Thursday, August 02, 2007
(photo by Jason L. Gohlke, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
During our wonderful, relaxing vacation we had occasion to eat out. Three times. Once going there, once on the drive back, and once because A Musing Dad, who did a terrific job of grocery shopping and packing for our five days in the "wild", forgot a crucial dinner ingredient (and we forgive him, because, well he did so much to make the rest of the trip great). So we tried a new local-to-our-favorite-campground food joint. It was good enough. And the fast food during our car rides wouldn't have been memorable except for two things: I nearly got hit by a car while carrying food to our van across two parking lots (yes, the man was on his cell phone and never once noticed me as he backed within inches of me and two of my children, while I screamed at him to "STOP! ...HEY YOU, LOOK OUT! ...GET OFF YOUR PHONE & STOP! ...STOP!!!").
The other memorable part of that meal? The spork. Have you ever thought about what an ingenious invention this is? Two utensils in one! How much better can it get, especially for a clutter-buster like me? So I began musing about why it is that the spork hasn't really taken off as a household implement. Think about it: you can buy a ton of sporks and then never have to worry about having lots of forks when you really need spoons (while we're on the topic: why is it that we run out of spoons so much faster than forks when we own twice as many spoons to begin with?).
Then I thought about it more. And I figured out the reason the spork has been largely unused in households. It's because it's at the bottom of the dining chain. After all, when you're invited to a dinner, be it a wedding reception or other catered event, or even just a friend's house, what tells you how swanky the meal is going to be? Maybe the china, the crystal, the flowers. But really, REALLY what tells you the level of entertaining is the Amount of Silverware on the table. The more baffling the flatware array, the pricier and longer the meal. Enter the spork: one utensil where two could be. Is it no wonder then that the only place you ever find this eating implement is on the floor of your car? It is the essence of the bottom of the dining chain. You find a spork next to your plate and you know that there is not a seared ahi tuna or fresh foie gras to be seen for miles (then again, it also may just be that you're in Chicago). But mashed potatoes? Bean burritos? You'll find those a-plenty.
So I quickly abandoned my campaign to get the spork into every American kitchen. Heaven knows we all need to eat a little better than that day in and day out!