8.19.2007

Mind if I have a taste?


The danger with eating in restaurants, is that everyone gets something different. Which sounds like a good idea, until the food arrives, and you look around and realize you’ve made a dreadful, irreversible mistake: you’ve ordered wrong. Sometimes, you can blame the pressure; you’re overwhelmed by a bevy of inspiring choices, weighing the delights of braised shortribs vs. butter poached lobster vs. gruyere mac & cheese. But the shortribs come with spaetzle! And the lobster comes with roasted plums! And the mac & cheese comes with mac & cheese! And suddenly the waiter is looking at you expectantly and everyone else has ordered and you need to make a decision, stat, and you hear yourself blurt out something that wasn’t even in the running to begin with, like the organic roasted chicken with pan juices. The waiter retreats kitchen-ward, menus tucked tightly under his arm, leaving you feeling bamboozled by your own indecisiveness, doomed to drool over every meal but your own.

Of course sometimes food envy sneaks up on you. Your choice seems solid. That is, until the entrees arrives and absolutely everything on the table is bewitching - except for what’s in front of you. But no matter what brings food envy on, the outcome is the same: silently seethe with jealousy, hoping your dining companions will offer up a best bite. There’s always the old “does anyone want to taste this?” ploy, in an effort to inspire reciprocation, but there’s no guarantee of success. But now, there’s the Freeloader Fork, food envy’s most formidable foe yet.

With thanks to the ever-vigilent Daily Candy for spotting this gem, the Freeloader Fork has an extendable handle, up to 2’ long, letting you reach across tables, round and square, to dip into the most alluring eats, with or without the owner’s approval. Naturally, you should apply some basic subterfuge; a simple “Hey, is that Charro!?” or “Look! Posh Spice is eating a corndog!” should shift their attention long enough for you to get the Freeloader Fork in and out, undetected. After all, you don’t want to be seen as a freeloader.

It also helps count calories. Watching your girlish figure? Let your tablemates order dessert, and just use your Freeloader Fork for a little sample. After all, didn't Cathy teach us that if we didn't order it, it has no calories? But my favorite use of the Freeloader Fork, as seen in the product copy, is “poke people at a safe distance,” because clearly we don’t have enough tools for that. I was a little disappointed there wasn't a poking illustration included.

A scorching case of food envy can flare up at any moment and modern medicine has yet to find a cure. So, until the FDA approves the proper ointments or caplets or nasal sprays, all I can advise is having the proper tools on hand in order to ease the symptoms.

2 comments:

leena! said...

In order to avoid food envy, I often download restaurant menus weeks in advance, to make sure I will be able to make an informed decision on the big day (and so I don't annoy my eating partners by taking three hours to decide). Why does it feel like the world will end if I choose the chicken over the fish and it sucks? Because food is everything. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Does this come in a spoon as well?