Years ago, back when I was working for SANYO, my dad was working with a company that sent him to Japan.

During my next visit with him, he related a story about how, since he doesn’t do chopsticks, he took a fork from the plane and carried it with him, using it in restaurants throughout the trip. (You can see where I get my resourcefulness!)

This photo is a recreation!
This photo is a recreation!

“Oh my G-d, Dad! It was you!”

His eyebrow raised.

“Some of the executives just got back from Japan. All week they have been telling stories about this really tall American who brought his own fork into a restaurant.”



“No. Sounded good though, right?”

There was much laughter after it sank in that I really was joking.

I am not one to think that quickly on my feet, so I am still so incredibly proud of myself for not only thinking of it, but for pulling it off in such a convincing manner.

I was telling my sister Rebecca (Happy early birthday!) about this post, and she agreed that bringing the fork was a really smart move. As it turns out, last summer she was up in the Bay Area doing some sciency stuff with “soils,” and a  group went out to eat at an Asian restaurant. There was a collective razzing of the the guy who asked the waitress for a fork. Rebecca silently reached into her backpack, pulled out a fork, and ate un-harassed.

See, Dad, we do listen!

Do you ask for a fork in a restaurant? or Are you quick on your feet with witty retorts? or Do you normally think of the perfect response days later (like me)?

8 thoughts on “Fork”

  1. Well I finally found your blog, and it’s been a delight reading through the last few posts. Also a bit like reading my own life. Yes, I’ve been through a hurricane, yes, I’ve quit a job (a whole career) without a new one lined up, and yes, I always think of the perfect response later that same evening when I get home. The group of friends that I usually dine with is absolutely hilarious, and the jokes are flying so fast I can barely stop laughing, much less contribute anything.

    I like the fork idea. I can use chopsticks as easily as anything, but since everyone converted to wooden ones (they used to be plastic), I don’t like to use them. I can’t stand wooden spoons, either, and don’t get me started on popsicle sticks. Ick!


    1. So glad you found the blog, Katrina. We do seem to have lots of similarities. I can even see one more: I, too, get weird about textures! While wooden spoons aren’t on my list, certain fabrics that I touch in the store have me rubbing my jeans to get the yucky feel off of my hands.


  2. I’m usually the days later with wit kind of person. Every now and then I’m quick. It always pays to be prepared although I hadn’t thought of the fork prep – although I’m not shy to ask for a fork. I want to eat, damnit. Don’t make me use chopsticks if I’m not familiar with them.


    1. “It always pays to be prepared.” Hmmmmmmm…. to combine the two themes, I wish there were a way I could be prepared with a witty retort that didn’t sound rehearsed and actually applied to the situation. I think that is too much to ask of my brain.


  3. What a funny story. It sounds like something my dad would do. I don’t know how his abilities to use chopsticks are, but I don’t think they’re all that good. I used to be like that. Whenever I’d get chopsticks in a restaurant, I’d have to use forks and silverware because I didn’t know how to use them. Luckily I had a friend who was a pro with them so he just showed me the correct way to hold them. Now I’m accurate enough to pick up a grain of rice. No more forks for me.


    1. Congratulations on mastering the art of chopsticks. I’ve never had the desire to learn, much to my mother’s chagrin. I have worked to be able to eat the British way (fork in left hand held tines facing downward), but even with practice that is still hard for me. Hand-eye coordination was never a strength of mine!


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