This post is a transcription of a thread that happened live on Twitter on June 30, 2019, in response to some anger at my lack of a cutlery tray. I was in a mood following a previous cutlery incident.
IT NEEDS A TRAY
You’re right. The current state of this drawer is unacceptable. Sure, I can grab a knife, spoon, or fork with relative ease, and the rubberized mat makes cleaning the drawer simple. But look at those irregular lines. There is no order. This must be fixed!
The problem I have is in finding a suitable tray. I have, on occasion, been called obsessive, but really I just live my life in the way that make me happy. I like each item that I own to meet that goal. I don’t just want a utilitarian cutlery tray; I want one that will spark joy.
When I look at cutlery trays, the first criteria, obviously, is a perfect fit within the drawer. It must fit flushl edge-to-edge, at least to the left and right edges, and against the bottom edge. Against the top edge would be ideal, but I suppose I can live with extra top space.
The height is also a concern. The side walls of the tray and of the dividers must come exactly to the height of the drawer. This, I’m sure, is obvious to you all.
Next, the tray slots must divided evenly amongst the spoons, forks, and knives (in that order, of course, for obvious reasons). Any drawer of cutlery would have equal numbers of each, and it would be unjust to have a tray inequality divided.
At this point, most cutlery trays are already out of the running, and yet I have more (obvious and sensible) requirements. The tray must be made of wood. Plastic is abhorrent. You would not believe the difficulty in locating a wooden cutlery tray by itself.
But one that meets all the other requirements? Impossible. I’ve looked. I’ve been to Amazon, to Bed Bath and Beyond, to TJ Max. They simply don’t exist. It’s like a conspiracy. My only recourse, I fear, is to design my own.
I could, I suppose, start a company, whose sole purpose is to design the perfect cutlery tray. I could seek out designers and material engineers, source responsibly forested wood. Teak, ideally. I could find a way to construct it without the use of glue or staples or nails.
This would probably not be sufficiently profitable to stay in business long, and I’m likely to move soon and need a new design. To keep the business afloat, I should diversify. Military contracting is always profitable; perhaps I could re-purpose my engineers.
My team, experienced in perfect design, responsible materials and supply chain management, would be suited to completely dominate this new market. Soon, I would hold all military contracts, patents for unimaginable weapons—because no one before had dared imagine.
Using the proceeds of my new monopoly, I would quietly return to the cutlery market, taking over or putting out of business any company who dared manufacture “cutlery trays”… an insult to the very idea…
This, I fear, would not satisfy me, though. Obviously, every cutlery drawer should come equipped with the perfect cutlery tray. I would have to move in to the interior design market. All drawers and cabinets would be manufactured according to my perfect ideal, my grand design.
As I begin to corner this new market, the FTC becomes concerned at the grand and beautiful hegemony I bring to each new market, but I cannot let them stop me. I perform my biggest hostile take over yet: the United States of America. I naturally held on to my best weapons.
I rename it to the Grand Hegemony of Perfect Cutlery Design, and shift the focus of the economy into the design and production of cutlery trays that suite my tastes. This destroys several Chinese companies dedicated to mass production of plastic trays, and sparks a trade war.
As China is my main supplier of teak, this is a true threat to the Grand Hegemony. I am forced in to military action.
While I expect a swift victory due to my superior design in weapons, I did not count on the effectiveness of Chinese corporate espionage, nor on the retaliatory strikes from Russia and North Korea. The nuclear fallout forces the remains of my government into underground bunkers.
We eventually win. We will have complete control of the teak supply. Our cutlery tray empire is secure. The nuclear fallout will clear eventually. Until then, I have the perfect cutlery tray built in to my cutlery drawer to keep me at peace.