Every night when I set the table….no wait, let's start over. Every night, when I carry my plate to the coffee table...wait, that's still not right. On the occasional night when I decide to use a plate—generally only when Oodgie is looking—I'll grab a knife, fork, and spoon out of the drawer, snatch a napkin, and waddle my ever-enlarging ass over to the couch.
There are many, many opportunities for ridicule in this image. One could stare in awe as the food vanishes in roughly the time it takes a Ferrari Daytona to get from 0 to 60. Or wince in disgust as I rest the plate on my belly or leave a chicken drumstick unnoticed in my chest-hairs for ten minutes. Oodgie, however, is more likely to point out the following:
"Why did you grab a spoon?"
I’ve had a spoon next to my plate since I was a wee lad. It would never occur to me that there was anything wrong with this. Oodgie maintains, however, that it’s "only for soup," like I’m a Gigantopithecus or something if I use it. What, then, is the big deal? The spoon is a very useful tool, and I think it's time we acknowledge that.
Miss Manners may say that you should use a fork alone for everything it can manage, but I disagree. Are you telling me that a spoon doesn’t work better with peas? Why scrape my fork around the plate 20 times to get something that a spoon could capture at once? And maybe I’m heathen enough to scoop that left-over dollop of ketchup in my mouth. I’m not dining with Maria Theresa, you know.
I'm actually not generally as crude as the above might imply, and the spoon usually goes unused into the dishwasher. But the relegation of this utensil to pariah status is just unfair. Who gets to decide these things anyway? Spoons have been bringing food to people's mouths for centuries, long before that interloper, the fork, took over the left side of your plate. Without spoons we may never have taken in the nutrients to develop higher brain functions, leaving us to be enslaved by dolphin overlords. Next time you eat a spoonful of ice cream you should take a moment and thank it for saving you from a brief, unpleasant life as a squid-mongerer for Lord Flipper the Merciless.
And while we're at it, let's acknowledge other great contributions of the spoon:
- to sometimes violent card games
- to modern music
- to snuggling
- when "greasy", to fine dining
- to Jason Bateman's career
Don't worry...if you invite me over for a fancy dinner party of komodo dragon and baby-seal steaks with the Rockefellers and Carnegies I'll use the proper utensil. I may also wear pants, but only if you ask nicely. But while everyone else chases their platypus eggs around the plate I will forever embrace my spoon in my less formal moments.
At least, that is, until mankind perfects the next generation of utensil technology.