I am not a US Marine, but I have watched a lot of war movies, which I believe makes me an eminently qualified arm chair general with some say in the preferences of military personal, or maybe not. Anyway, one of my favorite war movies is Heartbreak Ridge starring Clint Eastwood. In the movie Eastwood plays a gunnery sergeant who is assigned to a dysfunctional platoon of recon marines which is the whipping boys of the “elite platoon” of Major Uptight. At some point during the movie both platoon engage in a exercise that ends in a mud pit brawl between the two platoons. The platoon with the last man standing wins a weekend leave. It looks like Major Uptight’s platoon is going to win as two of their men are dragging a half drowned Stitch Jones out of the mud pit. However, just as they reach the edge, Jones sucker punches the two guys and they keel over. Major Uptight complains to the referee while Eastwood defends his man saying that he “adapted and overcame” – a philosophy he was trying to instill in his platoon. The Major, who incidentally used to work in logistics, claimed that Jones was fighting unfair and not following regulations. The referee decides to let Eastwood and the Major fight it out and of course Eastwood wins.

So what has this to do with spatulas?

I am fighting my own personal battle against kitchenware sprawl. Currently, I count three spatulas in our household. Number one is a black plastic spatula which recently broke yet retained some semi-usefulness. Number two is black plastic spatula which to my untrained eye seems to be identical in use to number one which as you recall also was a black plastic spatula. Number tree is one of those rubbery blue spatulas that are only useful for spreading mushy or creamy food around. Number three is clearly the odd one out and the least useful of the bunch. Now, DW claims that there are subtle differences between one and two, but I for one can’t see what it is. Maybe number two has a slightly sharper edge or a different angle or size. When I need a spatula I just grab one of those and they seem to work equally well.

Then again, I suspect it is more a question of following established procedures and utensil etiquette or maybe it’s a question of not fitting a square peg into a round hole even if the square peg is small enough to fit anyway. Beats me! I can use a spoon as a spatula if I had to. Adapt and overcome!

Our philosophical debates aside, I believe that I have found the ultimate solution which satisfies my need to not have any more tools than are needed to do the job as well as DW’s needs to follow proper procedure. Much like the spork which is a combo of a spoon and a fork, I give you what could be called the spoonula (link to amazon).

It is a spoon, which I like since I can pick up liquid stuff with it and thus replace my need for other spoons. It has a sharp edge like spatula number two above. It is also big like spatula number one and hopefully the round backside of the spoon can be used to smear things around like spatula number tree. Best of all, it’s made out of wood which means that if it breaks, it can be burned rather than end up in some landfill. I think I will put it on my wish list until the other spatulas break down as well.

Originally posted 2007-12-28 23:57:53.