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‘Bad luck is your new stalker’
Misfortune in a cookie, or how to enjoy Schadenfreude Teasingly evil quotes hidden in a biscuit as black as the night: Misfortune Cookies are the mischievous and high-quality equivalent to the well-known fortune cookies. As a fun game during a party, a present or simply as highlight after a miserable day, Misfortune Cookies show once more how much fun dark humour can be. But that a German of all people has invented them might come a surprise.
that someone else probably had the same a long time before me.” It was therefore a surprise when he realised that something like Misfortune Cookies actually did not exist.
TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: MISFORTUNE COOKIES
With a professional approach right from the beginning, Pechkeks is a success story that searches comparison. Not only did customers like the new Misfortune Cookies, the media also got wind of it. In 2013, many German news outlets published a story about Andreas Pohl’s idea. The question of who invented the Misfortune Cookies was even asked in one of Germany’s most popular TV quiz shows. Today, the ‘Pechkeks’ brand still sells 60 per cent of its products to the German market, but also expanded and successfully sells as far as Australia. More than 1,800 shops – from trendy gift shops to delis and supermarkets – currently have Pechkeks products on offer, among them household names like Harrods and Selfridges in the UK.
Germans are well known for craftsmanship, their inventions and accuracy – but normally not so much for their wicked sense of humour. That black humour indeed runs deep in some German innovators might therefore come as a surprise. With their Misfortune Cookies, called ‘Pechkeks’ in German, Pechkeks’ inventor Andreas Pohl and his team have brought gift items to the market that will leave people reeling with laughter. This is simply so, because the darker and far better designed version of the well-known Chinese fortune cookies are wicked, naughty, a little bit evil and very funny. There is no better word to describe it than the German word ‘Schadenfreude’: to laugh be22 | Issue 52 | July 2017
cause some small evil has befallen someone who actually deserves it. Quotes like these speak of the underlying mind-set of ‘Schadenfreude’: “Things will get better. Sometime. Maybe.” Or “The stars are in your favour – Two light years away”. Or “Your dreams will come true – the weird ones where you’re naked and everyone is laughing”. And “You will grow old, wise… and have to wear nappies”. Andreas Pohl first had the idea for Misfortune Cookies at a dinner party when he realised how boring normal fortune cookies could be even when read out loud. “I had this idea but was convinced
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