The messages in fortune cookies are typically vague, banal and optimistic. But some cookies are now serving up some surprisingly downbeat advice.
"Today is a disastrous day. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," reads one fortune showing up around the country.
"It's over your head now. Time to get some professional help," advises another.
As the messages, contained in cookies made by Wonton Food in Queens, have spread across the country, some diners have registered their reactions online. As a result, the company has a marketing challenge on its hands.
One blogger, who got the "professional help" fortune, wrote: "I shot the audacious baked item a dirty look and proceeded to eat it. And I hope it hurt."
Bernard Chow, marketing coordinator at Wonton Food, says he had not set out to insult anybody when he asked his team of freelance writers to come up with some new messages.
"We wanted our fortune cookies to be a little bit more value-added," Mr. Chow said. "We wanted to get some different perspective, to write something that is more contemporary."