By Gareth Edwards

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Elk Spoons and a Surprisingly Good Deal on Golf Equipment.

Welcome to the blog that attempts to explain everything in the entire universe once and for all. Here are the answers to some of your questions. I hope you’re happy, and if you aren’t I don’t honestly know what you expect me to do about it.

Nance We have knives, forks, spoons, and chopsticks as traditional eating utensils. What other utensils have fallen into disuse for the dinner table?
Ever since the first cave-dweller tutted at his neighbour for using an elk spoon to eat mammoth, humans have enjoyed intimidating each-other with fancy and incomprehensible eating utensils. This quest to use cutlery to humiliate dinner guests into feeling socially inferior reached a peak in Victorian times in what historians call the Great Cutlery Bubble. A quick flick through the Imperial Silverware Manifest of 1874 turns up such treasures as the sausage wrench, the lobster catapult, the soup syringe, and the horse-drawn butter mallet. But perhaps the most magnificent eating utensil ever devised was Bishop Steadfast Dyson’s clockwork stew vortex which advertisements claimed would overcome forever “our nation’s unhappy awkwardness concerning whether to eat stew with a spoon or fork”. It consisted of a six-foot-high iron cylinder pierced by a series of mouth-sized apertures to which dinner guests’ faces could be lightly strapped. Hot stew was then poured into the cylinder and the whole thing rotated by a powerful clockwork spring at immensely high speed, forcing the stew out of the cylinder and into the mouths of the spinning guests.  The invention was simultaneously a total failure and an enormous success: as an aid to eating stew it was inconvenient to the point of fatality but as a means of terrifying dinner guests it was second only to the tiger-handled cake-slice.

Aaron asked What is the blue flavour?
It tastes like depressed chicken.

Peggy Tryton asked Why are there so many murders in Midsomer?
A quick statistical analysis reveals that the county of Midsomer has about twice as many murders per head as London. To anybody who has ever supervised the queue for the donkey rides at a picturesque church fĂȘte, or attended a lecture on crochet in a village hall on a hot day wearing a scratchy tweed skirt this is entirely understandable. With no dark alleys in which to mug hapless strangers, no blighted inner-city schools to vandalise in a frenzy of alienation and not even any rocks of crack the inhabitants of Midsomer are doomed forever to bottle everything up behind a smiling veneer of non-ethnically-diverse smiles and gardening trousers. Nobody can live under such conditions, and inevitably it all comes out in a raging frenzy of lemon-curd-fuelled homicide.

J-Bob asked Is left always left?
No. “Left” and “right” should only really ever be used when you are in a house or on a street. At sea of course we use port and starboard, in an antiquarian bookshop there is “sinister” and “dexter” and on a farm the correct usage is “over yer” and “over thurr”. In space of course left and right become irrelevant because there is no up or down so astronauts use “clockwise” and “North”.

Debsalini Why is it that when a thread has more than three comments there's always someone wanting to sell the others something?
Like any sprawling structure with murky corners the internet is haunted. A typical supernatural online experience might be as follows: you are alone in the house, and it is dark, the only light being the feeble flicker of your annoyingly obsolete iPhone 4 which you only bought a few months ago for heaven’s sake. You stumble upon an interesting YouTube video of a cat who falls off a table when it hears the start of the Nicki Minaj classic Super Bass. It is followed by a thread of comments that debates whether or not Americans are bigoted morons or whether conversely without America England would have had it’s sorry ass whooped in the second war and then we’d all be speaking Russian. You have devised your own bon mot, a puckish reference linking the loud shirts of Texan tourists to global warming when suddenly your iPhone goes cold, or at least, drops to only twenty degrees above room temperature, and a sinister scrawl appears in front of you “Hi guys, outstanding thread! These comments are of the most engaging and I have uttered often on this topic on my own blog”. With a chill gathering about your heart you click on the link. But do you find further nuanced debate about international relations? No. There is nothing but the howl of the electronic wind whistling through a surprisingly good deal on Pringle jumpers. The legend goes that this malevolent comment was typed by no human fingers. It was the Invisible Hand of Market Forces.

That’s all for now. If you have any questions about what makes the universe tick or can offer a surprisingly good deal on golf shoes, please leave them in the comments below.


  1. Well worth the wait! I was truly L-ingOL as I read it. Love the little aside comments. And of course I love answers to life's impenetrable mysteries. We are SO gonna be ahead of the curve when the zombie apocalypse arrives!!!

  2. Thanks again for the answers to nagging. Your detailed answer about left is particularly useful for driving on roundabouts and deciding who's next in a 4-way stop.

  3. Why don't fall leaves come down from the trees all at the same rate or even on the same day?

  4. All the time we hear about the success of certain fruit-named technology companies such as Apple and Blackberry. What ever happened to their less-successful competitors?

  5. Has it always been cats vs. dogs in the battle for human affections?

  6. Happy holiday tidings to all the elves in the Department of SKoE. Perhaps you might share your past holiday answers to help us make the Yule times gay.
    P.S. Why do some men insist on wearing cargo shorts even when the temperature tumbles to below 0 Celsius? And was there ever a non-seasonal function for the ice-scraper?

  7. What would Sherlock Holmes smell like if he was real?

    1. lol, I just noticed you are not doing these any more - I guess will never know :)