Sunday, 12 October 2014

Golden Quotebook: Bill Bryson on Chopsticks

Great statement by an unknown artist of genius!

A while ago, in an indignant article about the horrid Chinese habit of frying life dogs, I also gave you a gentle piece of my mind, dear reader, concerning Chopsticks.

Recently I ran in to another author of good taste and good sense, who also had a most amusing word to say about that most anachronistic invention. It comes from chapter 10 of Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a small island', and goes like this:

  • I can't say why exactly, but Chinese restaurants make me oddly uneasy, particularly when I'm dining alone. I always feel that the waitress is saying: 'One beef Satay and fried rice for the imperialist dog at table five'. And I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven't yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food? I spent a perplexed hour stabbing rice, dribbling sauce across the tablecloth and lifting finely poised pieces of meat to my mouth only to discover that they had mysteriously vanished and weren't to be found anywhere. By the time I finished, the table looked as if it had been the centre of a violent argument.