World History in a Chinese Cookie……….

I am a great believer in Woody Allen’s belief that all of life can be summed up in a Groucho Marx joke. Actually I am not totally sure if he exactly said that or whether it was something like it. However, the truth in the statement is pretty undeniable.

For me, the History of recent World Financial Geography (especially the rise in economic/financial fortunes of China)–can be perfectly summed up in the evolution of three jokes I have told over the last thirty years, whenever finishing a meal in a Chinese restaurant. All the following jokes is delivered with a bewildered look while pretending to the read your ‘fortune slip’ from your freshly crushed cookie.

Joke One. (circa mid ’70s thru mid ’80s) This one was taken directly from the title of a VERY, VERY (OK I know I’m shouting!) book by the wonderful comedian Alan King. “HELP, I’m being held prisoner in a Chinese cookie factory!”

Joke Two. (mid 80’s thru 2000)  Although I don’t think it actually is his line but I always think about Jasper Carrot’s wonderful ‘on the money’ observation that in any sized group that you go to a Chinese restaurant with there is always one person who insists on doing an impression of the waiter while he is still within hearing.  (Reading fortune) “It says, “I just peed in your soup!” and it’s HANDWRITTEN!”

Joke Three (2000 thru the foreseeable future) “You owe us TRILLIONS and we want our money back, you deadbeats!”

It’s kinda depressing now I come to think about it—but I thought I’d share.

~ by Nick Lewin on September 12, 2011.

One Response to “World History in a Chinese Cookie……….”

  1. As always, loved your take on fortune cookies.

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