Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Teaching Tabletop Tolerance

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to speak to you today about a dangerous, hateful, destabilizing phenomenon which is affecting our minds and our world today. It has led to a variety of international problems, including wars, and it is a form of outright racism which should no longer be tolerated if we are to truly build a world of peace, prosperity and cooperation between those of different nations and faiths. There is a level of disrespect being given toward an important demographic segment of our societies, and if allowed to continue, then all that we are fighting for might very well be for naught.

This phenomenon, my friends, is anti-Spoonism.

I’m not talking about resistance to spooning, the practice of two people lying down together in a certain sexual manner; anti-Spoonism is not to be confused with anti-Spooningism.

Rather, I’m speaking about the blatant violence being visited upon all sorts of actual spoons: soup spoons, teaspoons, black spoons, white spoons, tablespoons, dessert spoons, plastic spoons – every kind of spoon, really. These everyday, unsung heroes of our world are so often just thrown about like rag dolls, dirty undies or used condoms. Having employed a spoon, we think nothing of then throwing it into a sink, dishwasher or the trash with callousness and ignorance. We should be ashamed of ourselves, truly we should.

The clinks and clangs as a spoon bounces around in a kitchen sink rarely bring about sympathy in the average citizen, but upon viewing the spoon later we cannot help but notice the abuse being done thanks to our lackadaisical approach to the civil rights of regular spoons or their cheaper, more disposable cousins. These spoons will also sometimes sit for the better part of an hour or more in a dishwasher, subjected against their will to an environment of boiling water and bubbly soap; once cleaned we will throw them into their place in a drawer like so much other rubbish.

Where’s the love?

For thousands of years (yes, thousands of years), these spoons have stirred our spaghetti noodles, cookie dough and coffee; they’ve brought Cheerios, Jell-O and Cream of Mushroom soup to our mouths; they have dished out applesauce, ice cream and mashed potatoes into waiting and eager bowls…and yet we’ve paid them little of the respect that we’ve always expected them to give to us, which we’ve seen as our entitlement. Is this right? Is this fair? No, it is not.

We don’t appreciate these spoons for their having enabled our civilizations to press forward with the business of life and history as conveniently, and slurp-ily, as possible. With such heartless disregard, anti-Spoonism takes root and infects our minds.

Sure, forks and knives deserve gratitude and respect too. I fully acknowledge that. But forks and knives are better able to defend themselves than spoons. A fork has points on it which, if disrespected, can really hurt. Knives big and small are notorious for their tendency to become dual-use items; they are always capable of turning from a dinner utensil into a deadly weapon in a matter of seconds.

What about that special creature, the “spork”? Necessity, the mother of invention, has along with evolution provided the “spork” with the ability to revenge itself, by itself, when visited with the evil of anti-Spoonism. However, when no longer seen as useful or needed, the spork is still thrown into the trash just as carelessly as its cousin, the ordinary plastic spoon. Adaptation, mutation and assimilation can only do so much, as millions of sporks have undoubtedly discovered to their immense dismay.

Henceforth, we should commit ourselves to showing our curved, miniature-bowl-with-a-handle friends a bit more respect. We get by with quite a lot of help from them. We should not underestimate the positive power of giving spoons an encouraging word or two, and then ever so gently placing them in a sink, dishwasher, or trash can, when we are done with them. We should be as sweet to spoons as the sugar they help transport to our bowl of Quaker oatmeal or our cup of Earl Grey tea.

Whether your credo is “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”, or “Don’t do to others that which you do not want done to yourself”, remember that we wouldn’t want spoons to treat us the way we normally treat them. Justifying anti-Spoonism by saying “there is no spoon” might work for The Matrix, but in the real world this form of willful indifference should be fought with all the willpower that we can muster.

If you see instances of anti-Spoonism, or know an anti-Spoonite, speak out. Do not hold your tongue for fear that you may be ridiculed. If you yourself are an anti-Spoonite, examine your ways. Commit to change.

You never know – you could, with your kindness, respect and understanding, forever instill an ordinary spoon (of any genus or species) with the hope and belief in a better tomorrow…no matter what abuse that spoon may take in the future. You might feel insane, or be looked upon as insane by others, for talking to a spoon. But take heart. Remember that the real crazies are those who, all but blind to their arrogance, perpetuate intolerance and injustice in the world with their disrespectful anti-Spoonism.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jeremy Slavin


Anonymous said...

whatever you're smoking son, please let me know where I can buy some ...

Anne L. said...

thank you for bringing to light the terrible injustice we wreak on spoons daily. I, myself, will be much more cautious and respectful in the future...