A classic spork. | Wikimedia Commons

There’s no better utensil when enjoying my typical lunchtime slop bowl

I recently came into possession of a good spork. It doesn’t matter how this happened, only that now in my cutlery drawer there is a spork many times heftier than those wrapped in plastic to accompany lunch at day camp. And I am finding that at many meals, I don’t want to eat with anything else.

Sporks have pretty rightly been maligned as cutlery for children, and while they’ve gained some popularity among campers who want to carry as few extraneous items as possible, they have not found their way to the dinner table. To be clear, I also feel no desire to start setting my placemats with a knife on the right, spork on the left. But my house meals often resemble bowls of slop. I eat a lot of roasted vegetables, dal, eggs, and anything else I can find over rice, or bowls of dumplings or tteokbokki drenched in sauce. The spork is perfect for these.

It’s obvious that the spork’s benefits lie in its ability to both skewer bigger, slipperier pieces of food and also scoop up sauce and smaller pieces that would fall right through a fork. You wont miss a morsel with a spork, whereas with a fork you might be chasing around grains of rice for eternity. But the spork also allows me to assume a sort of crouched posture, a goblin stance if you will, like I’m shoveling my gruel into my mouth before a dragon can come steal it.

I know the sad desk lunch is something to rail against. I should want to take my hour at a cafe or reading at my dining table, allowing myself rest and relaxation before entering the second half of my work day. But sometimes, the most relaxing thing to me is to mindlessly scroll the internet while I shovel leftovers into my mouth. It’s in this state that my mind, to my chagrin, truly turns off, with only the flicker of “mmm, food” penetrating. I would certainly be a bit taken aback if I was given a spork at a restaurant, but at home, the spork is the utensil for when food is fuel. And for reference, I keep it with the spoons.

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