For no better reason than he is on top form today, we revisit the magnificent Rhik Samadder's "Inspect a Gadget" column in The Guardian - as he reviews a protective glove for kitchen use. Who knew that "health'n'safety" could be such fun?
A lightweight glove that can repel a blade? Holy smoke. Has it been lifted from a superhero’s outfit? Does it mean I can stop bullets with the flat of my palm, like a vigilante lollipop lady? We’ll get to that. I must admit it is weirdly empowering to wear a single glove. A bit “assume the position” chic. This one is appealingly reminiscent of vintage Michael Jackson. But cut-proof? Shamone! How is that possible? From what I can see, it’s made of elastic spangles.The man never ceases to bring a smile to my face.
The problem is, to test the glove’s powers, I’d have to put it on and cut myself. I don’t mind the man in the mirror these days, so this seems a drastic step. A friend suggested putting a carrot in one of the finger sheaths, and chopping that through the material; an idea I dismissed as the ramblings of a fool. Having failed to come up with anything better in the following six days, I proceed with Operation Carrot Finger. If it works, I’ll say it was my idea all along...
As I slip in the carrot, the washing label reveals I have the wrong end of the stick. The one-size-fits-most, ambidextrous glove is “cut-resistant not cut-proof, and no claim is made for point-puncture resistance”. Hardly bulletproof. It’s mainly for protecting your fingers while grating cheese. With heavy heart, I test this simpler function, to which it proves excellently suited.
Now, you would have to be a contrary boob to have a problem with such a useful item; but I am and do. Firstly, I don’t mind skin-y food. My blood curry, flavoured with ginger and fingers, is renowned for its depth of flavour. Secondly, I like wearing plasters. Most importantly, wearing a glove to zest a lemon makes me melancholy in a TS Eliot sort of way. We cannot protect ourselves from all the sharp edges of our existence. We dice, and grate, with danger; that’s what gives life zest. Stay vulnerable, stay vital. There is no magic glove.
And he's cute, too!