Years ago, I used to go to a nice hippy barber in Long Melford, Suffolk.
On one of my visits, I was wearing a second-hand coat, with a tattered lining that was spilling out through the bottom of the sleeves.
At the end of the haircut, I had just put my coat back on, when the barber said: ‘Shall I tidy that up for you?’ And, with that, he took out his scissors and gave my cuffs a good trim.
I was reminded of this happy episode while watching a video on Mail Online. It featured a chubby American man, a less crotchety version of Thomas Markle, who has come up with a novel way of eating spaghetti.
In his right hand, he holds a fork, using it to gather up the long strands of spaghetti. So far, so good. But in his left hand, he clutches a pair of scissors, with which he cuts the strands down to a more manageable size.
The system seems to work well, and the man looks relaxed and perfectly cheerful. Furthermore, his jersey is spotless. He is clearly doing something right, and, in a kinder world, would be congratulated for passing on his handy tip.
But human beings have long been resistant to change, even if it is for the better. Many of the online comments below this merry little video are as angry as can be.
‘For the love of God man, do you have no shame?’ asks one. ‘Breaking up, cutting up, chopping up long pasta is sacrilege to Italians. It is a crime worthy of capital punishment.’
Another writes: ‘What in God’s name is going on here???? That is so wrong, he should never be allowed to eat spaghetti again.’
One or two are frankly abusive, insulting the gentleman’s looks, manners and character. ‘The odds of that guy being an axe murderer must be near 100 per cent,’ suggests one disgruntled browser.
The man’s system seems to work well, and he looks relaxed and perfectly cheerful. Furthermore, his jersey is spotless. He is clearly doing something right, and, in a kinder world, would be congratulated for passing on his handy tip, writes Craig Brown
Hardly anyone seems prepared to acknowledge that though the scissors method may be unorthodox, it represents a perfect solution to a problem that has long plagued mankind.
The conventional method for dealing with a plate of spaghetti is to a) pick up a few strands with a fork, b) twirl them round on a spoon, and c) pop the neat little bundle straight into the mouth. But anyone who has ever wrestled with a plateful of spaghetti knows that things are never that simple.