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Blooming metal-handled knives!
by DA.


We've all done it. Trying to be helpful, carrying a plate with the cutlery on it, to or from the kitchen, when suddenly there's a slight slithering noise followed by a crash as a sauce-covered knife drops to the floor. "Blooming metal-handled knives!" goes up the cry.

The lap of the diner is in constant peril from the knife casually placed on the plate during a pause in the degustation. Just a slight knock of the table and a splash of gravy is deposited on the trouser as your knife makes a dash for the carpet.

In many ways kitchen life is much more convenient these days, I have a machine that makes good coffee and a machine that makes excellent bread, so why has this abomination of piss-poor design been allowed to proliferate? It doesn't matter whether you frequent the poshest of restaurants or the sleaziest cafe; they've all got them. Your aunty Irene has a set, your cousin Jack too. I've got some. We've ALL got the bloody things!

I was in a cafe last week, it had a very attractive stone-tile floor, and the sound of dropping cutlery rang out loudly every few minutes. Even the waiters couldn't keep control of the useless things.

In the "good old days" knives had bone handles (with apologies to any vegetarians out there), a traditional design later reproduced in plastic. These had good balance. Try holding a knife between finger and thumb at the point where the blade joins the handle - a traditional knife will balance pretty well. Do that with the ubiquitous all-metal version and you'd better not be wearing sandals because the weight of its lumpen handle will likely as not wrench it from your fingers as it tilts.

Now I guess the explanation that might be offered is that all-metal knives are "dish-washer safe" and virtually indestructible. This means they will never need replacing.. and we'll be stuck with them forever.

Unless we do something about it.

I suggest that next time you are in a restaurant or cafe and are presented with a metal-handled monster, allow it to slip from your fingers onto the floor. The staff will be duty bound to bring you another. Drop that too. Explain that they are difficult to control, won't balance on the edge of the plate and could they by any chance bring you a proper knife?

If we all did this we could rid the world of this dismal piece of unergonomic design.

Or we could go primitive and eat with our fingers... Oh, wait a minute, we do that when we go to MacDonald's. I suppose any kind of knife is preferable to that!


Read old page 94s here.


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