The people at WordPress ask “If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick?”. Remember, they’re asking you to blog about this, which does kind of push your answer in one direction.
They do not make it clear why anyone would force you to make such a choice. Anyway, the reason I’ve paid attention is because of their post’s title, which is “Morton’s Fork”. I’ve never heard of this, so I’ve looked it up, but not before I had my own guess at what it might mean…
Morton woke tied to a chair. Blofeld was sitting in front of him, stroking his cat.
“So, Mister Morton, we meet, er, for the first time,” said Blofeld. “Where is Mister Bond?”
“In hospital,” said Morton. “Q gave him a razor that also acts as a mole remover as a Christmas present.”
“And did he burn himself with it?”
“No, he misunderstood the instructions. He tried it on the mole in MI6, who punched him in the face.”
“I see,” said Blofeld.
“What are you planning?” asked Morton.
“Well, firstly to give you some advice. You are here because you were betrayed, just as Bond always is, by the girl that you just slept with. As a general rule, never trust a girl who is willing to sleep with you having met you just ten minutes earlier, especially if her name is something like Randie Greatbody.”
“Thirdly,” he went on, “I intend to flood the world markets with, well, water, install a puppet as US President (I was thinking of Miss Piggy, there’s no way the North Koreans would risk pissing her off) and rule the world secretly from this island headquarters which is apparently invisible both to spy satellites and to Google Maps.”
“Secondly I have to deal with you. As you know I cannot just kill you, it seems that’s not the way we murderous, ruthless villains do things, I have to give you a chance of survival, so I’m offering you a choice. We will serve you a meal each day. You can have a fork with no knife, or a knife with no fork.”
“Can I have a spork?” asked Morton. “Like they use on aeroplanes?”
“No. Anyway, have you ever tried eating with a spork? You can’t even cut the ring of pineapple that they serve on top of the wodge of gammon.”
Morton thought. He thought of Grizzly Adams, eating slices of bear off the point of his knife – a knife that he had probably used to kill the bear in the first place. He reflected that there is no such thing as the Bowie Fork, the Stanley Fork, or the Swiss Army Fork. The knife might also be used to kill off the guards – nobody had ever been forked off, except people with really posh accents.
“I’ll have the knife,” said Morton.
The next day he was served steak. He quickly discovered that eating steak off a knife is not as easy as Grizzly Adams made it look. Without a fork to pin it down it shot off the plate whenever he tried to cut it. An attempt to stuff the whole steak into his mouth in one go simply lathered his face in blood and fried onions. He finally managed to tug a piece off with his teeth, and the knife flicked the rest of the steak across the room into the tank of sharks which is part of the décor of all arch-villain headquarters.
He fared little better the following day with roast rack-of-lamb. On the third day they gave him spaghetti.
“I’ve changed my mind,” he shouted. “I’ll have the fork.”
The following day they took his knife and gave him a fork. And pancakes.
Morton had had enough. He jammed the fork into an electrical socket, shorting out the systems of the entire island, setting off a series of explosions and turning on an alarm system that started intoning “T-minus sixty seconds, and counting”.
He raced towards the door, where he was confronted by Blofeld. With a knife.
“We meet again, Mr Morton,” said Blofeld (Morton was secretly thrilled, he’d always wanted a villain to say that to him, it’s the taxi-driver equivalent of “follow that cab”).
They circled each other, Blofeld with his knife, Morton with his fork. Blofeld thrust at him, but Morton dodged, and rapped his fork sharply against a metal counter. The pure, ringing, echoing note that it produced was so loud that Blofeld dropped his knife and staggered about, hands over his ears. His cat leapt at Morton, who pinned its tail to the floor with the fork, a trick that he had learnt from watching Tom and Jerry. Morton dived out of the door and into the sea, just as the entire island exploded and sank beneath the waves.
Morton floated barely conscious on the water until he was picked up by Ivana Normuschest, the beautiful Russian agent who had also been hunting Blofeld. She took him to the nearest port, and then to a restaurant.
“What would you like to eat?” she asked.
Morton picked up a spoon. “I think I’ll just have the soup,” he said.