Modern Innovations

Assuming this pandemic ever ends, here are some things I won’t miss:

  • Infomercials in prime time between slick ads for $80,000 cars
  • Infomercials in prime time, period
  • Hoarding
  • Tin can & string audio quality of televised Zoom interviews

These are nice, though:

  • Reduced traffic
  • Uncrowded stores

I was going to add, under likes, shopping online and watching movies at home, but we embraced both years before the pandemic and have no intention of returning to malls or theaters ever. We haven’t tried grocery or meal delivery, so we still go out to stock our kitchen and to pick up takeout. We rely more on Costco than we did before, and have been happy with the precautions they take there.

Remote schooling and virtual classrooms are probably high on most people’s “dislike” lists. That part of the pandemic hasn’t affected us, but we’re glad we don’t have kids in school during these times.

For what it’s worth, Trump yard signs and flags have vanished from our neighborhood. My Biden/Harris 2020 bumper sticker’s staying on, though, until President Joe & Doctor Jill Biden move into the White House. ‘Cause I ain’t believin’ Trump’s leavin’ ’til I see it on the teevee.

In my dotage, forks no longer work for me, especially with certain foods: peas, rice, some pasta shapes (and the sauces coating them). Other foods, while appearing spearable, slide off the tines of my fork and into my lap. I’m beginning to understand why Europeans were so late adopting the fork: unless it’s steak, all you really need is a spoon and a knife, elegant tools of a more civilized age.

Royal Navy sailors in the 1800s used spoons (and, I believe, had to supply their own). They also ate off square plates, which had a dual purpose: inflicting severe head wounds during mess deck brawls. I remember a scene in one of Patrick O’Brian’s seafaring novels where Stephen Maturin, the ship’s surgeon, proposes replacing those deadly plates with round ones. Jack Aubrey, the ship’s captain, blasts the idea as a “modern innovation.” No doubt he’d have been equally appalled at the notion of forks.

Don’t spork me. The fork function of a spork is a total failure; what you’re left with is a spoon with gaps in its edge.

Yeah, I’ll say it. I have no forks to give.

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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