We were sitting in Hunan’s, a Chinese restaurant in Arcata, California.  At the bottom of the menu, I saw something that puzzled me.

Holding up the menu, I pointed at the words, asking Cathy, “Does ‘no message,’ mean there’s no fortune in the cookies, or something?”

She looked at me, studying my face to see if I was serious. It didn’t take her long to figure out that I was really sincere about what I was asking.

“That doesn’t mean ‘message,’ she responded.

“Yeah,” I argued, “that’s the abbreviation for the word, ‘message.’”

Cathy smiled, “M-S-G means monosodium glutamate, not ‘message.’”

She had to excuse herself from the table for a few minutes in order to regain her composure.  I could not help hearing her in the women’s room, laughing.

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