Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today's fortune: May 15, 2011

Today's fortune: You will be rewarded for your hard work this past mont

What this fortune intends to say, of course, is "You will be rewarded for your hard work this past month." I don't think this is just a simple misspelling, because the punctuation mark that has been at the end of every other fortune I've had is missing as well. Somebody at the fortune cookie company hit the DELETE button a couple of times by mistake.

When I receive fortunes (like this and this and this) that include bad grammar, what I've tried to do in the past is interpret what the fortune actually says vs. what it actually means. This fortune says "mont," so let's start there.

"Mont" is the French word for "mount" or "mountain," and a few famous things were named after Frenchily-named peaks: Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in western Europe, is the namesake for the famous watch-and-pen maker. And Mont Royal, a high peak in Canada, gave its name to the city of Montreal.

The most interesting mont-related discovery I made was the world's largest moving manmade object.

There used to be a tanker ship called the Seawise Giant, the Happy Giant, and the Knock Nevis on different occasions. This big mofo, built in 1979, was the largest, longest and heaviest ship ever built.

And quite a backstory the ship has, too. In 1988, the Iraq Air Force dive-bombed this sucker during the Iran-Iraq War and sank it to the bottom of the Strait of Hormuz. But a shipping company bought the wreckage and repaired the vessel, and it sailed the open seas (it was too large for the Panama Canal and even the English Channel) for the next 20 years.

For the ship's final voyage - where it was taken to a shipbreaking yard for dismantling - it was renamed "Mont."

Now, let's think about what this fortune really means.

To get in the spirit of "This past month," I went back and looked at my fortune on April 15th. The fortune that day told me that my lucky number for the day was nine. Two days later, I was rewarded by winning three bucks with a lottery ticket (the last time I won anything). Also in the past month, I discovered that you can learn a lot from blondes; I donated money to an organization that gives shoes to the poor; I spent an entire week bein' green; and I got, like, totally relaxed, dude.

I could talk about how I've worked five days a week over the last month, and my reward has been a regular paycheck. That would be true, but I don't think that's the spirit of this fortune. It's talking about something above and beyond.

A few days ago, I wrote a little story about a boy and a girl who plan to retire to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. I have a confession to make: the boy in the story is me and the girl is my wife Jamie.

Perhaps the most rewarding thing from this past month is this: the fortune that day reminded Jamie and I that we have something tangible to work for. Whenever Jamie gets bogged down with school, or when I'm buried with widgets and annoying customers, we can both clear our heads for a second and think about our yet-to-exist mountain getaway.

The best part of any trip is the journey itself. And Jamie and I have a great journey ahead of us.