wanted at all, that there will be no need for a fortune cookie, thank you, no, that will be all, though asking for the check, because the fortune cookie will usually come with the check, is not an answer to this problem, to the problem concerning the not-getting of the fortune cookie, so when it comes to asking for the check you might as well just forget about, concerning asking for the check, better not, just leave it alone when it comes to getting the check, the check will be brought, most likely sooner than it is wanted, so there is nothing you can do about getting the check, and so this here, this getting the check maybe even before the meal is done, it might add a wrinkle to the not-getting-the-fortune-cookie thing, because the diner is like, you know, going to have try to finagle their way into not getting the fortune cookie rather early in the meal, the diner is going to have to be real careful not to wait too long to make the request, as far as not getting the fortune cookie, though asking too early in the meal might also add to the risk of the busy and rushing-around waiter forgetting about the diner not wanting the fortune cookie, that is if the diner has not only asked but also gotten across clearly about the not wanting of the fortune cookie at the end of the meal to the waiter, all I’m saying is that it’s still possible, and pretty damn likely all things considered, that the waiter might happen to forget in all his haste about the diner’s request to not partake in the traditional eating of the fortune cookie after the meal.

 Now, you might be wondering, why would a diner at a Chinese restaurant not want to have a fortune cookie served to them after a meal? Well, there are numerous reason, but the one I’m concerned with here, as I do not have an out-and-out aversion to fortune cookies, as far as liking or not liking the actual taste or texture of the fortune cookie itself, as far as having an affinity or a dislike for fortune cookies is concerned. I am not siding totally with those in the camp of liking fortune cookies, nor am I pitching my tent over on the fortune-cookie-haters side. There just happen to be times when after finishing a meal of almond chicken with fried rice, or a plate of beef and broccoli with chow mien, when I just do not feel like eating a fortune cookie. It is not that I don’t like looking at the fortune inside. In fact, I like looking at the fortune inside, the one written on that tiny slip of white paper, the paper the looks ridiculous in your hand because it is so tiny. When it comes to looking at the actual fortune written on the tiny slip of white paper, well, that is something that you might even say I like too much. Looking at the fortune can be a compulsion with me. I don’t like to give in to this compulsion. It is something I try not to do. I don’t need any encouragement when it comes to believing in omens. When it comes to predicting my own future, well, let’s just say I don’t want to know too much about it. Sometimes when I get a fortune cookie, even though I have tried to ask to not have one given to me, and have failed, as often happens to happen with me, I will put said fortune cookie in my jacket pocket, so as not to seem rude or ungrateful for this small token of appreciation. It is when I forget that the cookie is there in my pocket that it becomes something that could be considered not so good of a thing to have happened to me. Having cookie crumbs in my pocket does not make me happy. You could say that I am very displeased with having cookie crumbs in my jacket pocket. If I put the fortune cookie in my pocket, having restrained myself from breaking it open to read the fortune written on the tiny slip of white paper inside, I usually will forget that it is there because really there is nothing else I can do with it, besides throw it away, or break it open to read the fortune, which I do not want to do, which I am at the time probably very proud of myself for not having done yet, but I do not want the fortune cookie to go to waste, and if it is an unwrapped fortune cookie, as many fortune cookies are unwrapped in Chinese restaurants, though you still get some that come wrapped in plastic, but if it is an unwrapped one then it is a hard item to give away. Try giving away an unwrapped fortune cookie to a stranger. It will not be an easy task, let me tell you. Nobody will want it. Just your attempt to give it away will be awkward and probably scoffed at. So, I often end up with fortune cookie crumbs in my jacket pocket after eating at a Chinese restaurant, and you could never say of me, hey, there’s a guy who goes fortune cookie hunting. That is not something that would be accurately applied to me, the going of fortune cookie hunting. That is not something that I would do.