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Otters Oddities

ottermann Aug 19, 2017. 5 comments

Anyone who has cats will understand what’s going on here. While the kitties are generally well behaved and quite lovable, you occasionally get one that’s a jerk. My last cat, Zipper, was a jerk. No.....he wasn’t. He just hated everyone except for a select few. He was the sweetest, kindest cat to me, my roommate and my friends. But that was it. If he didn’t know you since he was a kitten, he didn’t like you and you had best get out of his house.

It wasn’t Zippers fault. He was the runt in his litter. And the person I got him from didn’t treat him too well. Actually, she showered him with love. It was her husband who treated him poorly. So he liked people who fed him and pretty much hated everyone else. And he was an alpha male, so he let you know he didn’t like you. And he was big. 20lbs big. Not fat, just long, lean and muscular.

My current cats, well....Cosmo is the sweetest thing. Scooter is a jerk, though. Just like that cat up there. For those who don’t know, that cat is Bucky B. Katt. He is the star of the comic ‘Get Fuzzy’. If you don’t read it, what’s wrong with you? Anyway, that’s not the picture I wanted to use. The one I wanted is really small. And I can’t find a bigger version. But I’m going to post it here anyway, because it’s vital to todays subject.

Just in case your eyes are like mine, he’s saying “I’m very proficient with the spork, but I also swing a mean sock of Legos.”

You see, Buckys weapon of choice is the Spork. And he prefers the individually wrapped ones. That way he can guarantee that he uses a sanitary weapon each time he tries to mess you up. Cat’s like cleanliness. If they were humans we’d call them germaphobes.

But what I want to talk about is the Spork. We all know what a spork is, it’s a combination of a spoon and a fork. They don’t really work as either, but I guess, for some people, it makes more sense to carry one utensil that doesn’t really work for anything instead of carrying two separate utensils. If you think about it, carrying a spoon and a fork doesn’t really add much weight to your pack, and they work so much better.

But I understand why people like them. They combine the two, so if you have the one, you have the other, and you don’t need to go searching. But if you lose one, you lost them both, so.....

Anyway......

If you’ve ever eaten at a fast food restaurant, chances are you’ve used a spork. But, where did the spork come from? Bah! Who knows? The first patent for a spoon/fork combination was issued in 1874. But if that’s when it was patented, you can bet it had been around for a lot longer than that. But how long? Sadly, no one really knows.

What we do know is spoons have been around for a very long time. In fact, the spoon was the first utensil made for cooking. The first ones were carved out of wood, bone, horn or stone. They were used all the way back in the Neolithic era. That’s stone age, man. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all made them out of metal, like bronze or brass. Or lead, if you were Roman. (Romans used lead as a flavoring, especially in wine. Lead is sweet. That’s why kids ate leaded paint chips.)

The first metal spoons were more like shallow bowls with a handle attached. It wasn’t until the late 17th century that they took on their current shape.

Forks aren’t as old as you’d think they were. For a long time, if someone needed to pick up hot food, they used their fingers, (natures forks), knives, or another type of device like chopsticks. The first forks were mostly large and used for cooking. However, Roman emperors did introduce them to the public around the year 950 C.E. But they were two or three tined, and fairly worthless to use. Forks didn’t become popular in the US until the time of the Revolutionary War. And then, they were nice and flat. Forks didn’t get their curve until the mid 18th century, and they didn’t get 4 times until the mid 19th century.

I’m sure that someone, somewhere, combined the two into some form of pseudo-spork. But like I mentioned earlier, they didn’t really work well as spoons for eating soups, and for stabbing food, the tines were too short and the food kept falling off. But, just because something doesn’t work has never stopped people from patenting and trying to improve things.

Some people will refer to them as a Foon. But those people are stupid and if you encounter one, slap them down. Spork is what they’re called, and they’ve been called that since at least 1909 when the word spork was used in the Century Dictionary. It has since been trademarked, but much like Kleenex and Q-Tip, the actual name has come to be more of a generic description.

If you feel you must use a spork, for God’s sake, use a Japanese spork. They are designed with the tines a bit longer for better stabbed food retention, and slightly off center, with the spoon extended out on the side opposite the tines to make eating soup easier. They look dumb and if you use one near me I’ll laugh and make fun of you. But I’m a jerk, so that’s to be expected.

I’ve only seen one example of a spork that had any right to exist. And it wasn’t called a spork, nor was it used for eating. It was called an Ice Cream Fork. They are large, heavy duty versions of the spork, and the tines are for stabbing down into hard ice cream. If you use one for that purpose, I’ll let you slide. Otherwise, prepare for some serious mocking.

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