Fortune Hunter

Last weekend one of my best friends visited and discovered, for better or worse, that I love fortune-telling machines.

See, my friend loves arcade games, and we went to the Museé Mécanique. But I’m not much for video games. Instead, I love the fortune tellers. I don’t know why, except maybe it satisfies my need to get something in return for my money.

My collection of fortunes from last weekend.
My collection of fortunes from last weekend.

If you click on the pic, you’ll be able to read them. (The one on the far left there is actually from our visit to Winchester Mystery House.)

When I was younger, we’d go to the State Fair and there were chickens who would tell your fortune. By which I mean, you’d put in your money and press a button, then the chicken would be prompted to press another button, and out came your fortune. The chicken was rewarded for its work with a handful of feed.

So yeah, I can’t pass up one of these machines. Even ones without chickens, though I think the chicken ones are the best. I’ve never seen them outside the Texas State Fair. Probably requires too much upkeep, what with live animals and all.

What is it about having our fortunes told? I think it’s a desire for confirmation that we’re headed in the right direction, or that all our efforts will pay off in the end. I don’t believe them, of course. Even when I visit, say, a Tarot reader I often have doubts. (Though I do trust a live person over a machine with pre-printed cards, or even a chicken.) Some would say that those doubts are exactly why the fortunes never entirely come true. But as much as I enjoy them . . . I don’t know. I can’t completely invest. I trust my own hunches more (and they’ve proven correct more often than not). Fortunes are fun, and I do believe in an element of karma, but I think we largely make our own destinies.

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