Moses Drecksnider, aka King of Cutlery

(easily among the top 1000 most foolish things ever written)

Moses Drecksnider was known as the King of Cutlery. At least, that’s what they called him in high school, when he worked in the cafeteria kitchen and had to deal with and clean up after all manner of spoon and pot. His sensibility for time, place, and Tupperware was deft, and there was never anyone more adroit with a missing teaspoon, or more fearless with a renegade colander than Moses. Indeed, one time he happened upon a copper colander in the microwave, and though it was shiny and displayed no evidence of grime or gunk, he had to toss the thing in the dishwasher straightaway. Because copper just doesn’t belong in the microwave, Moses muttered to himself.

Most proud of Moses was old Stlethonius, aka the Arbiter of Ketchup, Moses’ employer and mentor in all matters of kitchenware. Stlethonius was a gap-toothed balderdasher, full of pith and merriment--he constantly egged on Moses in matters of life and love--but the old man ruled his kitchen with wisdom and fairness. Stlethonius was called the Arbiter of Ketchup because he once settled a public dispute over a giant tin drum of ketchup, which was hotly contested between rival purchasing factions at a suburban Costco outlet. (As always, Stlethonius’ solution to the fiasco was fluid and salient—like the condiment itself—and the two sides parted ways in tranquility.) Wise as King Solomon was Stlethonius, and the younger man Moses venerated him like a household demi-god— especially after that ketchup dispute at the Costco.

But one rainy afternoon in autumn Stlethonius had to leave work early for a dentist appointment, and Moses was by himself cleaning up the kitchen, wiping down the counters with a moistened rag. He was singing his favourite rock songs and pondering the slick perfection of a plastic soup ladle dangling from a hook. Moses was in his glory in that cooking-space; all alone he was...

Or so he thought! For, unbeknownst to the lad, buried underneath a porcelain pyramid, awaiting Moses in silence, was one Cyrus Flanagan--who was an eggbeater.

Now Cyrus Flanagan was an upstart cooking implement--yes, he was an eggbeater--a hand-held piece of steel-cum-aluminum, rather feared and unloved by the other kitchen utenstils; they more or less left him alone to his cookie-dough-churning devices, upstart rabble-rouser that he was. Ordinarily, Flanagan kept himself stacked in the porcelain cylinder on the counter-top, but this afternoon was different, and that porcelain cylinder was now empty; Cyrus Flanagan was nowhere in sight. He was lurking instead near the bottom of the sink, buried under a pile of dirty dishes and glassware, plotting his fiendishness. You see, Flanagan had long been envious of Moses’ kitchenwide status--his rise to prominence under the mentorship of Stlethonius--and the eggbeater longed for a confrontation; he reckoned the sink as good a place as any to hatch some piece of boldness. And so, when clearing out the basin to begin the final wash-up, the King of Cutlery suddenly felt the sharp sting of churning aluminum--

Whrrr, whrrr whrr—

“Yowzah!” cried Moses—“Sweet KitchenAid Christ!” He was struck with pain, neuronal flashes shocking his brainstem. Moses looked down in disbelief: there was Cyrus Flanagan, chomping at the fingers of his right hand like some kind of stainless-steel snapping turtle; the little metal tool was headlong intent upon finger-pain. This is sink-spawned temerity, thought Moses, it’s a vicious unprovoked egg-beating. Indeed it was pure unabashed mischief—Flanagan-style.

“What madness is this?” screeched Moses, pulling his hand back as though singed by a blistering incandescent lamp. The rabid eggbeater clattered to the floor, landing in the corner beside an orange plastic salad spinner named Percy Romaine. Moses grabbed a four-pronged Ikea fork from the dish rack with his other, unmolested hand--the fork wasn't quite dry, but Moses felt its use most urgent—and prodded the air with a defensive gesture, all his instincts on high alert. Over in the corner was Flanagan, jarred by the landing and re-gathering himself; for his part Moses loomed cautiously, awaiting the eggbeater's next move or perhaps some trenchant remark. Meanwhile Flanagan rose up on his single axle, his glinting blades betraying a battery of nicks and dents--and he whirred aloud at Moses:

You numbskull! You just don’t get it!” And he whirred he even louder, “You’ve never been spun around for years and years, in one steaming tub of goo after another--wasting your days as an implement, a pawn to be handled by indifferent cooks and negligent pastry chefs!”

“No, you don’t understand at all,” said Flanagan, adding, “you bastard. Stlethonius can't save you now!”

Cowering beside the renegade eggbeater was Percy Romaine the salad shooter; she was spinning counter-clockwise—she was very anxious and frenetic. And the whole congregation of kitchenware looked on at the scene with dread.

Moses remained composed. Though agitated, he spoke, “I see no quarrel with you, Flanagan, and your wrath against me is truly mystifying.” He raised his voice. “Besides, you’re daft, to attack a man in and around his own kitchen sink,” and he gestured at the liquid Palmolive perched behind the main sink faucets—“I have plenty of detergent at my disposal.” The Palmolive was yellow, lemon-scented—a reliable detergent. “I’ll wash your curvy metal teeth out with soap!”

But the eggbeater was all hot: “Are you threatening me with such meagre suds, those mere solvents?” cackled Flanagan, and he was all the more belligerent; “Yes, your Palmolive may wipe away the grease, O Cutlery-King… but it leaves a bitter aftertaste!”

“You would know it best,” replied Moses—his belligerence was swelling to match Flanagan’s own—“Me? I drink nothing but soda-pop and filtered water; I leave the dish soap for those filthy, embittered tongs like you!” And he waved his fork about in a zigzag or figure-eight pattern.

“I’m filthy, yes—filthy as a demon!” Flanagan cried, and he hopped upon spinning Percival Romaine—and the unwitting salad-shooter fired him across the room, straight into Moses’ eye sockets! And Cyrus Flanagan the eggbeater wailed with perverse delight, while Moses Drecksnider the King of Cutlery thundered in grief: “Agh, I am struck!” And there began to rise a purple welt on his face, and it was totally hideous and disgusting.

But then came a rumble outside the kitchen window. Percy the salad-shooter hissed urgently, “Kitchenware items, humans, everyone, listen up: it’s the great Stlethonius, also called Arbiter of Ketchup; he’s returned to the kitchen unexpectedly, to retrieve his house keys!”

And just then a box of toothpicks clattered to the floor

(unfinished of course. what happens next????)

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