September 29, 1998,8:00 p.m.

 A fellow worker didn't want his fortune cookies after finishing his lunch.

"Anybody want these?"

Never one to turn down free food...other families turn the family scraps to the dog, instead, they turn to me and say,

"You want it?"

I said,

"Sure thing."

I scarfed them down pretty quickly. The brand was Great Fortune, with a picture of a fat Chinese man in lotus position. The effect was rather ruined by opening the fortune cookie and finding the fortune had a "smiley face", both at the beginning and the end of the fortune.

The first one said,

"You display the wonderful traits of charm and courtesy."

The second one said,

"The only good is knowledge and the only evil ignorance."

I was really hoping for something along the lines of,

"You will receive fifty thousand dollars tomorrow."

...We've suffered some financial reversals. As if we didn't have enough to stress us out...

 Sometimes I think Barb got a bad deal. She had doctors and all sorts of people who are very successful now bidding for her attention. But she went with me. Now she has three kids, two of which are handicapped, a mountain of bills, a husband who...unfortunately...never made money his first priority.

She could have done a lot better. A lot better.

Yes, I am aware that these are the signs of a classic mid-life crisis. Hey, that'll work...if this is mid-life, that means I'll live to be ninety! (I'll be 45 on October 27th.)

If Barb had known the reverses we would suffer, would she have married me? I hope so. But in all honesty, I don't know. My father travelled a lot, and Mom was without him half the month, but the bills were taken care of, and we lived at a higher standard than I do now. Which is better? Maybe our inability to see the future is the most merciful thing that happens to us...

 The fortune cookie was cracked anyway. "You display the wonderful traits of charm and courtesy"? Oh, yeah, that's smooth and charming as Pierce Brosnan, or a latter-day Cary Grant.

Oh, please!

 The second one, though...

"The only good is knowledge and the only evil ignorance."

...That I can get into. I'm not big on the maxim,

"Ignorance is bliss."

My maxim would be more,

"Ignorance is a recipe for disaster."

 Hmmm. I wonder what appropriate fortune cookies we could devise for famous people, just before they became their most famous...?

Monica Lewinsky: "Your name will be a household word."

"You are world-reknowned for your affectionate nature."...for Bill Clinton.

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