The Spork Theory

Many of you are probably familiar with Spoon Theory, summarized as “Christine Miserandino’s personal story and analogy of what it is like to live with sickness or disability.”

I would like to propose a new theory, one which builds upon this model and explores what it’s like to live with people’s stupidity.  I’m calling it Spork Theory.

Imagine you have a dozen sporks.  Over the course of each day, it’s likely you’ll encounter stupidity, and you’ll have the urge to stab it with a spork.  For the average person, twelve sporks might be enough to get you through the day.

But some of us work in customer support … and spend way too much time online.

You come into work, passing the idiot who parked in the handicap spot “just to run a quick errand.”  Sporkstab!

You walk to your office, settle in, and take your first call from someone who has a question about an e-mail they received … a question which is answered in the very first paragraph of the e-mail.  Sporkstab!

Eventually you take a break and go online, where you find yourself reading the comments about a black actor wanting to audition for Spider-Man.  Stabbity stabbity, and there go two more sporks.

An e-mail forward pops up with the subject line “The Real Truth About Obama”…

Before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you’re down to three sporks to get you through the rest of the day.  A coworker shows up, interrupting you at exactly the wrong time, and you forget to program your insulin pump for your lunch dose.  Selfsporkstab! (Ask not for whom the spork stabs … it stabs for me.)

You do your best to ration those last two sporks.  You flee the blog post about The End Of Publishing.  You save a few e-mails to answer tomorrow morning.  On the drive home, you switch radio stations when the DJ starts talking.  If you’re lucky and very careful, you might just make it to the end of the day without going into spork defecit.

I’ve had to learn that you can’t sporkstab all the stupid.  You have to think about the stupidity you’re likely to encounter that day.  You prioritize your sporks.  Sometimes you have to smile and grit your teeth when you’d rather be sporkstabbing.

So if you send me a link to something stupid and I don’t get back to you, or I don’t blog about it, please don’t take it personally.  I’m just trying to conserve my sporks.


While I had way too much fun writing this parody, I also have tremendous respect for Miserandino’s Spoon Theory, which I found to be a very effective and simple metaphor for something most of us don’t think about or understand.  I showed it to my wife (who lives with chronic pain, among other issues), and she had one of those “Yes!  That!” reactions.  It’s helped me to understand some things better, and I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already.