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Jacob Laws 2013

The Fortune Cookie

After an enjoyable meal of crispy duck and beef sauce, spare ribs, fried chicken balls and two helpings of prawn crackers with spring rolls and special noodles I was feeling very happy with my life. I looked across the almost full restaurant in an attempt to locate my waiter. Why are they always somewhere else when you want them? A question I was considering whilst the couple sat on the table next to me continued to loudly discuss their plans for the evening before suddenly standing up grabbing their coats and walking very quickly towards the exit.

Suddenly there was my waiter, “did you see that couple? Where did they go? Did they leave their money with you?” (Ahh yes, now I get service.) Not surprisingly my bill, and complementary fortune cookies, arrived quickly. “you will be wealthy in the newyear”, “may all your dreams be blessed”, you get the idea. I looked over at the empty table next to me, in their rush to run without paying the bill they’d forgotten their cookies. I opened the first one, “Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and nether return. Repeat say nothing.”

OK, what now? This is obviously not my cookie, not my fortune. What should I do? It was on the loud, non bill paying couples table. Their fortune, not mine, that’s right yes? Which way did they walk down the street? So I found myself stood outside the restaurant, desperately looking for a couple I’d hardly noticed, worrying about a message in a fortune cookie. I returned to the restaurant, if everyone didn’t pay they’d go out of business. I quizzed the waiter, “was it you who put those cookies on their table?”

“No Sir, not my section. That’s Elvis’s section. He’ll be losing the money not me.”

Elvis was unavailable to fill me in on the details, no-one else seemed to have noticed the couple, or where not willing to talk to me about them. I gave up and returned to my car and started to drive home.


Waking up in clean white bedsheets surrounded by white walls, I couldn’t recall what had happened. How did I end up here? That fortune cookie! Maybe it was related to the cookie.

“Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and nether return. Repeat say nothing.”

I had a pain in my wrist, when I looked more closely I realised why. I was handcuffed to the bed rail. What was happening to me? This are the things that happen to spies, government agents not boring Tax Officers. Note to self, don’t steal fortune cookies off other people’s tables!

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