The Cumings family ventured to the big city of Willmar Friday morning so that two of us could sign our taxes while one of us ate a cookie and worked the room. (I’ll let you figure out who did what.)
We also took advantage of some of the Big City Amenities Willmar has to offer: chiefly Target, Jo-Ann Fabric, and The Golden Palace, a Chinese restaurant that does not even have a buffet.
If you live in an actual Big City and have never lived in a small town or rural area, you might not understand the way my heart leaped when I read the vegetarian section of the menu (the fact that such a section even existed was enough to make my heart beat a little faster). When I saw ma po tofu and kung pao tofu on the list, I was beside myself with joy. Tofu! In a restaurant! In Willmar! I am tempted to use multiple exclamation points, so great was my joy.
The meal itself was good, but not wholly joyful. Next time, I will order my restaurant tofu hot or very hot. (Pro Tip: When the first two choices of spice level are “not spicy” and “mild”, it is probably safe to ask for hot.) Next time, we might leave Zoe at home, since trying to catch her as she ran laps around the place and blushing when she knocked over the “Please Wait to Be Seated” sign did not enhance my restaurant tofu enjoyment.
But the worst part of the meal was the cookie. As you know, I love fortune cookies. Zoe and I split one, which had a truly excellent fortune: everything your hands touch will work out perfectly, or words to that effect. I eagerly unwrapped the remaining cookie, anticipating another gem.
Instead: nothing. An empty cookie, with a mysterious black mark on one edge.
Thanks a heap, Golden Palace. At tax time, when I get to make my first quarterly income tax estimated payment for 2012 after also paying someone else to figure out the estimate for me, I certainly don’t need a cookie to tell me I have no fortune.
On the other hand, maybe that answers the question of which cookie was meant for Zoe and which for me.