The Golden Palace Ballroom was packed tighter than a football stadium at the Super Bowl for the Junior Guild’s annual gala affair. Broad shouldered young men decked out in bow tie and tux with drama queens primped in sequins and lace hanging on to their arm, mingled about waiting to be seated.
As he sat on the fine linen tablecloth surrounded by an array of gold—edged tableware, the tip of Natty Knife’s edge pointed toward a giant, bursting floral arrangement, but he only had eyes for the stunning, prima donna that sat next to the precisely folded brocade napkin.
“Excuse me,” said Natty Knife. “You’re looking pretty nice and shiny today. The golden glow of the chandelier seems to accentuate your sheen. Are you ready to dig in?”
“Why thank you,” Ms. Fancy Fork replied. “Are you ready to cut up?”
“My, I see you have a sense of humor.”
Fancy giggled and wiggled her prongs.
“Yes, I like poking fun just as much as I enjoy jabbing potatoes, Oh, by the way, I hope you’re prepared to cut the roast beef into pieces small enough for me to punch a hole through. You know I’m not as sharp as you are.”
“ You’re sharp enough for me.”
Even though they were separated by a gilded edge plate, Natty Knife inched as close as he could without rattling the plate, hoping to get a better look at Fancy.
“I’d do anything for you,” he crooned. “Can I call you Fancy?”
Fancy blushed. “Yes, of course.”
“You know,” Natty Knife continued, “I think we’re going to work well together. What do you think? Will we get a lefty or a righty tonight?”
“I don’t know, “but I never feel comfortable being held in the left hand.”
“Oh I don’t mind the left hand,” Natty Knife replied. “It’s those pointed, painted fingernails digging into my handle that gets to me. Hope I get a gentleman this time.”
Hmmm, Ms. Fork muttered softly.
“It’s not the manicured spikes that bother me. I’d rather have those than the cutting words I have to sometimes listen to, even in an elegant, crystal splendored place like this.”
“Yep, I know what you mean. I remember one man who kept banging me on the table as he argued with…well, I guess it was his wife. Apparently they’d had words before they left the house. I was hoping he’d look at her while he was cutting his meat so I could take a slice of his finger.”
“That bad, huh?”
“Yes, but after a while I felt more sorry for her than I did for myself. That poor lady was so close to tears. Have you ever seen someone trying not to cry while pretending to have a good time?”
“Too many times,” Ms. Fork replied. Sharp tongues and harsh words cut deeper than you ever could.”
“I have a plan. Would you like to hear it?”
“I think there’s a way we can put an end to guests who speak hurtful, sarcastic words that cut to the heart.”
Fancy’s prongs sent a glimmer towards Natty. “Tell me what you’ve got in mind.”
“Okay, but we have to work together.”
“Let’s punish anyone who speaks unkindly to the person next to them.”
“Okaaay, but how do we do that!”
“Whenever you get close enough to the tongue, give a good poke, and I’ll find a way to nip the finger. Wait, I think the guests are being seated now. The burly fellow with the button bursting tux is taking the seat in front of us. I wonder if the lady walking behind him is his wife.”
“I think it is,” Fancy responds. “I hope she doesn’t trip on that gown trying to keep up with him.”
“Yeah, such a pretty face, but it looks as if she’s just sucked on a lemon. That doesn’t exactly say ‘happy couple’. I thi…n…n…k this just might be our first job together.”
Will you please wipe that frown off your face! Like it or not, this is where we’re sitting. Get over it!”
“Did you hear that, Fancy?”
“Sure did. I’m ready when you are.”
And that’s how Fancy Fork and Natty Knife began their lifelong mission together turning the tables on people who speak stabbing words by making them say, “Ouch!”
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Prov. 12:18).
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