Papa files: Cheetos with chopsticks

I now eat Cheetos with chopsticks. And not just Cheetos, but anything with cheesy coating, chips and puffs, or any snack that leaves a remnant of its flavor on my fingers, including grease.

Oh, I don’t always use chopsticks. When I’m lying in a chair or lying on my bed while watching TV, I use my bare fingers. Isn’t that half the fun? I just have to remember not to grab the remote control, my phone, or my glasses with my cheesy hands, or fluff my pillow. It’s very hard to do when I was intrigued by the latest documentaries about dinosaurs, ancient civilizations, and computer artists’ depictions of what alien planets might look like. I had to clean the remote a few times with wipes and Q-tips and wash a pillowcase before his usual laundry job.

But when I’m in the mood for such a snack while working on the keyboard or playing the guitar, I have three options: Don’t write or play while I’m snacking, or I can get up and wash my hands after each grab of the bag. Now I have the perfect fourth option: I can snack on anything I want no matter how cheesy, buttery, salad dressing, jalapeno-y, or radish. In fact, the simple device is the assistant.

Of course, chopsticks work best with tender meat cubes, tender rice rolls, and steamed, diagonally cut veggies, and in fact, I can stab those with one stick, no problem. The pasta requires two sticks if you don’t want to burn your fingers when you slide the hot strands under one stick as you lift it into your mouth. (I’ve tried this!) I keep thinking I need to invent my “hooked” chopsticks, only when I’m eating ramen or any of that store-bought dish. But this will not help with chips, which are difficult. I can pluck a pea off my plate with chopsticks, but the chips require a more even pressure of the stick ends together…hello, split the ends of the sticks into small propellers, and sew them with silk to keep the fibers separate but pliable, and here you go: chopsticks.

Mostly, I use my chopsticks for Cheetos and Cheese Puffs and my favorite, Andy Capp’s Hot Fries. The cylindrical shapes are stickable. However, despite my constant practice, I have moments of inattention (because you have to always be attentive when using chopsticks, so you don’t lose your mouth and poke in your nose or lick an eye) and was amazed to see Cheeto disappear from the tips of my sticks. It was there, and in the reckless bending of my fingers, the cheesy treat immediately disappeared. I thought the orange fluffy corn taste was above my head and behind my seat, but I didn’t get up right away, and I forgot about it for a while; I was busy. Then I could not find it. I can only wish the dog would sneak up and eat it, because I don’t want ants.

Now I’m wondering about practicing a three-stick technique, like using three-pronged pliers, so I can always get a firm grip on anything. This will be easier than trying to make sticks. I’m not clear on how to point my fingers, and I’ll have to experiment, but I’m sure pinky will be involved.

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