Everything goes better with Auntie Barba


Dear Auntie Barba:

I was brought up to believe I could talk to God through prayer. What I want to know is: how does God talk to people?


Dear Loquacious:

Fortune cookies. When the Universal Parent wants to give us a message — whether we’re in Mexico City, Bangor, Maine, or Bangkok — She stimulates an appetite for Chinese food. Having satiated the clamoring for moo shu this and dim sum that, the unwitting communicant receives divine guidance inside the brittle almond-paste cookies. The fact that fortune cookies arrive with the bill should prod you to ponder Cosmic Law #33, which states that everything has a price.

You hope to read You will live a life of total fame, wealth, and health, but you are also completely prepared for Here’s to good food, good wine, and bad girls. A flippant or stale message may indicate that the Supreme Being is humoring you, waiting until you’re stronger before letting you in on some real feedback.

When God wants to give you a wake-up call, She will make sure that you get the fortune saying Things are seldom what they seem, or Listen to the whispers or you’ll hear the screams.

In early times, divine guidance came through prophets, but for today’s fast-paced and multidenominational world, the most direct and democratic means of communion is the unpretentious fortune cookie. Remember that our Universal Source has a sense of humor. It was Voltaire who remarked that God is a comedian playing to an audience that’s afraid to laugh.

Whether provoked by pratfalls or Pope jokes, or by pondering how many Jewish mothers, interior decorators, persons of Polish descent, and Californians it takes to screw in a lightbulb, the Almighty unfailingly gets the joke. May your next communication (we recommend the hot-and-sour tofu broccoli) find you happy and laughing.