Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fannish Fortunes

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0022 . . . OPEN:

I found another batch of fortunes on one of my bookshelves a few days ago. This particular batch of fortunes is particularly special, though. I've been trying to think of a good description of these fortunes, and I think the best thing to call them is "fannish fortunes."

There are fortune cookie producers that do custom orders. I've never ordered any myself, but I suspect you give the company the messages you want in the fortunes, and they print them and insert the fortunes in the cookies, then ship the finished cookies to your door.

I've encountered fortune cookies with a science fiction theme on a couple of occasions. My first was at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention, Magicon. The closing ceremonies were partly conducted by ConFrancisco, the 1993 Worldcon. During their part of the ceremonies, the people from ConFrancisco handed out custom-made fortune cookies. I remember that the fortune in my cookie said something about my amazing everyone with my hall costume at ConFrancisco. I'll have to dig out the issue of FOSFAX with my con report to get the precise wording of the fortune.

My next encounter with fannish fortune cookies was several years later. I'm trying to remember where I obtained these fortunes. I do know that it was at a science fiction convention, most likely at a Worldcon. It could have been at an event like the masquerade, Hugo Awards ceremony, or closing ceremonies. (I'm fairly certain that it wasn’t at an opening ceremonies.) It might also have been at a room party where I got them. In any case, besides the fortune in my own cookie, I managed to pick up a few others that people had discarded after reading them.

I do know that, wherever I found these fortunes, it was after the release of the movie Independence Day (for reasons that will soon become clear). There is also a strong probability that it was after the release of The Lion King. I can't give much more in the way of clues beyond that. Maybe someone reading this will remember who distributed these cookies, and will leave a comment.

These particular fortunes are geared toward members of SF fandom, and one or two of them may leave you scratching your head if you aren't a fan. If you don't understand, leave a comment, and I will try to elucidate.

"Dragons, unicorns, and penguins are out. Cows are in. Meerkats are next."
"Earn big bucks writing fortunes at home in your spare time!"
"Stephen King will write your biography."
"The next set of MAGIC cards will be based on your college years."
"William Shatner will ask for your recommendation when buying his new hairpiece."
"You will astonish the world by explaining coherently how 'Independence Day' abbreviates to 'ID4'."
"You will be offered a chance to chair the Minneapolis in 73 Worldcon bid."
"You will restore tradition to fandom: Your mimeo will break down and get ink on your hands."
"Your next short story will be selected for The Last Dangerous Visions."

As I said, if you don’t understand something, feel free to ask.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0022 . . . CLOSE

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Think Outside The Fortune Cookie

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0021 . . . OPEN:

No fortunes this time. Well, nothing that came out of a fortune cookie, in any case. But this is one of those things that occasionally comes close to the orbit of what I've dubbed fortune cookie philosophy.

Last night, I went to Taco Bell, and got a couple of burritos for dinner. While I was waiting for my order, I happened to glance at the packets of Border Sauce. As I took a closer look, I noticed that there was a space on the packets that had different messages printed.

I looked through the packets, and I found five different messages. I was expecting the messages to be phrases related to Taco Bell's advertising campaigns, or generic humor, or possibly even fortune-cookie style messages. They really weren't any of the above. They were more . . . non sequitur-ish than anything else. A bit on the curious side, but I'll let you be the judge of what they are:

"Ahhh . . . we meet again."
"Help! I can't tell where I am. It's dark and I can hear laughing."
"This space for rent. Inquire within."
"Will you marry me?"
"Will you scratch my back?"

I'll be keeping my eye out the next time I make a run for the border. I am quite certain that there must be more than just those five messages.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0021 . . . CLOSE