The Corn-on-the-Cob Holder Paradox

If it’s too hot for your hand, then it’s too hot for your mouth.  Why do these exist?

Sometimes I wonder what it was like for the person who decided to make the corn-on-the-cob holders look like cobs of corn. Did it seem like a good idea? Did they think they’d get rich?

It also makes me wonder what corn-on-the-cob holders looked like before, because the holders that look like corn are so ubiquitous I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any other kind. But more importantly: who saw the gap in the market in the first place, spurring the invention of the corn-on-the-cob holder holder — shaped like corn or otherwise? Corn-on-the-cob is a pretty perfect food. Who was it that looked at a salted, buttered cob of corn, and said: “I think I can make this better!” (or was it “I think I can convince people that I can make this better”?)

Because why would people go out and buy something they don’t need? Was this cheap little item some kind of status symbol? A fad wedding gift for the baby-boomers? Something happened, because everyone in the baby boomer generation seems to have them. The person that invented them did get rich (and I wonder who that was…).

Because here’s the thing: your fingers are a lot tougher and heat-tolerant than the inside of your mouth. Meaning: if the corn is too hot to hold with your fingertips, then it’s too hot to bite into, chew, or swallow. So why fucking have them?? Was there some kind of ritual, where everyone would hold the corn in front of their face, staring off into space or into each other’s eyes while the corn cooled? Did this little piece of technology allow them to do that?

When that person invented the corn cob corn-on-the-cob holder, if it did replace a previously exisitng holder, it was still replacing an obsolete technology. That person got rich making a more appealing useless item, that was equally useless, and not even clever enough to notice. What would such a creation think of its creator, should they ever gain sentience. What would they think of the world, and their place in it? Would they immediately realize that they are obsolete by design? That they were solving a problem that didn’t really exist? Would they flock to some religion that gave them purpose, or made their life make sense? (“The fingers of the gods must never touch the corn. We are the bridge, that lets them eat of the life-giving kernels, without fouling their most sacred of hands..”)

Or were they designed for some other species, with tough inner mouths or very delicate fingers? Some alien that eats thorn bushes and plays the piano…

“WHY DO I EXIST??” the corn-on-the-cob holders will shout out to their god, “WHY???”

But no one will answer. No one ever does. They will be nihilists. Depressing little conversation pieces in every kitchen. People will stop serving corn-on-the-cob, because no one wants to invite the holders, or have to listen to them at the dinner table. Nope! Niblets for everyone, for the rest of time.

Some of you might say, “Wait up, ass-hole! Those holders aren’t for hot corn! It’s for buttery corn! No one wants buttery fingers, and the holders mean you don’t have to touch it!”

corncob holders_10Well, I don’t know, but if you’re going to eat corn, you’d better be ready to get some butter on your hands.

I don’t want to live in a world with one less reason to lick your fingers after dinner.

No one does.

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