When my fiance moved to Spokane a few months ago she immediately transformed the kitchen from “The Room that the Microwave Is In” into a warm, functioning room of the house. For the first time ever, the freezer contained something other than ice, the cupboards stored food instead of sporting goods, and I began to eat meals that didn’t have the words “pizza” or “pocket” in them.
However, while it has been a welcome change, it hasn’t necessarily been an easy transition. One of the first items introduced into my environment was a “spoon rest.” For all the heathens out there that don’t know what this is, allow me to explain. It is a hand-crafted little piece of ceramic tile, usually with a charming little phrase like “A warm meal makes a happy home,” or some other flamboyantly domestic scripture printed on it. It’s function: After stirring the contents of a pot of food on the stove, the “spoon rest” provides a handy place to set your spoon until ready to stir again. Truthfully, she had to explain to me the use of such an item multiple times.
Now, prior to the spoon rest being presented into our home, I was simply setting the spoon on the counter like a barbarian. To her, I basically had the culture and couth of an unfrozen caveman living in modern times. So, our household is essentially a marathon viewing of the movie “Encino Man.” For instance, when she first showed me a spoon rest, I immediately grabbed it, stuffed it in my mouth, noisily chewed it up and swallowed it mostly whole.
Of course, when my fiance witnessed this display, her mind questioned my savage behavior, and she reasoned (correctly) that I probably wasn’t housebroken, either.
In light of the difficulties I had grasping the concept of a “spoon rest,” my fiance decided to slowly acclimate me to the rest of her kitchen supplies. First, she threw out all the rocks and sticks I had been using to prepare food and replaced them with shiny, metal objects. One by one I would hold them up to the light, each one shinier and more metallic than the last, gazing at them in amazement like a monkey being given a mirror.
My fiance has been patient and is working hard to introduce me into modern society. When I mess up, she gently reminds me that Roger Fouts has got Washoe and the other primates to use spoon rests in the Chimp Lab. So, there’s hope for us all…