There are times I enjoy a cerebral challenge, like the Times crossword on a Thursday or Friday for instance, or even trying to decipher the math homework my seventh grader brings home. (Irrational numbers and a boy going through puberty? Oh the irony.)
There are, on the other hand, some challenges that don’t seem fair. For instance, after finishing up a perfectly pleasant dinner with my boys at a local Chinese place tonight, my fortune cookie ambushed me with this little bit of existential horror: “The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.” Oh really.
Would anybody out there care to explain that little nugget of inscrutability to me? I expect it has something to do with emptying one’s consciousness of unnecessary worldly distractions, but really, all I wanted was to enjoy my orange slices and warm hand wipe in peace. Jeez.
And you know, as long as we’re on the subject, not too long ago I was on a road trip with the lads and my Lovely Bride when I was confronted with this little bit of diabolical ambiguity:
“no credit cards only on this pump”
After repeatedly re-reading this hand scrawled sign that had been duct-taped to the gas pump, I began reading it aloud for all to enjoy, reveling in its sphinx-like syntax. Yes, of course in this case the meaning was patently obvious, but that didn’t stop my two precious youngsters from spoiling the fun by crying out in unison from the back seat: “It means cash only, dad!”
Cash indeed. At least it didn’t keep me up nights like that damn fortune cookie will.