Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chopstick Disability

Tonight I went for sushi with some friends.  It seems that I have a mild chopstick disability.  When the only utensils on the table were chopsticks, I felt a bit of panic rise up in my chest.   I'm no stranger to chopsticks, but still, they mystify me.   I wondered, would this be the night I shoot a California roll 10 feet to hit a fellow diner in the face while I try to grip it with my awkwardly flapping chopsticks?

I had no idea the food in a "roll" was cut to this size to make it easy to eat in one bite.  Apparently this is because even a talented chopstick veteran probably can't cut with a chopstick.  You can make an attempt to stab your food, but said chopstick is not pointy either…  and with no cutting ability whatsoever, my question of the night was, what if I don't like it?  That's a helluva big bite to spit slyly into your napkin.  I want to know, what is the point of chopsticks? I'm not trying to knock chopstick wielding cultures, but as civilization developed, why did they hold onto the notion of eating with two straight sticks as opposed to developing more specialized eating utensils, like forks?  Do they help develop fine motor skills, or do lots of people in chopstick cultures require occupational therapy to get the hang of these things?  Do they pass out rubber bands there to help out as well?  Is fork usage one of the causes of obesity?

I still think cheap plastic utensils rate way higher on the annoyance scale.  Chopsticks are interesting at least, and they are their own unique item, not a thing trying to be something else, like a damn cheap, bendable, plastic spoon.

By the way, the food was awesome, and if I tell you the restaurant's name and location, then I won't be able to get a table there without a reservation, even on a Wednesday.  And they were nice enough to let me cheat a bit by giving me a fork and a knife as well.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cheap Plastic Spoons

There is a nice Chinese food place within walking distance of where I work, so sometimes on nice days I'll walk there at lunch time (or if I'm lazy, like today, I'll drive) and get myself a pint of soup.  The soup is good, but what is WITH these damn CHEAP plastic utensils??

The first time I bought soup from there, I got wonton.  It was winter time, so I had taken the car.  I drove back to the parking lot and parked, and proceeded to TRY to eat my soup.  I had just a plastic spoon, taken from the tray at the Chinese food place.  I chased a wonton around the container, trying in vain to corner it (difficult in a round container) and then slice it with my spoon.  I captured it and tried cut it but my spoon bent in half repeatedly, it's already wimpy status made wimpier by the heat of the liquid.  Finally, desperate and hungry (and unwilling to spoil the solace of my lunch time by going back into the building) I scooped the wonton out and took a not-to-delicate bite out of it.  Damn! In one fell swoop I burnt my tongue and the roof of my mouth AND slobbered liquid on my lap.  NICE.

The next time I bought soup from the chinese place, I was smart and I took a fork and knife as well.  I figured I'd stab the wonton with the fork, cut it with the knife, and scoop it up with the spoon.  Good plan, except the knife, too, bent in half when I tried to cut, proving itself to be even more ineffectual than the spoon.  The fork was good for stabbing, but only with devoted assistance from the spoon.  My GOODNESS, WHO makes these utensils, and why does anyone buy them?  Does anyone remember those "Got Milk?"  commercials from years ago, the ones that featured the guy in clean white surroundings, with cookies on a table?  He thinks he's in heaven until he realizes there's no milk for his cookies - then he knows he's in hell.  I picture hell to be a banquet of wonderful food with these damn plastic utensils.

Today, I REALLY got smart.  I  brought my OWN spoon.