Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Bring me to a diner where one great big wooden spoon is used
for each and every task: scramble the eggs, stir the bacon, flip
the steaks, waft the cook-smoke, swat the flies, scratch the chef’s back,
keep astir the porridge, the soup of the day, spank the chef’s misbehaving children,
clock the man trying rob the place, whisk the egg sauce, remove a busted tire
from its rim, dislodge whatever the chef’s children flushed down the toilet,
scrape the caked grease off the griddle, fish out the dumplings or fried chicken
from the vat, pretend to conduct a symphony while Mozart plays on the kitchen stereo,
toss around the salad, smooth the icing on a cake, scoop out ice cream,
point decisively and judgmentally at the chef by his wife when
the chef wants to go out with his buddies,

and perhaps someone will write a movie about the history of the wooden spoon
and call it the Red Wooden Spoon: all its ups and downs, how it was snapped
in two one time when the chef heaved it down on the counter edge
upon hearing of his daughter’s secret wedding in Las Vegas, and how the spoon
was mended by a wise old sage whose specialty was healing wooden spoons
and was known in those remote parts as the spoon whisperer,
and said to the chef when the spoon was mended, in stoical tones:

“You gotta decide what you want; go back to your diner and eat all
manner of food, or stay here and eat cactus”.

And how the chef went back to his diner with the great big wooden spoon
and passed it down the generations: an heirloom. A wooden spoon.

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