Two Sticks of Wood and a Useless Lump of Plastic

I have somewhat of an aversion to spoons.

Specifically, I object to eating savoury food with them. Main courses are for devouring; spoons are insipid. It’s doubtful they’re up to the task. I’d much rather abandon excess gravy, and drink my soup from a mug, than avail myself of the offending instrument.

The consumption of puddings, particularly if there’s custard or ice cream involved, often necessitate a spoon. In such instances a teaspoon is always preferable. Things taste better off teaspoons, just as cheese does grated, and toast does when cut diagonally. Illogical, but simply undeniable.

Since a failsafe knife and fork combo are a thing of my past and future, but rarely my present, I am largely left in the hands of 2 blunt wooden sticks, and, when occasion requires, a blunt plastic spoon. Or rather, they are left in my hands, which is the problem.

Chopsticks and I are doing rather well. It was touch and go in the early days: they were quick to exploit my total lack of coordination, and I was certainly guilty of abandoning conventional techniques in favour of ‘skewering’.

Now we’ve reached a mutual understanding, and mealtimes are a much smoother affair.

In fact, its usually only on Sundays that I am prompted to take issue with spoons. For though nothing, in my opinion, can replace a Sunday roast, bak kut teh has a fairly good crack.

‘Meat bone tea’ sounds unappetising at best, but thankfully the literal translation is vague and misleading.

Prime pork ribs, in a garlicky, salty, herbal soup, coupled with rice and yu tio (doughnutty, Yorkshire pudding-y sticks of fried dough) has become a firm favourite.

A eats it with a lethal combination of soy sauce, chillies and pepper; I don’t, my aversion to spicy food far outstripping my aversion to spoons.

Pork ribs, though, require more prowess than the average meal. And chopsticks, truth be told, lack certain qualities. Such as the capacity to cut food. Sure, you can pick up large chunks of meat and gnaw bite-sized sections off, but I’ve never quite mastered the art. My attempts generally culminate in soup splattered over my face, clothes and companions, as the messy, half chewed remains splash back into my bowl.

What I want in this situation, what I could really do with, is some kind of sharp, serrated device, the function of which is to cut food.

A knife, say.

But no. Alongside my 2 wooden sticks, all I am permitted is a blunt plastic spoon.


It’s Sunday again. Let the games begin.