There were a few constants I could rely on ever year during elementary school.
The first was being chided and ridiculed on "heritage" day when I told people my Grandmother came off the boat from Russia (during the 1980's that was the equivalent of saying your parents worked for the Taliban).
The second truism was my ability to leave the first week of school with more baseball cards than I could ever ask for thanks to my Dad teaching me the magic-secret of flipping baseball cards (not the lazy man way by matching colors, but the actual head-tails flipping to the ground).
And finally, unequivocally and any other llly you want to throw in, I could always count on the fact that the girls would turn from pig-tailed to angels to the prestidigitators of doom or glee with the origami fortune tellers.
I know I'm not alone in this memory as a quick search on Google yielded 4,000,000 results in three seconds on how to fold these paper Doom Sayers.
In short they were a folded piece of paper that looked almost like a tulip table napkin. On the outer layer you would write words like colors or numbers (or swears once the boys finally matured enough to learn how to make them), you would ask your unwitting victim to pick from one of the four choices and manipulate the paper harbinger for each letter chosen by your victim. You would then get to the inner layer and again be presented with now eight choices of either colors, numbers (or swear words). The final step was peeling back your selection and your fortune would unfold before you.
The fortunes often ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime. "You will fall down a flight of stairs", "You will kiss 3 girls before the end of the day"or "You will step in poo and smell like poo for the rest of the year." You couldn't really expect more from a generation that Silver Spoons was high brow comedy.
Sometimes you get one that was rigged. If you had a particular young lady that fancied you, she would make every fortune, "You will be Allison's girlfriend until you get married in the year 2000" or the antithesis "You're a jerk and everyone hates you." Personally, I ran the gamut of cruel to flattering.
Now that I'm an "adult", I often sit in meetings and wonder what business would be like if we could leverage the Origami fortune tellers. "Rob, what are your thoughts on this project?" "Well boss pick an American Idol. S-A-N-J-A-Y. OK, now pick a body part, T-A-I-N-T." "OK, now pick a 2008 Presidential candidate, Clinton." "This project smells like poo and I think you're a jerk face."