Opportunity wasted for unusual

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

There are certain things I wish would have been different. I wish I had asked that girl out to dinner instead of making small talk. I wish I was riding in the car when (according to police records) a group of four people planned out a bank robbery in Melrose with a machete, baseball bat, pellet gun and Spider-Man comic book.

And, I wish I had actually done what my fortune cookie said.

I normally don’t follow the message in fortune cookies. It’s (literally) a sugar-coated horoscope. There’s never anything specific, and any information contained inside is likely a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Case in point, my Monday horoscope.com readout said, “You can overcome the intensity of today’s planetary energies by making a conscious effort to stay positive.” Um, couldn’t I do that every day, or does the orbit of Saturn make today’s positive attitude especially important?

Also, there’s the classic sexual context you can add to the end of each fortune with just two words. I am not authorized to tell you those words, so I’ll substitute, “in cargo pants.” Add that phrase to everything gleaned from a fortune cookie, and the result still makes just as much sense as the original fortune.

But Wednesday was different, because it allowed for the group approach. The fortune was, “Do something unusual tomorrow.” I was off work Thursday, so I definitely had time to do something out of the ordinary, with or without cargo pants.

I posted the fortune to my social networking sites. “Fortune cookie: Do something unusual tomorrow. I open the floor to suggestions.” I got a few that I wouldn’t try.

• Go skinny dipping. Hmmm, I still don’t know how to swim, and I don’t want any story of my death to include, “His naked body …”

• Try to go the entire day without a sarcastic comment. I think we all know how far this suggestion got.

Uninspired, I decided Wednesday night that I’d just wing it and hope something unusual presented itself Thursday.

No luck. I did the laundry, and mixing whites and colors was really more of an accident than a nod to the unusual. I took a girl out for dinner, but I’d taken her out before to little fanfare — and that happened Thursday too. Later at a bar that night, I consumed a drink befitting a sorority initiation. But that’s not that unusual either. (Honestly, guys don’t mind those drinks, and would order them more often if pink umbrellas weren’t involved).

I went to bed at my normal irresponsible time, with some regret that I’d let a perfect opportunity at the unusual go to waste. While waiting for the caffeine to wear off from the girl drink, I decided I didn’t have to settle for failure on Thursday.

I can make that fortune work every tomorrow and plan for something unusual each day. Plan to ask her out. Plan to drive the scenic route to work. Plan to do one extra thing for my fellow man.

At least until I get my next fortune cookie. I just hope it’s something I can do in my cargo pants.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:

kwilson@cnjonline.com