Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Runcible Spoon


Lear's drawing of a Dolomphious Duck using a runcible spoon to catch spotted frogs for dinner

After listening to Edward Lear's poem The Owl and the Pussycat, Lucia wondered, "What's a runcible spoon?" The term comes from the last stanza:

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon...


Lear probably didn't have a specific idea as to what a runcible spoon really was, but descriptions of the utensil as a spoon with prongs or a curved fork that has a bit of a bowl to it led me to conclude one thing: the runcible spoon is our modern-day spork. However, "spork" is so inelegant. Really, there ought to be a differention. When you partake of fine cuisine (mince, slices of quince, spotted frogs), you use a runcible spoon:



However, if you are forced to consume cafeteria food, you definitely need a spork:

You might ask, "All this exposition over obscure cutlery is well and good; however, in which hand should we hold the runcible spoon?" The answer is simple, my friends: follow the local customs of the country in which you happen to dine. If that tactic fails, ask yourself, "What would Edward Lear do?" (henceforth known as WWELD).

9 comments:

:: Suzanne :: said...

Which type, in your mind, are teh ones in VeggieTales' Lord of the Beans.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Hi Susanne! I'm actually not familiar at all with Veggie Tales other than that they're Biblical reenactments done with vegetables.

HipWriterMama said...

Veggie Tales -- fun for the kids if you don't mind talking and singing vegetables.

TadMack said...

I love the idea of a runcible spoon being a spork!!!

Actually VeggieTales are sometimes just random funny stories appealing to one's better nature, too -- with singing vegetables. I actually don't mind them all that much -- except that I mind singing vegetables in general. My sister... oy. We went through MANY a video. Thank God she's now 11.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I remember liking the talking foods in Sesame Street. You know, everyone getting together and making themselves into a sandwich-- cooperation! (And keeping in mind that lettuce and tomatoes want* to be eaten, it's not barbaric to eat plants that talk to you.)

*I know this because I read Diane Duane's Young Wizard series.

jules said...

Sporks are so under-appreciated, no?

Lone Star Ma said...

I learn so many things on this blog.

Cloudscome said...

You all ought to hear my two little guys doing the opening of Veggie Tails. If I ever start podcasting that will be my lead-in. They are practicing for stand up I believe.

Larry said...

This is so odd! I'm reading a science fiction book by Neal Asher at the moment (posted on my blog) and this word Runcible kept popping up, so off to google we go, and we find a spoon fork hybrid for eating pickles! The term Runcible spoon was created by poet Edward Lear and each chapter of the book has a line from the famous poem!
Then I'm led here, how odd!