Janine was a normal girl, she was twenty one and recently graduated with a degree in horticulture. She lived in a small flat, and worked faithfully at her job in the rubber nose factory. They were not real noses, but the kind children wear on their noses, pig noses, elephant noses, parrot. . . Wait, parrots don’t have noses! Every night she would order dinner from the Chinese restaurant located directly beneath her flat, The Bonsai Flower. Every night she would ask for one extra cookie, she always opened two fortune cookies at once. Every night she would wish on her fortune cookies that someday she could travel to exotic locales, in far away countries. Every night she was disappointed by the hum-drum fortunes she received when she cracked the tiny gems of culinary goodness open. Every night she would recite the Chinese words or phrases on the back of the fortunes, and wonder when her fortune would change.
After living this way for several months Janine was struck with inspiration. Strangely enough it came as she opened her fortune cookies for the night. One read, “A trip is in the cards for one who plans.” The other read, “Waiting for a rabbit to hit upon a tree and be killed in order to catch it.” WHAT WAS SHE WAITING FOR! ! ! All she needed to do was plan! First she needed a goal! But what sort of a goal? She had always wanted to travel. She would want to be fluent in the language of the place she traveled to. Fluency, she wondered. How many words constituted fluency in a language anyway? Five hundred? One thousand? Five thousand? Ten Thousand? Ten thousand sounded about right. But how would she learn ten thousand words? . . . She flipped her fortunes over to read the Chinese words on the back. . . . That was it! She would memorize the words on the back of her fortunes, and plan a trip to China!!! She calculated that quickly in her mind and realized, if she ate two cookies a day, it would take her thirteen years to accomplish!!! How could she possibly get there earlier? If she ate a fortune cookie with breakfast, lunch and dinner; she could get there three times as fast. Four and a half years! That seemed reasonable. She set up a ledger to record and practice the words she learned, and wrote her goal of learning ten thousand words at the top of the first page.
In the meantime Janine would save all of her extra money in order to finance the trip. She started right away, she would save everything extra that didn’t go towards food or lodging. She stored the money in the large jars on her counters. Any change she received after her purchases, went in the jar. Dimes, nickels, pennies and quarters found on the streets; Into the jar! She also began earnestly learning the words on the back of the fortunes. Every night she would write the words in her ledger, soon she would have enough words. At least that was the plan.
This situation worked fine for a while, about two weeks in fact. Janine would open, memorize and record three times a day. One day as she was looking through her ledgers she noticed a gaping hole in her spectacular plan. After opening, memorizing, and recording about fifty fortune cookies she realized that she was getting repeat fortunes, and by extension repeat words! ! ! She would never reach her goal at this rate! The problem floored her, literally. She lay on the floor for days, gazing up at the ceiling, wondering where to go next.
Stay tuned next month for our next chapter!
(Unless I get readers in such suspense that they feel they will just die waiting, then I may consider making this a weekly venture ;D Let me know, I don’t want fans dying on my account!)
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