Friday, September 2

Chapter 27

The History of the Spork
In Three Acts

ACT 1:
1642 – a small prison in the south of France. One Englishman in a cell, and one empty cell next to him is filled by a guards bringing in a second Englishman.

Bertram: I say, this is a rummy lot.
Dick: Yes, ‘tis, rather. I beg pardon old chap, but what brings you down here?
Bertram: What, what? Oh, are you a subject of his majesty King Henry the Seventh of Britain as well?
Dick: Rather.
Bertram: Smashing! The name is Bertram, third Earl of Havertshire. Friends call me Berty.
Dick: Pleasure Berty. Mine is Richard Montberry, of the Montberries in Wessex, West of the Thames. Ever heard of us? No. Not surprised. You can call me Dick.
Bertram: Right ho.
Dick: So, odd, us being both of His Majesty’s and stuck here in this Frog Hole, eh what?
Bertram: I should say. How’d they plug you old bean?
Dick: I was a bit off and asked if the 8:20 went to Shropshire by way of Essex or Wessex.
Bertram: Oh, I say, that is a rummy lot, what?
Dick: But what of you Berty old boy?
Bertram: Odd thing that. I was in a café on the corner talking fluently in their gibberish and I asked for a fork for their soup, because of the large pieces of fish. Blimey if it didn’t need one too. Thing was thick as butter... with lumps.
Dick: Rum stop, that. I say, was that enough to do you up here then?
Bertram: Oh my, yes. But you know these European chaps and their sensibilities about their food, eh? Say you ask for salt, and it’s down to ths stocks for you. "Too much pepper" you say, and it’s ‘madame le guillotine’ for you.
Dick: Oh, I say, rather not.
Bertram: True as the Scots and Picts.
Dick: And was the soup that thick then?
Bertram: I all but asked for a plate and knife, but for one of these waiter chaps would have done me in from stem to stern with it, as it were.
Dick: Ah, but what I wouldn’t give for a simple Lancaster Hot pot about now, eh? Or even a good mash, what?
[Guard enters with two covered trays of food]
Guard: Leunsh ees ser-ved.
Bertram: What is it?
[Dick lifts the lid on his tray]
Dick: Snails again?
Bertram: Rummy day.
Dick: Well, at least it’s not those blasted fish eggs again today.
Guard: Bon Appetite.
1756 – Somewhere near Yorkshire, England, in a small peasant’s hut. Wife is seated in a chair at an old table with a steaming hot pot of stew. Many pots are hanging all over the cottage with price tags on them. A man enters and sits down.

Harry: Wha’s fuh suppe’, eh? Oi cou’ ea’ an an ‘orse!
Gerty: Patience ‘arry. We’s got to woit a tick for it to cool off.
Harry: Bu’ Gerty, Oi’m ‘ungry!
Gerty: Ow, stuffin nonsense. Oi’ve been slaivin’ oll daiy over this ‘ere staove jus’ to feed you ‘arry. Yeou can wait a tick.
Harry: Bu’ Oi’ve been wurkin’ maoi fingern to ve baone! Oi jus’ wan’ wha’s roits.
Gerty: Patience ‘arry. [she lifts the lid] Theh you ah.
Harry: Stew. M‘favorite! Give us some ‘ere luv. [Gerty dishes him stew with only broth] Oy! Wheh’s me stew?
Gerty: We couldna’ford no meat nor taters fis week. Jus’ a soup bone.
Harry: Blinkin’ haec! Ah you tewin’ me we ain’ got no food bu’ wha’s Oi’ve goh’a drinks it?
Gerty: Use your fork dea’.
Harry: Wha? No spoons?
Gerty: Couldna’ford em after buyin’ these ‘ere forks. We disgusd this las’ week. We coud ownly affo’d one piece of si’ve’weah each, an you ‘ad me boiy vese last teeoosdee.
[Harry throws his fork down]
Harry: Weow, va’s jus’ grand, eh? Ve ome toim we needs a spoon, as we don’ ‘ave none, bu’ we’ve gor us two forks. Woi didna’ we buy one uv each?
Gert: Ow, ‘arry. Wha’ a load you tauks... you now we’d foit over’oo ge’s ve spoon firs’.
Harry: Vere’s on’y one fing to be downe then.
Gert: Wha’s vat luv?
Harry: Oi’s go’a werk me bum off makin’ vese pots until eve’e’one knows me name an Oi ken buy us some spoons.
Gert: Oh ‘arry.
Harry: An Oil do it, or my name in’ Harry Potter.

1862 – Somewhere on the battle fields of America’s "battle between the states" in the trenches.

Hardy: I say Captain, we can’t go and spend all our money on things like plates and napkins and disposable cups as if this were a fancy dinner party, we are at war.
Laurel: Sorry Ollie. I mean, Corporal Hardy.
Hardy: We’ve got to find a way to cut costs around here; we’re running out of bullets.
Laurel: I’ve an idea Ollie.
Hardy: What is it Stanley?
Laurel: We could melt down some of the silverware to make some bullets.
Hardy: An excellent idea Captain Laurel. But which ones?
Laurel: What about the knives?
Hardy: No, we need those for hand-to-hand combat in case we are attacked while eating. No, we must keep the knives.
Laurel: What about the spoons?
Hardy: All right, we’ll melt down all the... no. That would never work; how would our men eat their pudding? You can’t eat it with a knife, and it slips right through the tines in the forks.
Laurel: All right, we’ll keep the spoons. What about the forks?
[Hardy hits him with his hat]
Hardy: Of all the lame brained schemes... How would we eat our steaks, with a spoon? You can’t pick up a steak with a spoon, and there’s no way to hold it down while cutting it. We need a new type of utensil. Something that can hold things down and pick things up. Something like a cross between a fork and a spoon... something like...
Laurel: Like Chop Sticks.
Hardy: Wonderful Idea Stanley. That’s another fine mess you have gotten us out of!
[A Private runs up and salutes. They return the salute]
Private: Sir, one of your Colonels has invented something. [holds up a spork] He calls it the "spork" sir.
Hardy: It will never catch on. Go and tell this Colonel... what was his name?
Private: Colonel Sanders, sir.
Hardy: Yes, tell him it will never work. Laurel and Hardy said so.
The End


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