Emmjay wrote this for the ABC’s Unleashed a million years ago.

Knowing how one’s life will ultimately turn out is supposed to cause a depressing feeling of pointlessness, but we’re all interested to take a quick gander into the future – and maybe gain a small insight into what’s coming up next.

Future-gazing is clearly dangerous, but it can be extremely productive – if you get onto the right predict-a-scope and manage your crystal balls carefully.

Futurology started for me at an early age. I figured out that if I climbed onto the garage roof, I’d be able to see over the horizon. However, I failed to envisage the kind people at the hospital with a seemingly endless supply of plaster.

And with hindsight, I can now see that examining giblets during little lunch (showing off to my mates in the playground) was a mistake. The principal was not interested in my point that I didn’t actually kill the chook myself; the innards came in a plastic bag shoved up the (let’s not go there).

A safer approach was to consult the oracle in Mum’s Women’s Weekly or New Idea. But that was fraught too. You see. I was born a Virgo, and there was a price to pay for getting caught in that condition. I quickly learnt that to avoid taunting and more likely having my head punched in, it was safer to be “on the cusp of Libra”. That was until some thoughtless massive pharma released a line of feminine hygiene items under that banner.

I found those horoscopes disappointing. There was mostly the prediction that I would meet some kind of tall dark and handsome man. Fair enough, but I was hoping that he would deliver unto me a new bike, or preferably a Corvette Stingray or a 1963 Ford Mustang. Promises of a challenging new job (like being a milk monitor or getting to ring the bell) remained elusive through my primary school years although I sometimes got to mix the powdered ink with water. I suspected that the future might be racing up in a modest series of fairy steps.

High School demanded something a bit more hard core. Ouija sessions led to some mysterious spellings associated with imaginary occurrences of sex, pop music bands and the use of recreational drugs, but if one invited more tightly-wound school mates, God and salvation or maybe the cadets had a far better chance of appearing from the dim candle light.

Lenny’s Tarot cards represented a major investment in futurology. I think he bought them at a now long defunct magic shop called “Weirdo’s” in an obscure Sydney haunt – Piccadilly Arcade. After we had perused all the medieval cartoons, nobody could be bothered with the rigmarole of dealing the cards out and interpreting the pictures. Lenny had a standard patter – “Ah, the King of Cups. That means you have to steal one of your Dad’s beers and give it to me. And the skeleton – that means that if you don’t, you’re dead meat”.

I was finding looking into the future increasingly risky.

This gave way to the Uni years where living in the present and labouring under the illusion of making the future with both hands was the go. Then the actual real job (still no Corvette Stingray or Ford Mustang).

And then came the upheaval of the stock market crash in ’87. Nicely protected from that future by being too poor to afford shares, but cashed enough to be chained to a mortgage and with a small share of a large bank’s real estate, I was easily frightened by shadows.

I think when the babies came, concern about the future grew. Not much help from the magazine horoscopes then. “Virgos still have no hope of romance with grandmas in their house this month”.”Sagittarians will decide to introduce the baby to solid food and Leos will get their first full night’s sleep in two years”.”Jupiter is in the ascendency of the third house of Saturn and the Monaro will need a grease and oil change and a new set of tyres to pass rego”.

More of the future has receded into the past and we now face our latest in-life crisis. The IGFM (Intergalactic Financial Meltdown). Well, seeing into the future has become pretty damned important again, hasn’t it?

But this time, I have uncovered the most powerful scope for seeing the future. I found it in the supermarket amongst the Asian foods.

Fortune cookies.

These are without a doubt the most reliable gems. First, the packet you select is pretty random. Second the cookie you select is pretty random. But incredibly, the person who made up the message and the person who put it into the cookie knew that you and you alone would receive this treasure, and they made it precisely for you to open and receive the wisdom today.

Better than that, they knew somehow that the message itself was precisely what you needed to know just this minute. And the one you will pick tomorrow is waiting patiently in line to deliver the future to you too. They can even anticipate when you are going for a gluttony attack and they will have several ready for you. Uncanny.

So I wondered from which Asian mountain monastery this source of Confucian wisdom sprang. A little research (reading the packet) revealed them seeing the future emerging from the swirling mists of Botany.

And then the brand began to resonate in the brain. Kong Foo Sing.

“You will be awarded some great honour.” “Your life will be happy and peaceful”.

Kong Foo Sing.

Time to get back onto the garage roof.