Thursday, September 29, 2022

Kvelve's Comments: "Spatchy" lives!!

| January 27, 2021 12:00 AM

“They’re coming to take me away, he-ha, ho-ho. To the funny farm….”

Those words to a song from a few decades ago are bouncing around my cranium as I write this confession.

My excuse, in advance, is that I’m a bachelor who lives by myself. I’d like to find a good Montana woman to hang around with, I’m pretty sure that would help.

But I also say, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in talking to myself around the house.

Folks who know me say they’d love to hear those conversations. I ain’t certain what they mean by that, but I always tell them anyone who says they don’t talk to themselves is not telling the truth.

At any rate, I caught myself doing some verbalizing that has me a bit concerned.

This growing old stuff, when complicated by the four or five concussions I’ve had over the years has me…what was I talking about? Oh yeah, confused and maybe a bit concerned.

The subject of this recent conversation has me worried and laughing at the same time.

You see, I have been the proud owner for the past 10 years or so, of a wonderful kitchen utensil….a white, hard-plastic spatula. You know, one of those egg-flipping, pancake tossing wonders some caveman probably carved out of a hunk of stone years ago.

My utensil, “Spatchy,” has been a staple of my cooking endeavors for years.

And then it happened.

While trying to prod a fried egg up from one of those “absolutely nothing sticks” pans I saw on the boob tube, I felt a disconcerting snap. My heart sank as I hurried to the sink to wash away the egg white and yellow.

There, to my chagrin, was a crack through the upper part of the “Spatchy’s” leading edge. It hooked up with one of the genius holes in the main body of my friend, creating a double-bladed thing where a kitchen hero had been.

I carefully snapped it back into place and discovered it was still usable, just not abusable.

A few days later, still grieving from the horrific wound to my plastic buddy, I confided this story to a co-worker at a casino where I worked as bartender/psychotherapist/theologian/BFF to the poor souls who sought my aid and comfort.

“I’m bummed,” I said in response to her question about why I seemed a little down. “My friend Spatchy has suffered a horrible accident and may never be the same.”

As the co-worker struggled not to laugh, maintained eye contact and backed slowly toward the door I tried to explain my sorrow.

I’m pretty sure that was her belly-laughing on the other side of the door once she cleared the room.

However, my story appeared to touch some part of her heart. The next shift I worked she came in with a bag, in which there rested a brand new spatula.

Wow, I thought what a great, if not weird act of human kindness.

“Awe, you shouldn’t have done that” was my initial response. I assured her I would take this new utensil home and give it a home in the jumbled mess that is my utensil drawer.

I tried using it, but it was not the same. It was made of rubber and had a tendency to bend at the blade during the crucial food flipping portion of what ever sub-gourmet meal I was preparing.

It just wasn’t the same, but something wonderful had come of the whole deal. The co-worker, who asked how “New Spatchy” was doing every time I saw her, had done something so unbelievably cool, it lifted a burden from my shoulders.

Yeee-haaa, I thought, I’m not the only certified, lock-stock and down-the-road nut out there. This lady actually thinks the spatula is a real thing.

Wait a minute, I thought, that also means I’m just as whacky as she is. Not sure to this day how to fully interpret that situation.

To this day, original “Spatchy” is still in my drawer, still being called upon to turn those eggs and flips those pancakes. Gotta snap the end back in place every now and then but it doesn’t bend on the end.

And after all we’ve been through, I dread the day when the crack in my friend’s head will eventually cause me to do the unthinkable and place it in a freshly dug hole in my garden for a proper utensil burial.

I wonder if any thinks I have a crack in my head that renders me fit for disposal. Bury me next to the cucumbers please, they are my best crop every year.

Nah…I’m as normal as the next guy. Gotta go now, I’m long overdue for a little chat with my microwave.

Chuck Kvelve Bandel is a reporter for the Mineral Independent and Clark Fork Valley Press. Look for his “Kvelve’s Comments” column weekly.

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