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An Update on the Free Chinese Food Mystery

The source of the order has been pinpointed

Adam Chandler
January 24, 2013
(Adam Chandler)
(Adam Chandler)

In case you missed it, yesterday the Tablet office had a surreal episode involving a delivery of unordered Chinese food with no receipt and a staff of Hunan-hooked Jews. (“Mandarin from Heaven” as one of our favorite commenters said.)

To sort through it, we enlisted the help of a rabbi to grant us his blessing to eat the food, which he did not give. The worst part of all was that by the time his response came, we’d eaten the Chinese food in question (and were probably already hungry again). The delivery man then returned and demanded payment, which one staff member selflessly gave–full well knowing that he’d be able to lord it over us forever for at least the next week.

Well, we now know where the original order came from. As it turns out, Liel Leibovitz, our esteemed beef-and-vegetable-consuming senior writer had ordered the meal online from his NYU office where he sat forlorn as time ticked by and the food came to the Tablet office instead. (Don’t worry, he ultimately did receive his meal and the only person who got screwed in the deal was his lunchmate, Tablet’s own Jacob Silverman.)

I asked Liel what the lesson was in all of this, but one didn’t immediately come to mind. So I’ve chosen to quote the fortune cookie, which contained some appropriate wisdom given the affair.

Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

Also, the Chinese word for cherry is 樱桃.

And if you’re playing the lottery this week, may I humbly suggest the numbers 54, 45, 48, 33, 21, 50.

Earlier: What Judaism Says About Free Chinese Food

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.