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Five Routine Minutes: The “In Bed” Fortune Cookie Game

One of my favorite things to do is lunch with my son. It is relaxing, and a great way for us to catch up on what is going on in life without the distractions of the rest of life. Last week, opportunity knocked and he picked a Chinese restaurant we both like. No, not that Chinese restaurant, it was this one.

We sat near a large group of people who worked together. They were chatting and seemed to enjoy each others company a lot. It was a little loud, but they were happy and having a good time so it wasn’t really a problem. I just ordered a little louder.

Things were nice. I heard about people he’s looking forward to seeing when he moves back up to school this week, the new room mates and the girl. I haven’t met the girl yet, but I like her already.

We talked and ate and had a good time over the rising din from the table next to us. Then the waiter brought them their bill and fortune cookies. It got quiet a moment, then someone said to the rest of the table “do you play the in bed game with your fortune cookies?” She got a lukewarm response and one definite no from her table. That was enough to get her started explaining how you’re supposed to read your fortune aloud and then add the phrase “in bed” at the end.

I hate the in bed fortune cookie game. I looked at my son, knowing he’d have something to say because he is my son.

Why is it always the ’70’s with him? I had a good time then.

Then the game began. Eight fortunes, all in bed. None of them were funny. Not even by 1970’s standards. Even the person who clearly indicated she did not play the game and did not like it got cajoled into playing. Her fortune was something like “try harder”, to which the person pushing the game loudly added “in bed”.

The woman who didn’t want to play was mortified. I am not big on airing my grievances in big public displays, but if she’d have leapt to her feet and berated her lunch companions I’d have given her a standing ovation.

Friends, the “in bed” game often leads to such awkwardness. My son is right, it has not been funny since the ’70’s. I don’t think we played it back then, but if we did and if it was funny, it is not funny anymore. Keep in mind that Pet Rocks were funny in the ’70’s, but now, not so much.

Rise up against the In Bed Game. Say no. Say you don’t play it and it hasn’t been funny for decades. Tell whoever you hear propose playing it that you’ll never dine with them again if they play it at your table. Together, we can kill this stupid game.

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32 Comments on “Five Routine Minutes: The “In Bed” Fortune Cookie Game”

  1. I think this is why I avoid Chinese restaurants. I’d like to ask someone who is Chinese what they think about this quaint custom among the humor-challenged. I’d rather hear the entire table of diners belch than have to endure this silly game. It’s odd that the least humorous gags have the longest life. Just some random thoughts today. In bed.

  2. Ludakristen says:

    The best part of this post is the accompanying illustrations.

    Bravo to you and your son for not being stupid. In bed.

    (See what I did there?)

  3. jacquelincangro says:

    Just say no to the in bed game in bed.

    I couldn’t resist, Oma. :P

  4. Please excuse duplication. This is the 3rd time I’ve tried to comment!

    My son informed me that the modern version of the game is “except in bed.” It’s not funny, either.

    I like the way you kept the first drawing even though you had to correct your “i.” You are an artist of such depth and authenticity.

    Best wishes to Omawarison on his continuing adventures!

    • omawarisan says:

      I think The Man is trying to keep you down, that’s why you had to try three times. Fight the power.

      I left the corrected i so people weren’t too hung up on the perfection of the drawings.

      • I’ve heard that many Native and Latin American artists intentionally include imperfections in their art because on the work of The Creator Spirit is perfect.

        That’s one of my favorite Lyle Lovett lyrics up there. I’m thinking of taking myself to his concert for my birthday. I am so good to me.

  5. P.P.S. Mercury is retrograde again. Seriously.

  6. My coworker always makes us do that. And you and your son are completely right…not funny…at all.

  7. Laura says:

    The “in bed” game is annoying, but even without that, “try harder” is a terrible fortune. For one thing, it’s not even a fortune — it’s advice. And it implies she’s not trying hard enough. I’d hate to go out for a nice meal in a restaurant and then have my dessert tell me I’m lazy.

    • Spectra says:

      CQTM (chuckling quietly to myself) That’s so true. Who needs an insulting dessert???
      No one. Except maybe an angry Ex. Now THAT would work…he cracks open his sweet vanilla cookie and scrolls out a strip of paper that says: ” You sucka big time, Mistuh. Gret a Rife.”

    • omawarisan says:

      I don’t need a cookie to tell me I am not meeting it’s expectations. There are people getting paid good money to tell me that.

  8. Where was I when this was popular in the 70’s? I had never heard of this game – ever! I must have been out walking my pet rock – such an incredibly stupid invention, much like the In Bed Game. I am proud to say that I never really owned a pet rock. (But don’t ask me about Mood Rings.) You have my support, Oma.

    • omawarisan says:

      The seventies is my son’s default decade when referring to things he considers ancient. I think this dumb game would never have been cool enough for us back then.

  9. The worst part of the fortune cookie game is the cookie itself. Those things are crappy. If they had fortune pies, I could get behind that game.

  10. Jane says:

    The blue eyes speak volumes. Very subtle, yet powerful, use of color.

  11. Blogdramedy says:

    This game is right up there with playing “Spin the Bottle” with complete strangers. I don’t share spit with just anyone.

  12. Lenore Diane says:

    I am thankful for your experience – as bad as it was – with the fortune cookie game, because of the inspiration you had for this post, complete with art work. Loved it. Hate the game. Love the post. “That’s what she said.” or did he say it? I don’t know. I hate that game, too.

  13. It seems to me you’d have to drink an awful lot of plum wine before that game got funny.

    One time on work we were at an upscale Chinese restaurant in New York and the waiter asked us with this “you want a nude picture of Walter Brennan” look whether we’d like “special” fortune cookies. The plum wine had been flowing so we said yes and the fortune cookies came. They had X rated fortunes. There is something about fortune cookies that makes that sort of thing more icky than funny.

    • omawarisan says:

      Yeah, I don’t see that as something I’d ask for a second time once I knew what made them special.

      Wonder what the conversation between the owners and the staff was like when they brought those cookies into the restaurant.

  14. Katybeth says:

    I had never even heard of the game. Good Lord, I don’t like even introducing myself in a circle .I had chinese last night and as luck would have it there was a fortune slip on the table next to me–Odd I know. I read it and ending “it in Bed.” I won’t share.

  15. omawarisan says:

    So are you going to play again?

  16. This post was very funny. In bed.

    (Please don’t ban me. I couldn’t help myself)


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