by RICK MORTON
I have a nemesis. An enemy par excellence. They are ruthless, they are dominating.
They are chopsticks.
It all started in a Teppanyaki restaurant when I was trying to catch a flying prawn like Mister Miyagi would a fly, except I looked more like a poor rip-off of Harry Potter in a fight with a Death Eater. It was terrifying.
There were 40 of us at the Very Fancy University Dinner and it seemed to me we were being tested on our ability to be Very Fancy which is definitely a good reason to give someone a scholarship to a university. My problem was, of course, that I wielded the chopsticks with all the grace of a child holding a brown snake, which, incidentally, I was better at.
See, chopsticks and I rarely had cause to meet. The nearest Asian restaurant during the first part of my childhood was somewhere between my house and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. And when we finally moved to town, the lone Chinese restaurant there appeared to hoist a white flag to cultural dining and just laid out forks for everybody.
They also sold roast chook and chips.
For years the chopstick and I peacefully co-existed. They gripped food and I stabbed it with my fork, which seemed to me an altogether more remarkable feat of engineering. But there were no forks at the Very Fancy Teppanyaki Restaurant. No forks and 78 very judg-y eyes.
They were all chopstick-samurais. They could wire a two-bedroom apartment with their chopsticks, I couldn’t pick up a piece of chicken. Let us never speak of the rice.