This Is A Way To
Run A Restaurant?
by Marvin Pinkis
bought the Chinese restaurant from Jimmy Soong.
Members of Sam's family chipped in to help run
the business. His daughter, Bernice, did the
books. Leo, Sam's cousin by marriage, supervised
the kitchen. His wife, Rose, shmoozed with the
customers and put the messages into the fortune
One day Al
Laidman came in for a glass of tea and to kibbitz
with Sam who asked, "So, my friend, how do
you like the new operation?"
wonderful, Sam. You're turning this place around.
You got a head for the business. Still, there's
wrong? Tell me."
should mention. Al, we came over from the same
village in the old country. We're like family. We
moved together to this neighborhood. We play
pinochle. If there's something I should be doing,
a person who calls himself a friend should tell."
"Well, it's nothing against what you're
doing. The food and service is good. But you see,
I got a personal problem with the dreck they use
for messages in the fortune cookies."
the messages from the same place the other
restaurants get theirs. So explain what you mean."
bland. There's no personal touch."
"Personal, huh? You want personal. Come back
tomorrow. I'll give you personal."
Al waltzed in
the next day with his missus and her brother
Barney. Barney had been to all the Chinese
restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens. He knew his
ate and left the restaurant. Barney was ecstatic.
Al said, "You know, the food was pretty good,
but they got the same things on the menu every
place got. And I think they're using chicken fat
in some of the dishes. That ain't bad, mind you,
but it ain't Chinese. So how come you're so crazy
for this place, Barney?"
answered Barney, "we've both had the same
complaint about the messages in the cookies. But
this place, this place is a class act."
never said once what you got in the cookie. I
must've got one of the old ones. It said, 'Miracles
will happen if you are kind to those who love you.'
Did I need a message it could apply to anybody?"
"That's pretty bad. Mine was simple and yet
it said a lot."
us," pleaded Al. "We're dying you
right. It said, 'You should live and be well.'
Can you think of anything more beautiful and wise
impressed. "You're a very lucky person,
Barney. So, what was yours, my sweet wife who's
been so quiet?"
want to know."
so secret about a message in a fortune cookie.
right, but don't say I didn't warn you. It said,
'Your daughter, Sarah, the one with the mole on
her cheek, is seeing the goy who lives in the
apartment building next door, suite 3-C, and if
that ain't all, he's already got a wife.'"