Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grab Your Hamburgers With a Handy Hamburger-Grabber

Yep, you read that title right. Thanks to the recent phenomenon of answers to problems that no one in the world has, there is now a concept design for a device which, depending on your personality, is either genius, preposterous, useless, or maybe somewhere between. Allow me to introduce you to the CHOMPr hamburger grasper, which according to the press release is "a conceptual hamburger grasping device for high-end restaurants." Looking like two coffee tables held together by those pins you get from Ikea to keep your cabinets from collapsing on themselves, the CHOMPr wants to calm the conflict between the less-than-delicate process of eating a hamburger and formal, suit-and-tie surroundings.

To some, whether you need a hamburger grasping utensil besides the ones at the ends of your arms is sort of, well, stupid. But it does raise a very interesting etiquette question, because it adresses the issues of the use of utensils as an element of table manners and hands as a dimension of utensils. In the first case, utensils are a part of modern civilization exactly because they are not your hands, and the invention of utensils has followed a path more or less coinciding to the Industrial Revolution, reaching the boiling point in the Victorian era, when a fully outfitted silver trousseau set could span the gamut at around more than 500 pieces.

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