I’d fetched my wife and myself a yoghurt each from the
fridge. I picked out a teaspoon from the cutlery drawer and returned to the
table. “Did you get a spoon for me?” asked my wife. Thoughtlessly I hadn’t. Such
a selfish error could be the nail in the coffin for my already shaky marriage,
so I said, “Of course,” and handed her the one teaspoon.
“What about you?” she asked.
“Don’t worry, I like to eat yoghurts with a fork,” I lied.
“Eating a yoghurt with a fork? I have to see this,” she said and sat back to watch.
I fronted it out, picked up my dinner fork and began. It was easy enough to start with. With lots of yoghurt on the fork-head, not much drips through the prongs, but when the yoghurt became scarcer I’d be in trouble.
Necessity is the mother of invention and as I got to the yoghurty dregs I spun my fork around and used the end of the handle as a spoon. And it worked. I had made the spoon obsolete and invented a new piece of cutlery. I called it the “for yoghurt fork” or “fork” for short. It’s a fork you can use to eat yoghurt or any gelatinous food, plus as an additional selling point, you can also use the “fork” as a fork. Millions would buy it.
But I wanted billions, so I set to work refining the “fork”. Using the handle as a surface to eat off might be unhygienic, so I wondered about putting a bar at a 90 degree angle across the middle of the “fork” so it could be manipulated in a similar way to a puppet.
But wait! What if that bar was made out of a knife? And what if the handle of the fork was replaced by an actual spoon? I would have invented a piece of cutlery that would do all the jobs of three pieces of cutlery in one.
I made a prototype by gaffer taping a knife across a fork and stuck a teaspoon on the end and Eureka! Much better and more aesthetically beautiful than those stupid all in one camping utensils you can get. I name it the knispork.
Why have three thin spaces in your cutlery drawer, when you can have one really wide one? The advertising copy was writing itself.
But I wasn’t done yet. There was a lot of wasted space on my cutlery cross. On the reverse blade of the knife, I could put a sharper edge ideal for cutting meat and veg. Then on the knife handle could be replaced with a full sized spoon, or any implement: an egg timer, a potato peeler, a whisk. I could make endless varieties and the idiotic public would need to buy them all.
I tried it out and as long as you were careful there was only a minimal chance of losing a finger or an eye. In trying to cover up some teaspoon-based selfishness I had created a kitchen revolution that would feed my family (in every sense) for generations. I called it the Cutlery-ifix, because it was both a fix for inconvenient multiple cutlery and quite like a crucifix (in fact if you stuck a Jesus on the underside you could use if for one of those too – hang it on the wall and you could free up your drawer-space entirely).
What if you need to hold down the food you’re cutting? Buy two Cutlery-ifixes and fork the food with one and use the knife of the other. Simple.
I’ve been watching a lot of Cbeebies with my daughter and have to say I find most of their output quite childish. But this week Magic Hands had a crack at introducing pre-schoolers to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. Admittedly Prospero was a lion and Ariel a dog (plus they had no Caliban and ignored the themes about the tripartite nature of the soul) but kudos to the BBC. Phoebe and I were both enchanted.