On a recent trip to popular Kalamazoo Chinese buffet Ten Ten, I was surprised at the end of the meal and it wasn't by the amount of the check.

Advertising is creeping in to every part of our lives, sometimes it is subtle, sometimes forthright. After a cup of egg drop soup, a spring roll and an egg roll, a couple of crab rangoons and an expertly prepared hibachi concoction, I debated an ice cream cone before paying the check. First, the fortune cookie: "Be spontaneous- it's more fun!" read the script. "Earn 4% on dining and entertainment" was imprinted on the reverse.

What? Where are my lucky numbers? How am I going to become fluent in Chinese one word at a time? Who decided it was a good idea to put ads in the fortune cookies? Why didn't I think of this? At the end of the meal at a Chinese restaurant, I want a dessert and some pithy advice, not a sales pitch. I guess Confucius say, "I needed the money."

Bonus Video: Peace Love & Little Donuts - Food Trippin' In The Mitten


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