Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Occasional Definitions: Asbestos Suit

Handy to have in case of stove accidents. Provides insulation and fireproofing. More useful with older, white gas stoves that are more likely to explode. Also nice for those in the habit of spilling fuel on themselves. A frequent need for one of these is a good indicator that maybe you should find another hobby.

From: Fire In Your Hand

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Like A Stick With Teeth


The word gets around.

It's used everywhere. For art studios. Jokes. Blog names. Clothing companies. Planetary defense strategies.

What is a spork? It's like a spoon with teeth. All the better to hurt yourself with. There is a spoon-like bowl, and on its tip there are tines to poke food. Like all hybrid devices, the spork has a hard time justifying its existence. Because it doesn't work very well for doing much of anything.

Except for

  1. being a joke, or
  2. inspiring conversations, or
  3. starring in jokes.

But that isn't because of anything the implement does. It's because of the name. In other words, it's all marketing.

Who says poetry isn't important? It is. There is poetry in the name. Spork is a one-syllable poem with more punch and 15 times fewer syllables than any haiku, yet it invokes an infinite regression of images with that single sound.

I had an English teacher in high school. Whatever the female version of dolt is, she was. Call her Asinina. Tried to convince us one day, while explaining onomatopoeia, that "bush" was an example. If it was, then spork would be better. Round, gentle, and spoonlike yet tangy and with points, not to be ignored, fork-like. Spork.

In my world spork is a fine word. Much better than the phrase "cutting spoon", which a 1908 precursor was called. Even better than "foon", though not by much. Spork describes intent while foon is better at illustrating results.

Spoon-fork versus fork-spoon.

People carry sporks to go backpacking. I've never understood why.

But then I've never understood why people take bottles of wine either. Or steaks. Or eggs. Or even those $10 freeze-dried plastic-flavored meal kits.

A spoon always worked for me.

Until one trip, when I forgot it.

Then I used a stick.

Like eating soup with a knife, if I'd had soup, but I didn't, so it was fine.

Now I don't carry anything, not even my 1/10th ounce (3 g) MRE superlong spoon, which is the bestest spoon there is for digging food out of a bag.

But now I suck food from the bag I "cook" it in. Much better, and it took only 25 years to figure this out. First I boiled food in a pot, ate from a plate, and washed up. Then hot-water hydrated in a ziplock bag, digging in with a spoon and getting the spoon and my fingers dirty. Then, after years of this, realizing that I could tear a corner off the bag and squeeze the stuff out.

No cleanup at all, hence my current sporkless, spoonless, simpler life.

Did you know that fork (forca) was originally a "forked instrument used by torturers"? We'll continue this later.

"Then, by elevating the spork into the sky (this spork would have to be really big, so it could be seen from outer space), standing it on its handle, it would be a floating billboard demonstrating our technological achievements. The aliens would then look at it and say, 'Hey! They've got a really big spork!!', and would withdraw the attack."



How Products Are Made: Spork

Joachim Nordwall's Light My Fire Spork

Spork at Wikipedia

Sporks Are Godlike