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Let’s All Agree on One Thing: The Spork is Either a Spoon or a Fork

The spork is your kitchen’s answer to the question “why do one thing well when you can do two things half-ass?” The spork is the independent voter of utensils. It’s the “bisexual until graduation” of plastic cutlery. It’s like that old saying goes: “always be yourself unless you can be both a spoon and a fork.” The spork has the audacity to try to be better than itself, which is why we love it.

This cooking-fluid utensil was invented in 1874 by Samuel W. Francis. One day Sam looked at a bowl of chunky soup and was struck with Shakespearean inner turmoil: to spear or not to spear. So Francis tried a spoon, then he tried a fork, then he tried a spoon again. There must be a better way, he thought. Thus the spork was born. 

Francis’s other invention, the typewriter designed to look like a piano, never took off. 

His typianowriter may have failed, but the spork lives on! Sure, it’s mostly found in prisons and fast food restaurants (and places that qualify as both, like Arby’s), but that doesn’t make its longevity any less special.

Why has the spork lasted this long? Maybe because it feels vaguely dangerous and exciting to use one. It tricks your mind into thinking you’re using a spoon, so you’re lured into a false sense of security. But then your overeager consumption of KFC mashed potatoes makes you stab the roof of your mouth with those deceptively sharp little prongs, and you scream “THIS IS LIVING!”

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: “spork” is a portmanteau combining the words “spoon” and “fork.” Which is much catchier than “forkspoon,” though not as catchy as “foon.” And speaking of portmanteaus, if Natalie Portman hooked up with Audrey Tautou, their portmanteau would be Portmantou, but neither would be caught dead using a piece of plasticware most commonly found on the floor of a 7-11. 

Come on, ladies! Don’t snubgnore the kind of revolutioventions that make our world a better place just because you think it’s cheapugly.

When it comes to embracing the unknown, the spork is a trailblazer. And to be perfectly honest, we could all learn a little from the spork’s casual versatility. So the next time you find yourself at a fork in the road, follow both paths. Be ambitious, be fearless, be inventive in a way that both fast food restaurants and prisons will enjoy. 

In other words, be a spork. You are an indecisive iconoclast, and for that we salute you! 

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