Misfortune Cookie!

Crack a Misfortune Cookie!

"The Misfortune Cookie" is the third segment of the fourteenth episode from the first season (1985-1986) from the television series The New Twilight Zone.

Harry Folger is a snobby and arrogant food critic for a major newspaper. Restaurants literally live or die by his reviews - Folger's hobby is to collect matchbooks of restaurants he's dished. One day he hears about a mysterious new Chinese restaurant, "Mr. Lee's Chinese Cuisine", and - without ever visiting the place - immediately begins typing a review: "If you love your Pekingese, don't ask for a doggie bag..." However, being the gourmand he is, Harry decides he simply must visit the establishment in person. When he enters the restaurant, he immediately asks for the check before trying any food. Though disappointed, the owner, Mr. Lee, presents Harry with a fortune cookie, which he says is magical. Harry reads the fortune: "You will receive a grand reward just around the corner", and exits.

As he is walking through the alley, a bank robber knocks him down and drops $10,000 in diamonds before he runs off. The detective says that Harry deserves $1,000 that was supposed to be a raise for the police officers who failed to catch the crook as a reward (a "grand" reward). Realizing the fortune cookies are magical, Harry returns for more. At lunch he receives a fortune that says: "April arrives today bringing romance." Harry knows it is September, so he storms out. But before he can get to his office, he meets a woman asking for directions. He shows her the way, and asks her out for dinner. When he asks her name, she replies, "April."

At their dinner, April's fortune tells her that she will soon recognize her error in judgment. Harry's message says "You're Going To Die." Outraged, Harry swears at Mr. Lee, causing a scene. April is driven away by his behavior, seeing him for who he truly is, and leaves him. Mr. Lee tells him the fortune cookie delivers due fortune. As he exits the restaurant, Harry clutches his stomach and exclaims that he has never been this hungry. He looks up and finds that he is surrounded by Chinese restaurants. He goes into one restaurant, but no matter how much he eats, he can't seem to satisfy his hunger. At the close of the meal, Harry receives a fortune that informs him why he is perpetually hungry: "You're Dead." The last scene shows Folger's matchbook collection-the latest one has Folger's name on it.

Note. This episode is based on the story of the same name by Charles Fritch, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November, 1970).

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)