Boy, do I have something amazingly important for you today. Okay, maybe it’s not that great, but it’s still pretty weird and weird is always good, especially when Dr. Crankenfuss explains how weirdly we live our lives.
“Oh, shut up, Crankenfuss, and get to the point,” many of you are saying.
All right, here it is. The way we use our eating utensils is kind of messed up. I’ll prove it to you. But first here’s a diagram of a table setting I took from CollageMama’s Hearty Breakfast Blog. I hope CollageMama’s okay with me borrowing it.
The more I look at this diagram though, I have to say I’m not very confident of the intellectual skills of Collage Mama’s audience. Why did she feel it necessary to actually label the parts? (I’m surprised she didn’t put “picture” out to the right with an arrow to the illustration.) Looks fairly simple, doesn’t it? So say I have a plate piled high with something gooey, like a bunch of mashed potatoes I’ve carved into a Vesuvius-like exploding volcano. The second I reach my right hand — I’m right handed — across the table to that fork on the left, there’s at least a decent chance I’m going to get mashed potatoes (no doubt with gravy because that would be the lava part) on my sleeve. Sure, I can sit way back from the table to avoid that mess up, but hey, I’m a sit-near-my-food kind of guy.
That’s just the first problem with the place setting. Now, say I have a nice big juicy steak on that plate there. I’m not going to put the whole steak in my mouth at once. (Well, actually I tried that one time — as a joke, you know — but I got sent to my room and ended up with exactly ZERO of that scrumptious hunk of meat. Never again.) No, I’m going to cut that steak up into pieces. No problem so far. I reach out and take the fork in my left hand to pin the sucker to the plate (just in case it’s still moving), then use my knife with my right hand — sharp side down for better results — and cut the baby up.
Here comes the ol’ bugaboo. How’m I gonna get that piece of steak into the ol’ pie hole? I put my food in my mouth with my RIGHT HAND. Well, I have to put the knife down, switch the fork to my right hand and then stick that mama and insert it into my mouth. What a pain! I’m risking another sleeve incident and meanwhile the meat is getting colder by the second. Why can’t I just keep the fork in my left hand and put the meat into my mouth from the left? Makes great sense, doesn’t it? But almost nobody does it that way. Unless you’re from England, of course. That’s the way they ALWAYS do it. They just sit there, calm as you can be, cutting their meat with aplomb — ooh, there’s a new word for you, or for some of you anyway — See, I like it cause you can make a rhyme out of it:
I was sitting at the table,
All happy and calm,
Eating my steak
With apt aplomb.
Well, now I’m so pleased with my little rap there, I’ve lost track where I was. Oh yeah, then those English dudes DON’T HAVE TO SWITCH HANDS, POSSIBLY HAVING SOME SORT OF DISASTROUS COLLISION BETWEEN KNIFE, FORK, AND FINGERS. They just insert their meat in a neat little feat.
Just sayin’, folks. Maybe they should have another of my often-suggested Congressional Committees on this potentially dangerous situation. There are many fingers (and groded up sleeves) that could be saved through this.
From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,