No More Spoon-Shaming
“Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his sweater already”. Now you may be thinking these words are in reference to “Lose Yourself”, Eminem’s famed 2002 song off the album “8 Mile”. But no, rather, this is just a precise description of what is going on as I stare down a plate (or bowl) of rice, with chop sticks as my only weapon to attack. Looking around the table of friends, I can’t help but see them for what they are; posers, fakes, and try-hards, hands trembling as they pretend to enjoy their conversation and refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room… they all wish they were using spoons. Of course, this never happens, as pride gets in the way and being the guy at the table to ask for a spoon is akin to social suicide. It’s a hit to your reputation that you may never recover from. But that is why I am writing this article, to break down that wall and let the masses know that it is okay to be comfortable, it is okay to be yourself, and it is okay to ask for a spoon when you are eating rice.
I know what many of you are thinking so I will get out in front of it. No, I am not “good” at using chop sticks. I’ve been called out in the past for “stabbing”, an act in which I use one chop stick to pierce through a piece of food in order to elevate it off the plate and into my mouth. I am also prone to utilize what I’ve dubbed the “hockey assist”, sneaking my finger as a third stick to keep rice from falling as it travels the long distance between plate and mouth.
And I know that I am not alone in this regard. I’ve seen countless friends, colleagues and strangers struggle as they pick up individual grains of rice, unable to amass any volume on their chop sticks, too afraid to ask for the perfect weapon. I’ve been told people do this out of regard for the ethnic origins of the meal and eating certain Asian food with anything other than chop sticks would be disrespectful. I empathize with this point, but I would say that watching us fail to scoop up any rice, grains falling left and right off the side of the table as our hands begin to cramp, is far more disrespectful than enjoying the meal that has been prepared with a spoon.
In the classic 1987 film “The Untouchables”, Sean Connery, portraying an Irish-American cop named Jimmy Malone, mocks his adversary for “bringing a knife to a gun fight”. For years, that is how many of us have approached eating rice-based dishes, but that no longer needs to be the case. Enjoy your meal, ignore the social pressure, and ask for a spoon.
*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'No More Spoon-Shaming' in the style of Richard Prince, the James' artist of choice.*