The spork is similar to fruitcake. It’s a combination of things that are good, popular, well-liked, and yet the combination gets a bad rap.

Quality varies with sporks and fruitcakes. I like them both, primarily, as ideas.

Often we think of the bad examples first. For the spork, this means those flimsy ones wrapped in plastic found in grocery store delis.

My affinity for the spork illustrates the idea that often others know what we like and appreciate – sometimes more, or differently, than us. Why do I say that? I just received in the mail a spork-inspired greeting card from a friend. Last year I received a shiny titanium spork from another friend. I’m trying to remember what I said that prompted him to go online and order me a well reviewed on Amazon spork. Must have been running my mouth again about a recent plastic spork mishap, and my recurrent thought of making the spork my utensil of choice.

I once wrote a story about a man who started manufacturing sporks that matched popular china patterns. He started to sell them to the wedding registry set, and was successful until he ran into the inevitable legal entanglements of flatware design infringement. The story didn’t get that far, but that’s a different story.

I appreciate the spork because it’s a between.

I like between things. Especially genres. I love the prose poem. I am intrigued by infotainment, and sermons that are also stories and jokes. I love the essay that is best described as a story but could just as easily be filed under illustration, anecdote, vignette, meditation, parable, song, vision. Like all of those examples, there are good ones and bad ones, just as there are good sporks and bad fruitcakes and bad sporks and good fruitcakes.

I relate to the spork.

Perhaps you do too?

I can be annoying and intriguing at the same time. I have a hard time fitting into the traditional order of things, and feel uncomfortable at a traditionally set table. I was made to do more than one thing. Those around me often express suspicion about my nature, purpose, ability; they think I’m strange.

And yet, I am a happy spork. I hope you are too. I hope these sentences can serve in a similar way as a spork-inspired greeting card, or the shiny object itself arriving in the mail.

You are probably a weirdo made for more than one thing, confused where you belong, but appreciated by those who see clearly.

You might be a spork.

I appreciate sporks.

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