How to avoid fork-related injuries

24 Jul

Let’s face it, folks: forks are sharp. How many times have you tried to gently place a piece of meat in your mouth – just as the directions say – only to feel the pain of razor-sharp tines pushing slowly through the back of your head? Ever jabbed at a rogue pea on your dinner plate only to watch, moments later, as your dinner guests fall backwards with sucking chest wounds? How many times have you cringed as an arthritic old man tries to cut a slice of pie, only to slip and slaughter everyone at church bingo night?

Forks are dangerous. Fondue restaurants are popping up all over the place these days, and – not surprisingly – so are emergency eye surgery clinics.

Of course, fork nuts will insist that fork safety is a matter of personal responsibility, and the saying, “forks don’t kill people, oh wait, yes they do,” is unfair. Fork manufactures have spent millions on lobbying efforts to stop fork control legislation. “Sandra’s Law,” named for a young girl whose face was torn off in a senseless spaghetti-twirling mishap, was recently struck down by the Florida supreme court.

In “Guidelines for proper fork handling,” the Fork Society of America recommends the following:

After securing desired foodstuff with fork tines, slowly and carefully lift foodstuff to mouth. With mouth in an open configuration, place foodstuff in mouth cavity. Gently lower lips around fork and extract fork from mouth cavity. Return fork to ready position.

Easy, right? Not at all. What the Fork Society fails to describe is how we secure foodstuff to fork tines. Is this with paper clips, or rope? Or a nail gun? Also, “slowly and carefully lift foodstuff.” Well! Apparently not everyone has the same powers of concentration that the Fork Society’s technical writers possess! What if someone distracts you or the phone rings while you “slowly and carefully lift your foodstuff” like some Hindu mystic?

They also do not specify how far we have to open our mouths. Many fork-related injuries are from repeated hammering against the lips as foodstuff fails to pass easily between the upper and lower jaw, and frustration sets in. Also, where exactly is the “ready position”? This could be anywhere from the garage over the water heater to inside our large intestine.

Brought to you by the Plastic Spoon Society of America

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