Dame Fortune Smiled

by Kiko Matsing

The Roman Fortuna

I will take the wisdom of Chinese fortune cookies anytime over those hack “self-help” books in the guise of novels (Life of Pi, The Alchemist). Their reassuring pithiness reminds me of how movie critic Pauline Kael described Jedi Master Yoda: he looks like a wonton, and talks like a fortune cookie. How Zen!

Some of my little after-dinner oracles just came true!

The next few days are a lucky time for you. You can take a chance.
(Rice Garden, UIUC Student Union)

You will soon witness a miracle.
(Panda Express, Chicago)

Don’t underestimate yourself.
Your social skills are needed by others at this time.
(Rice Garden, UIUC Student Union)

And there’s more exciting things to come!

Now is a good time for you to explore. Take a vacation.

A friend will soon reveal an exciting secret to you!

Spin the wheel!

Fortune and Her Wheel
Fortune and Her Wheel, Boccaccio
(Source: University of Glasgow Library)

Dame Fortune

Performed by: XTC
Composed by: Andy Partridge

Jump for joy!
Jump for joy!

Dame fortune smile,
ring my bell,
lift your skirt,
pour down some fortune on me.

Dame fortune smile,
knock my door,
doff your cap,
deliver milk for my tea.

I’ve been throwing low numbers on the dice of life.
All the cards I turn scowl at me like my ex-wife.
When night time falls I’ll need your net
to catch those brick bats in.

Dame fortune smile,
lick my lottery lass.
Please won’t you empty my bin?

(C’mon! Play the guitar.
Ouch. Hang on…)

Dame fortune smile,
tear a square from your dress,
give my front windows a clean.

Dame fortune smile,
let me borrow your bike.
Bring home the bacon and beans.

I’ve been pulling low numbers from the hat of dreams,
drowning in the pools by simply picking rotten teams.
When night time falls we’ll fix it up.
I’ll loan your safety pin.

Dame fortune smile
when they’re spitting at me.
Please bring all my washing in.
I thank you.