Several years ago i acted in a show about morals (in both senses of the word), and at the end we handed out fortune cookies to audience members as they filed their way out of the theatre.
It was a lightly attended show, and we wound up with a huge box of uneaten cookies. The cast and crew took it upon themselves to dispose of said box at the cast party, resulting in each of us eating several dozen fortune cookies.
Of course, the most exciting part of eating fortune cookies is the fortune, which is why we were so disappointed to realize that our box of cookies had a finite amount – maybe ten or fifteen – of fortunes. Perhaps I had seen a duplicate fortune once or twice before in my life, but learning just how slim the fortune options were in a given crate of cookies was depressing.
Ever since then i have hated eating fortune cookies, but i have persevered in my hunt for unique and original fortunes. Or, at least ones that aren’t so general as to apply to anyone.
Idleness is the holiday of fools.
For a few years now that has been my favorite fortune. I got it one day when i was out to lunch with my old boss. We both appreciated it equally, so i brought it back with me to pin up at my desk.
Even after three subsequent desk (and boss) moves the fortune still sits pinned directly above my phone, where it frowns down upon me if am ever tempted to twiddle thumbs or sharpen pencils in order to put-off or altogether-avoid something i ought to be doing.
It is highly effective. I would say that approximately 30% of my productivity is the result of that tiny strip of paper. If i ever lost it I would print a new one.
The only downside of “Idleness is the holiday of fools,” is that it isn’t much of a fortune (unless, of course, it was assuming i am an idle fool). It’s really more of a proclamation.
However, last week out to lunch with co-worker Elib i received my new favorite fortune, because this one enforced something i often doubt. It read:
You will always get what you want through your charm and personality.
At first this might seem a little at odds with “Idleness” – it seems to be indicating i can be as idle as i want, so long as idle with charm.
I choose to see it more as a reminder that an absence of idleness alone does not equal success. To find true success i need to be engaged and happy, and that happiness needs to be an almost tangible force to each person i encounter.
As for “in bed,” i remain in favor of the first.
What’s the best fortune you ever received (in bed)?