I like to entertain myself. But I get bored easily. And I’m pretty lazy.
(What? All this, and good looks, too? The hell you say!)
This particular combination of character flaws can be crippling, but is often overcome by the judicious application of an existing diversion to a novel set of circumstances. In comedy, we call this ‘reusing a gag’. Or in some cases, a ‘callback’.
In my family, it’s called ‘annoying the shit out of everyone’. And Dad wonders why I ran away to join the funny pages.)
“I’m an ‘instant gratification’ sort of guy here. An hour and a half wait and fourteen pounds of MSG is too much to bear for a quick three-second chuckle.”
My latest lazy game to while the day away borrows from the old practice of adding the words ‘in bed’ to the message in a fortune cookie. If you happen to have been living under a pupu platter for all of your life and haven’t heard of this custom, I’ll explain.
Come to think of it, I already have. Open the cookie. Read the fortune. Add ‘in bed’, in the hopes that it adds an unintended and bawdy entendre to the proceedings. That’s really all there is to it. It’s not wonton science.
Here are a few examples of the game-as-it’s-usually-played, with fortune help from Fortune Cookie Message.com:
Good stuff. That last one is a little troubling, perhaps, but who am I to argue? I’ve been married for twelve years; at this point, if I don’t do something for myself, nobody else is going to. ‘In bed,’ or otherwise.
Moving right along.
There are three problems I see with the ‘fortune cookies in bed’ game. First, it’s kind of a lot of work. Sure, the game itself is simple, once you’ve gotten to the fortune cookie — but to get there, you’ve got to order Chinese food, plow through three egg rolls, a fried rice and an egg fu yung, find the damned cookie and unwrap it. I’m an ‘instant gratification’ sort of guy here. An hour and a half wait and fourteen pounds of MSG is too much to bear for a quick three-second chuckle. Maybe for a dirty limerick. But an ‘in bed‘ tag-on? Too much.
Second, there’s the issue of the fortunes all starting to sound the same eventually. Let’s face it — Confucius was a swell guy, but he only said so much stuff in his life. Add in a few dozen proverbs and ‘ancient Chinese secrets’ and you’ve got a touch of variety. But eat enough dim sum takeaway, and you’ll see repeats soon enough. No fun, grasshopper.
Finally, there’s the niggling little fact that for the most part, fortune cookies taste like dehydrated cardboard ass. Sure, the fancy ones in the expensive restaurants are probably made in-house, and taste something like a proper cookie should. But the little pre-packaged numbers that the rest of us serfs get in our greasy takeout bags are hideous, stale little horrors, probably manufactured sometime during the Eisenhower administration. I’m convinced those things would survive a nuclear winter — and if they did, even the cockroaches wouldn’t eat them.
So how to improve our little bit o’ fun, without the wait, the calories and the questionable confection?
Simple. Combine the crux of the exercise, the ‘in bed‘ tag, with something most of us do several hours a day, anyway — watch television. I’ve found, during my extensive boob-tubing research, that if there’s anything that fits the ‘in bed‘ suffixing as well as fortune cookie messages, it’s the slogans tacked onto television commercials. Check out just a few from recent memory:
These are just examples, of course. And I pray devoutly at the TiVo altar, skipping through most of the commercials during the shows I watch. I must be missing some gems.
So try it for yourself, and let me know if you find a doozy or two. I guarantee you it’ll make the commercial breaks go a little faster — and it tastes better than your average fortune cookie, too. That’s ‘double your pleasure, double your fun’.
(‘In bed.’) Of course.