Fortune Cookie Wisdom: When You Do Foolish Things, Do Them With Enthusiasm

Breaking the somewhat clamshell shape of the cookie, my brown-sauce-slick fingers pulled out the literary treasure. Along with a few digits, allegedly winning numbers for some unnamed lottery, came these words of wisdom: When you do foolish things, do them with enthusiasm.  Hah, I wondered—enthusiastically foolish or foolishly enthusiastic? I certainly have done my share of foolish things—like driving the 90 miles from Mankato to Minneapolis in a snowstorm. With three-foot drifts piled alongside the highway, snow continued to fall. I could drive no more than 35 miles per hour the entire way. Can’t say I did it with enthusiasm—more like mindless ennui augmented by a generous helping of marijuana before my departure, which of course prompted the unwise journey in the first place. By no means a necessity to travel that day, just foolishness. Much like another, much longer trip I made from Minneapolis to Midland, Michigan. The trip itself was not entirely foolish, just the timing. I had planned to leave Sunday morning. With nothing to do Saturday night, I thought, “What the hell, why not leave now?’’ So at 10 pm I set out in my ’69 Chevy Malibu on the 700 mile trip. Perhaps this trip did have a little enthusiasm. It came from the full moon reflecting off Lake Michigan as I drove through the Upper Peninsula around 2 am. Nobody out there on the road with me. So bright with the moon overhead and below, reflected off the lake, I could have driven with the headlights off. With no drugs in my system this time, I left them on. Ah well, foolishness is to be expected in one’s 20s–not so much decades later.

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