The Food Issue 2016
EATING IS DANGEROUS and difficult—if it weren't necessary for survival, we probably wouldn't bother. How many times have you pricked yourself with a salad fork, or squirted hot sauce in your eye, or gotten a tiny fish bone lodged in your trachea, or burned the inside of your mouth with a sip of hot soup? Too many times. The agony!
Blessedly, ingenious inventors and innovators have made it their life's work to bestow upon us a variety of mechanisms and accessories that make food not only safer, but easier—and in many cases, more fun. They are to eating what Ralph Nader was to seatbelts.
Let us take a look at these momentous achievements, which have brought mankind out of the dark ages and into our current golden age of safe eating.
The Burger Lift
For eons, humankind has suffered severe crick-of-neck when dipping down to take a bite of burger. The Burger Lift mitigates these hazards—somewhat—by raising your burger onto a grill-like platform, positioning it closer to one's ready-and-waiting mouth. However, the inventors claim that the Burger Lift's primary function is actually to slightly elevate the burger above its own juices, in order to prevent the calamitous occurrence of bun sog. This is a worthy endeavor, but overlooks the whiplash effects of repeatedly craning down for a bite. The Burger Lift is an excellent start, but the invention would achieve true perfection if its platform extended higher—say, to slightly above mouth level, so that a small push on the burger's far side would impel it down a gradual slope and directly into your open mouth.
The Napkin Ring
Imagine a world in which napkins are folded willy-nilly, with some napkins folded horizontally, others diagonally, and still others twisted into swanlike shapes. Worse yet, imagine a world in which napkins are not folded at all, but simply cast about in various stages of rumpledness! You can understand the urgency with which the crucial napkin ring was introduced to our primitive society. Nowadays, your napkins can be artfully and uniformly inserted into your napkin ring, which not only keeps your napkin from being draped any which way across your dining table, but provides a sense of peace and well-being to any place setting.
The Melon Baller
Only a monster would dare to slice up the meat of a melon with a knife—or worse yet, shove spoonfuls of melon directly into their hateful, barbaric mouth. The melon baller, thankfully, turns each potential bite of melon into a perfect sphere, a glistening orb of fruity perfection. Eating melon by any other method is an affront to god and nature.
A cup is not a cup without a small, impractical plate to put underneath it. Coaster? Be gone from here, ruffian.
The Cocktail Parasol
In olden days, cocktails would sit on bartops without protection from direct sunlight. As we all know, the sun causes cancer, so these delicious alcoholic drinks were absorbing cancer at alarming rates—and patrons would then pour all that cancer down their unsuspecting throats. Thank god for the inventor of the cocktail parasol, which not only prevents your drink from getting cancer (and therefore YOU) but sends a signal to the world that you are a goddamned class act and you want everyone to know it.
Misunderstood by most as a marketing ploy for children, green ketchup is actually a scientific revolution, one of humanity's greatest achievements. How many times have you seen ketchup on your food only for you to naturally assume that someone has bled all over it? Far, far too many. With green ketchup, this all-too-common apprehension can be eliminated. Why would you subject yourself to anything else? More importantly, how can you ever be sure again that your hamburger or hot dog is not covered in a stranger's blood? (Not for colorblinds.)