So, back in 1994 or so, I sent a newgroup message to create alt.plastic.utensil.spork.spork.spork in the vein of alt.sweedish.chef.bork.bork.bork. Once it was created a friend and I thought it would be fun to put together a FAQ for the newsgroup.
FAQ: Sporks and the alt.plastic.utensils.spork.spork.spork newsgroup
Updates? Corrections? ag592 @ yfn.ysu.edu or email@example.com
Flames? Hatemail? postmaster @ nic.ddn.mil
Updated Feb 02, 1994 – – – – Rev 1.02
Questions answered by this FAQ file:
What is a spork?
Brief History of Sporks. (Updated!)
Where can I get sporks?
How can I make a spork?
What is the largest spork known?
What restaurants use sporks?
Are all sporks plastic?
Who makes sporks?
What is the proper etiquette for using sporks?
What is the purpose of alt.plastic.utensils.spork.spork.spork?
1. What is a “spork?”
A spork is an unusual dining implement that is part spoon, part fork. Basically, it is a spoon with tines on the end, suitable for using as a fork, while still having a spoon portion. It is the utensil of choice for eating cole slaw, potato salad, and many other take-out foods.
Please don’t confuse sporks with woons, those wooden planks you get with ice cream and “malts” at the ballgame/fairs/etc. Woons are not sporks, and are in fact just a cheap ripoff of a spoon.
2. Where do sporks come from? (Brief History of Sporks)
It would appear that the spork has a very long, and interesting history. firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
The spork is actually nothing more than a plastic decendant of the runcible spoon, the earliest mention of which I’ve found in Lewis Carrol’s “The Walrus & the Carpenter.”
And, then theres this little tidbit of info contributed by ChrisMcCarter (email@example.com):
the spork was invented not in the ’60s, but in the 40’s. when the us army occupied japan after the war, gen mcarthur (who wanted truman to enthrone him as emperor of japan) decreed that the use of chopsticks was uncivilized, and the conquered foe should use forks and spoons like the rest of the ‘civilized’ world. but fearing that the japs might rise up and retake their country with their forks, he and the us army invented the ‘spork,’ which was then introduced into the public schools. the army, which had taken over all government enterprises and the schools, enforced the use of the ‘spork,’ and made the use of chopsticks in the schools a punishable offense. this is a bit of spork history that’s absolutely true, but not very funny.
In more contemporary times, the spork has obtained the status of an urban legend. Sometime in the 1960’s, they started appearing at fast food restaurants, the first being Kentucky Fried Chicken. Later, other chains had sporks, including Taco Bell, and even a few McDonald’s stores.
It has been suggested that the disappearance of sporks at KFC and Taco Bell may have something to do with Pepsico’s buyout of these companies. Any one with info on this please mail us.
(ObNotSporks: Sporks dissappeared about the same time that the Encherito went away at Taco Bell. The sporks were missed greatly…)
3. What restaurants currently use sporks?
Kentucky Fried Chicken
El Pollo Loco (some locations)
El Taco (Orange, California only)
many Broasted Chicken stores
Lucky (supermarkets) Delicatessen (some locations)
4. Who makes sporks?
Currently, many companies that manufacture plastic utensils make sporks. Sweethart’s sporks are used by KFC. I have seen, however, cheap “spork clones” that don’t have very sharp tines in use at some inexpensive eateries, I can only assume that these are made in China somewhere.
5. Where can one buy sporks?
Smart and Final (Cash and Carry Warehouse stores)
(various locations around the southwestern US)
S. E. Rykoff Company (Distribution to Foodservice)
Los Angeles, California
Price Club Membership Stores
6. Are all sporks plastic?
By all means, no. I have seen metal sporks, wooden sporks, and even soft rubber sporks.
7. What is the biggest spork known?
According to our records, the United States Navy uses a spork-like utensil that’s 6 feet long. Being as it is a spoon with tines cut out, we must consider this a spork.
8. How can I manufacture my own spork?
The easiest way to make your own spork is to use a inexpensive stainless steel spoon and make three triangular-shaped cuts at the bottom of it. Be sure to sand it down, make it all nice and neat, and place them at your placesettings.
9. What is proper etiquette for sporkware?
In modern society, it is important to ensure that you do not offend anyone with your spork. So please, only use sporks when the meal calls for them. Serving sporks with no suitable alternative is not acceptable when soups or sauces are a dominant portion of the meal in question.
As far as placesetting with your spork, simply substitute the dinner fork with the spork, leaving the knife and the salad fork present (eat lettuce with a spork? never!). You may wish to leave the spoon present in case their are “spork-ignorant” guests.
When using a spork to eat mashed potatoes out of a styrofoam container, it is common courtesy to leave a little “spork waste” at the bottom rather than scrape the styrofoam with the spork to get every last morsel. If you must have every little bit of potato, please use your finger.
The use of sporks for launcing peas, mashed potatoes, or other inedibles is acceptable, as long as you pay the management of the KFC for any damages caused. If at home, please ensure you clean up yourself.
10. What is the purpose/rules for the newsgroup a.p.u.s.s.s.?
Basically, our only rule is that all postings should have something to do with sporks. It is our endeavor to further the use and understanding of this, the most humble of eating utensil, the spork. All topics regarding proper use, where to get them, other applications of sporks, etc. are welcome. Please do not discuss any other utensil such as forks, knives, spatulas, etc.
Common abbreviations used on a.p.u.s.s.s:
“nsu’s”: Non-Spork Users — that tasteless group of people that cannot seem to handle sporks. These are the people who perpetually ask for REAL forks at KFC. How dare they!
11. Spork Haiku (included as a public disservice): (Haiku posted on a.p.u.s.s.s.)
Erin Sharwell (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
All bow to the spork
Lovely plastic work of art
In rainbow colors
Captain Sarcastic (email@example.com) writes:
I am the spork man
Missing my odd-numbered teeth
Left by the wayside