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Beware of these fortune cookies of doom Add to ...

You will drown in three inches of water.

Your head has always looked the wrong size for your frame.

One in three people has herpes. Look left. Look right. Look down.

Some 100,000 “misfortune cookies” have made it to someone’s dinner table, and the New York Times’ Frank Bruni is not amused. Mr. Bruni tells the story of three girlfriends eating at Monsoon, a “splashy pan-Asian place” in New York, who chanced upon some untraditional cookies at the end of their meal.

“You will die alone and poorly dressed,” read the fortune in Jessica Kochan’s cookie.

Funny? Not to Ms. Kochan, whose long-term boyfriend had died of cancer in December. “You don’t know who you’re giving it to. You don’t know your audience,” Ms. Kochan told the Times. She and her friends hurried out of the restaurant; one of their husbands later called to complain.

Intrigued by the morbid confection, Mr. Bruni found a Texas-based company called Cookie Misfortune.

“For too long, the world of fortune cookies has been nothing but banal platitudes and generic hopes for a brighter future,” reads the website.

“That’s all over now. Cookie Misfortune is making it possible to blow minds and ruin dinners everywhere with our evil-spirited yet delicious fortune cookies.”

Scanning the site, it becomes clear that the diabolical biscuits are intended as prank gifts and party favours. When Mr. Bruni contacted the owners, they were stunned that a restaurant was actually serving them up: “It seems like it’d be a really fast way to lose some customers,” said Cookie Misfortune’s Jason Darling.

Ultimately, it turned out the cookie that offended the grieving Ms. Kochan was not from the company: A rep from Monsoon explained that his own mother had conjured the deathly fortune, and that the restaurant’s untraditional treats are an attempt “to inject another element of fun in the dining experience.” The “die alone” cookies have since been yanked, but Monsoon is still handing out naughty cookies with messages like “Two eyebrows are better than one” and the understated “Meh.”

Commenters have been divided on the treats: “Wouldn’t a cookie that said, ‘You will spend a long and wonderful life with the love of your dreams’ have been almost equally upsetting to someone who just lost her boyfriend to cancer?” posited Matt.

Another commenter writing from Pennsylvania suggested, “If they want to use non-traditional fortunes, they need to alert people either on the menu or when the fortune cookies are served - surprise is not always good.”

Dave from Atlanta, Ga. saw it both ways: “1. The fortunes aren't very funny. 2. The ladies are overly sensitive.”

Would you enjoy a misfortune cookie? Do you keep your fortunes?

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Follow on Twitter: @ZosiaBielski

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