May 17, 2021

Unraveling Some Targeted Fortune-Cookie Messages

“You will find that your date left by a back door and stuck you with the bill”

By Ed Goldman
While we all know that the messages in fortune cookies are mass-produced bromides, we’re still drawn to reading them after enjoying a Chinese meal—and still feel, every so often, that the message we pull out may have a special meaning for us and us alone.

An astrological forecast in a newspaper, magazine or online can have the same allure, even if the message is less than inspiring or is downright generic—like:

a. LESS THAN INSPIRING: “Your success today may depend upon your consuming rye toast every morning for a week, butter optional.”

b. DOWNRIGHT GENERIC: “You may notice the sky darkening as the sun goes down. This is not to be feared.”

Edgy Cartoon

Unfortunate cookie

Wondering if there are any fortune-cookie messages or astrological forecasts that have some heft, I phoned this column’s consulting psychic, N.E. Seckanow, to ask if he had special insights to share with us.

N.E.: Hello, Ed, glad you called.

THE GOLDMAN STATE: That’s amazing! How did you know it was me?

N.E.: Because I am blessed with second sight, extra sensory perception and, most significant of all, caller I.D.

THE GOLDMAN STATE: Clairvoyance?

N.E.: She doesn’t work here anymore, but I can forward you her contact information.


N.E.: She used her formidable powers to bet on the ponies. This is a no-no in my profession.


N.E.: No, winning.


N.E.: And then, not sharing. —So! You’ve called to ask if there are any specifically targeted fortune cookie messages or astrological forecasts out there, right?

THE GOLDMAN STATE: That’s astonishing! How did you know?

N.E.: I read the opening of today’s column, in which you set up the premise. Rather ham-handedly, I might add.

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THE GOLDMAN STATE: If I want your opinion of my writing—

N.E.: You’ll ask. I knew you were going to say that. Remember, I’m psychic.

THE GOLDMAN STATE: Okay. What’ve you got?

N.E.: The following predictions, equally applicable to cookies or forecasts.

  1. For California Governor Gavin Newsom: “You shall be recalled but once out of office, rarely recalled.”
  2. For President Joe Biden: “You will continue to surprise the conservative press with your ability to fog up a hand mirror.”
  3. For the producers of the Oscars, the Tonys and the Grammys: “You will never win the Emmy.”
  4. For Rudy Giuliani: “An honest man’s hair will be haloed in Heaven but a liar shall dye a thousand deaths.”
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  1. For New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: “Greatness will always be just beyond your grope.”
  2. For former President Donald Trump: “You will attend a party in a horse costume with your wife Melania. She will be the front end and you can be yourself.”
  3. For Texas Senator Ted Cruz: “You will be seen as the most likely Republican politician to clean up after Donald Trump. See previous entry.”
  4. For Q-Anon: “You will be seen as a man, then as a woman, then as no one at all.”
  5. For Caitlyn Jenner: “Number 8 was not a reference to you. We admire your courage—for your transformation but mainly for dropping the name Bruce.”
  6. For readers offended by the previous entry: “Calm down. This columnist’s middle name is Bruce.”

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).