Consecotaleophobia is a problem that is not be sniffed at and there is no need to suffer in silence. It is just as serious as arithmophobia (fear of numbers), syngenesophobia (fear of relatives – depends on your family, I guess), but maybe more serious than hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words) or phobophobia (fear of phobias). Am I the only person who cringes at the thought of visiting a Chinese or Japanese restaurant and having to use chopsticks? I’m a lover of new inventions and, in my mind, a knife and fork are inventions that should supersede chopsticks. It’s the natural evolution, just like VHS – DVD – Blu-ray – 3D. Sure, our oriental friends gave it a good go, but how the hell am I supposed to learn how to use sticks to eat with before my food goes cold? How come other people can use those things? They must have practiced in their own time damn it, they’re just showing off.
It’s not like I haven’t tried to fit in. What ensued was an accidental food fight with my date and, believe me, I didn’t want to mistakenly flick rice there! Not a good first impression. I actually used to have an Anglo-Chinese girlfriend and she once attempted to demonstrate the versatility of chopsticks. When I challenged her to eat a dim sum with them, she ended up twirling the dim sim around, desperately trying to split it in two, for about thirty seconds. In effect, failing to do something that could be accomplished in a millisecond with a knife and fork. And she was a skilled stickswoman, having been trained since birth, presumably to black belt 3rd dan or something.
So why do I feel alone in my phobia? Why should I have to learn how to use inferior technology when there is a simple alternative? Am I speaking the unspeakable? If your answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then I ask you, why should we stop there? Lets ditch our cars and canter to work on horseback. Or are you a keen cyclist? Not if you have to use a penny farthing, smart arse. Enjoy texting? You’re not keeping it real infidel, send a telegram instead. Well, I’ve had enough of all you chopstickaphiles out there who smugly pick up three grains of rice at a time, seemingly oblivious to the fact that your food has gone cold and you still have another 85 grains to go. I’ve already finished and I’m on my second beer by this time, but no worries, you enjoy your moment of glory my luddite friends. I’ve beaten my consecotaleophobia by accepting the fact that I am useless at that particular skill and will never be able to do it, so I feel that I should be accepted as I am and not be judged as socially inept (well, not for this anyway, there are plenty of other things!).
I’ll also admit to being jealous of good chop-sticksmanship. I’ll just have to experience far eastern cultures without this skill. I’ve nothing against sticks for other uses of course. They make for good birds’ nests and drumming wouldn’t be the same without them. Of course I wouldn’t recommend drumming with a knife and fork… never again. Consecotaleophobics, I know you’re out there brothers and sisters! Please come forward. There are people here who feel your pain. Of course, I’m not guaranteeing that others won’t laugh, but shit happens. At least you’re not angrophobic (a fear of anger or of becoming angry). Take a chill pill!