Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your Nice Chinese Food with Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious history and cultural." *

An interesting little piece of realization came to me the other day while eating food from the Asian line at the Dining Center: Chopsticks are shockingly accurate instruments for gauging how high-strung a person is.

For example, people who can be described with words like chill, laid-back, or easy-going tend to have no problems whatsoever using chopsticks. Their wrists are calm, their fingers are unperturbed, and the chopsticks look like natural extensions of their body—like a Buddhist Wolverine. 

[He must do yoga.]
On the other hand, people who, say, are a little more stressed-out than others, maybe breathe a little too much from the chest, maybe bounce their legs up and down when sitting idly on a chair…(you know, people like me…) CanNOT work those damn chopsticks. 

People like us, who maybe idolize relaxation, go on trips just for that reason, or take time out of our day to sit in a hammock and relax even though all we can think of the whole time is what we’re going to blog about next (hellooooo), have some problems. We tend to go towards three techniques of chopstick usage:

1. Eat a third of our meal before giving up and searching for a fork, mumbling something like, “Errr…give up…I can’t…damn…FORK!” 

2. Go completely ape-sh** and use the chopsticks to stab at the chicken in our lo mein with bloodshot eyes and a strange sense of obsessive patriotism. 

[This is the second draft of this drawing. The first one is far too creepy, so I'm leaving it out. 

Oh, what the heck. Here it is...]

[I think this qualifies as "ape-sh**." 
And yes, those are American flag lightning bolts.]  

3. Buck up and pretend like everything’s normal, and hope that nobody sees the mangled mess of appendages and wood coming out of our wrist. 

So that settles it. Chopsticks usage has nothing to do with practice or culture. If you can’t use chopsticks, your character is to blame. The only probable solution is to quit your job, drink more wine, take up yoga, maybe some Ritalin, move to Asia and become a monk, ring more gongs, light more incense, probably smoke pot, stop watching Jersey Shore, and breathe from your freaking abdomen. This hasn’t been proven, but it has got to be more effective than practice.

*This title is quoting the wonderful, lost-in-translation inscription on most chopsticks packages. For those who are wondering if there's a point to this, or if I'm just making fun of the Chinese. The latter, people; the latter.


  1. Love it! I laughed really hard at the third one!
    Also putting both versions of drawing #2 was a wise choice.

    Honestly, I initially worried that I would be bored during this post because you always say Logan is a better chop-sticker than me, but I was WRONG. Good post.

  2. "Like a Buddhist Wolverine."

    Thank you. I just laughed out loud awkwardly during a group meeting about a Comm presentation. Now I look like a weirdo.


  4. Christie: glad you didn't get bored. Since you're one of my few readers, I'm not going to tell a story you've heard a million times in the same old way, am I? Heck no, techno.

    JennaRose: I just commented on YOUR blog like a second before posting this one. WEEEEEEEIIIIIRRRRRRDDDDD.

    Shannon: Welcome, first of all! And second, the way I'm going, I'll never EVER be able to catch even a drunk bumblebee with two tennis rackets, let alone chopsticks.

  5. I like the fact that the one time I ate dinner with you, and the one time I decided to read your blog, happen to coincide in one glorious blog about chopsticks.

  6. If I knew how to manage it, I would show specific photos of "calm chop stick use" (Yes, that would be a picture of Logan and his
    almost-beautiful chopstick skills) and "very stressed chop stick use" (and yes, that would be you and the rest of us that share the name Schroeder.)

    If any readers are doubting the realism of the first draft of photo #2, believe it. I've seen it with my own eyes while sitting across from Brian. Not a pretty sight. Not pretty at all....and kind of scary.

    Thanks for the laughs tonight, Brian!