I had to write a performance monologue for my college open mic session so I decided to tell the story of The Spoon Thief. As my writing blog is named for this tale I thought it was only fitting to post it here too!
Tonight I want to tell you a story. No, not the one about the last man on earth. Not even the one about the guy on Titanic who dies at the end. I want to tell you a story about me. For one night only I’m going to relinquish my title of the Queen of Angst and tell you about how I came to be known as The Spoon Thief.
Some of you may have noticed by now that I am an awkward person. I make awkwardness an extreme sport. I just don’t have the moves. What even are the moves? And if you have them what do you do with them? Do you just go up to someone and… Do the moves? In short I’m not very good at people. I’m not very good at talking to people. The last time I did a public presentation I nearly fainted. So Rob, you might want to have at least two nines ready on speed dial.
Unfortunately as I cannot cloister myself away from the world, for 5 days out of every 7 I have to deal with people. Intensively. A multitude of people. There are over 300 members of staff at my work place and I do my level best to disguise my awkwardness from at least 290 of them. Of course… there was that time that I told a colleague on a recorded call that my cough, and I quote, felt like having Mr. Tickle down my throat. Unfortunately, the day I became The Spoon Thief, my awkwardness became a thing of legend.
Imagine the scene, if you will. The early morning break. Already weary with the machinations of my fellow colleagues. In dire need of caffeine, I stumbled into the break room only to find the counter top occupied by two men, both equality unaware of the scene that was about to unfolded. Closest to the coffee machine and the pot of spoons was mild mannered Simon from claims, an unwitting bystander to the theft. Between myself and the spoons was Handsome Litigation Man.
I was not acquainted with Handsome Litigation Man; however, he was at least 90% of the way to being a romance lead. Tall, dark, handsome… and about to be mugged. Reaching over he extracted a spoon and held it out at a jaunty 45 degree angle.
It was at this point my brain decided to believe that Handsome Litigation Man had offered me the spoon. After all from my position, at the opposite end of the countertop it was absolutely impossible to reach the spoons and I desperately required one in order to make a coffee. ‘What a nice young man’ I thought as I swiped the spoon from his outstretched hand and proceeded to scoop the suspiciously unbranded granules into my mug. The lack of reaction lured me into a false sense of security. There wasn’t a flinch, a word or a pause and it was only when I returned to my desk that I felt the rapid inward curl of an oncoming cringe.
Megan has frequently delighted in my tales of awkwardness and she knew the moment I said “I think I’ve just done something weird” she was in for a treat. As much as I tried to justify the fact that Handsome Litigation Man had probably, possibly… potentially offered me the spoon, she wasn’t in agreement. It was clear I had stolen the spoon and some poor man was sat at his desk wondering what had just happened to him.
For a whole week I was able to keep up the pretense that I was in receipt of a gallant gesture from a man, as of yet, unknown. Still, I couldn’t help but feel prickles of embarrassment every time it was mentioned or I thought back to the morning in question. If I had stolen his spoon then he would definitely think I was one of the weirdest individuals he’d met and if I hadn’t then I couldn’t broach the subject without seeming odd.
My answer was waiting for me the following week.
By some providence I arrived to the break room and took my position at the end of the countertop. Closest to the coffee machine and the pot of spoons was mild mannered Simon from claims. Between myself and the spoons was Handsome Litigation Man. As though he were Lancelot, lofting Excalibur, he turned to me and with elaborate flourish presented me with a spoon. “Here you go.”
If it were possible to spontaneously combust I would have done so in that instance.
I’d definitely stolen it.
I’ve never made a coffee as quickly as I did that day, almost completing the 100 metres back to my desk.
In hindsight telling Tom about the experience probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. Within 10 minutes the whole of the Claims Department knew. Somehow they fashioned a spear out of the lining of a desk, some cello tape and a spoon. Poems were written and I felt the need to write an excruciating email to Handsome Litigation Man to apologise for stealing his spoon.
For my birthday that year they bought me a stack of 10 teaspoons, just to make sure I didn’t feel the need to steal any more.
So that’s how I became known as The Spoon Thief. I’m sure my awkward adventures will continue, one day they may even make a ridiculous book.