License to fill: Do spoons pose a risk to society at large?

Spoons are a menace to society.

That’s right. We’ve all been thinking it. I finally said it.

Spoons seem so unassuming. They have that sleek design with a curvaceous, almost seductive appeal. Some may even call them sexy. They can be made of almost any material — wood, metal or plastic.

Spoons are the most common eating utensil in the world. Spoons are ever-present during conflicts with food, from mixing and adding the ingredients, to serving and eating. Everyone has used a spoon, from Derek Zoolander, whose modeling career began with his reflection in this ubiquitous utensil, to writer T.S. Eliot, who measured his life in coffee spoons.

Why do we own spoons when they can pose such a risk to ourselves and others?

We even have children wielding spoons soon after birth. You are considered fortunate if you are born with one in your mouth.

Baby spoons must be safe right? Although the rubber tip on these “toy spoons” makes them “safe,” these children will soon move on to the real thing.

I remember as a child, my parents used to keep their nice decorative silver spoons in a display case. I cannot imagine the devastation I might have caused had I not heeded their warnings and accessed these.

We cannot count on all children to be as obedient as I was. It starts innocently enough, with a young child showing their friends the “off-limits” spoon collections.

It often leads to such horrors as playing games with spoons. Sometimes kids run while balancing eggs on spoons, or even try to hold one on their nose. Worst of all, kids now play a fast paced card game, (cleverly titled "Spoons,") which involves a rush to grab a spoon before the other participants.

Parents sit by and allow such risky behavior asserting the use of such dangerous utensils as “harmless play,” not realizing this habit could end in their untimely deaths.

The classic kids' movie "Mary Poppins" popularized a song praising the abilities of the spoon: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Or is the spoonful of sugar the reason for the medicine? Or maybe a spoonful of cookie dough, a spoonful of ice cream or a spoonful of peanut butter?

The spoon is the weapon of choice for over-eaters.

Cereal killers almost exclusively use spoons to attack their prey. The entire culture of spoons is riddled with excess. Terms such as spoonfuls and "heaping spoonfuls" are the norm while "sparse-spoon," "scant-spoon" and "empty spoon" are rarely, if ever, used.

There is even evidence that “spooning” can lead to extreme weight gain and eventual hard labor, for terms as long as nine months.

With spoons so easily accessible to the masses, why has no one tried to stop or, at least, control this phenomenon?

While it could be argued that spoons have legitimate uses, spoons in the wrong hands can bring about catastrophic results. Spoons ought to be withheld from those without knowledge and training. Maybe only spoon enforcement officers should have the right to wield such dangerous instruments.

At a minimum, we should ban high-capacity spoons and restrict the amount of damage one spoon can do at a time. In a bygone era of hunter-gatherers, the need for spoons was obvious. In our modern society, the necessity for spoons among the masses is negligible at best; finger foods are widely available, as are fork-friendly dishes. Why do we continue to stand by while our fellow countrymen destroy their figures at the hands of spoons? The opposition to spoon control has been saying things like “spoons don’t make people fat, food does” for far too long.


Reach the columnist at or follow her at @haleykmills


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