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Soup of This Day #375: Feel The Rhythm With Your Hands

May 1, 2014

Disher scoop
This is a classic disher type scoop, doing what it does best – Getting ice cream out of the tub. This effective utensil was invented by Alfred L. Cralle, a man who’s extraordinary powers of the mind allowed him to rise up above the discrimination he would likely have faced as an African American citizen of the United States of America towards the end of the 18th century – Photo: ElinorD, 2007. ElinorD is not affiliated with Longworth72, which is a shame, because she made the ice cream and it looks alright. Image cropped by Longworth72.

There’s a guy called Uri Geller who is famous for bending spoons.

For sure, that bald achievement doesn’t read as particularly noteworthy – I’ve not got much fame and I routinely bend spoons, usually when I’m trying to excavate some too-frozen ice cream out of the tub and into my belly.

The thing is though that Uri has long claimed that he can bend spoons purely with the power of his mind. Essentially, simply by willing it to happen, Geller reckons he can bend a spoon like Beckham.

Who bent free kicks around walls and into goals. So not really like a spoon – Generally if a player has been said to have ‘spooned’ a shot on goal, then it has been harmlessly ladled over the crossbar and out of play. So I may have over-reached with that metaphor.

Has Uri Geller over-reached with his claims too? Not really to my mind – With the spoons he’s keeping it on the down-low.

I mean, spoons? Seriously? I understand why you would choose a spoon if you were limiting yourself to your basic eating irons – The spoon, with it’s wicked curves and capacity for holding ice cream, is the apex eating utensil – But why contain your powers to just everyday cutlery?

Why not an extraordinary utensil, such as an ice cream scoop? That would be seriously impressive. I’ve never bent an ice cream scoop – They’re just not naturally for bending. This is because they have evolved to be used in an environment where not bending is a critical part of their functionality – This strength, often in Arctic conditions, working through thick glaciers of cookies and cream, allows them to efficiently extract suitably sized hauls of confectioned ore.

Bend an ice cream scoop Uri. Show us something of import, a feat of grandeur!

Something more like that time you figured on using crystals to help Exeter City avoid relegation from the English Football League.

Yeah, Uri tried that.

Back in 1997, Exeter City were in dire straits – They were on the cusp of relegation from the lowest tier of the Football League and set for the ignominy of the non-League Conference. This fate would be a sore blow for any club, but for 1 with Exeter City’s history it was especially cruel.

The Grecians had been formed in 1904 in Exeter, a city on the banks of the River Exe in the south-west of England (Devon). And in this case the Exe truly does mark the spot for a treasure of football history – In 1914 the national team of Brazil played it’s 1st game and that august debut was against Exeter City. Unfortunately nobody is sure of the result, even if it is considered unlikely that City won.

In 1920 the Grecians were admitted to the Football League as a founding member of the 3rd and then-bottom tier. Ever since they have flirted with the lower levels of the League, occasionally rising above it -They won promotion from the 4th and then-lowest tier as Champions in 1990 – and at times being demoted from it.

In 1997 they were within range of the latter, just a point from the drop and needing a win in their last game to ensure safety. These were desperate times indeed – The kind of times that call for desperate measures.

Enter, stage left-field, Uri Geller. With crystals.

Geller’s plan to help the Grecians was simple – He’d bury the crystals behind each goal and those charged rocks would energise City – Goals would surely result, the Grecians would win, and City would be safe.

Ah… Yep, nope, and by default.

Goals did result – Sadly for Exeter City, Uri failed to calibrate his crystals correctly and their opponents scored 5 of them to the Grecians 1. Which is a fair way from a win for City.

In spite of this, Exeter City were saved when other results went their way – They survived by a solitary point.

This narrow brush with disaster failed to deter either Uri or City from furthering their relationship – By 2002, the mystic spoonman had come on board as the club’s co-chair, a position he approached with gusto.

And Michael Jackson.

Yep, that Michael Jackson. The King of Pop.

The Grecians were cash-strapped and to help out, Geller hit on the idea of a variety show of sorts at City’s St James Park home, featuring Michael Jackson and others (Including illusionist/mentallist David Blaine). To his credit, Jackson only agreed to this on the proviso that half the proceeds went towards fighting AIDS.

Or Malaria.

Whatever the reasoning, the end product did defy the spirit of the original lease that Exeter City signed for St James Park, which had the wonderful clause that there be:

‘…no menageries, shows, circuses or steam roundabouts.’

Uri and Co. don’t appear to have had the steam roundabout so missed out on a full set. They also missed out on saving the Grecians, who slumped further into the financial mire and were relegated from the League at season’s end.

Fortunately Geller hasn’t just limited his talents to Exeter City. In 1996 he’d also provided a boost for the England men’s national team in their EURO ’96 match-up against arch-rivals Scotland.

Uri claimed that during that outing he’d hovered above the stadium and mentally willed the ball to move slightly to 1 side as Gary McAllister attempted a spot-kick, thus causing the Scot to miss what would have been an equaliser. Scotland went on to lose 2-0 and were eliminated from the group stages of the tournament on goal difference.

The average bloke or blokess will probably think that boast a bit unbelievable and not just because I forgot to clarify that Uri was hovering in a helicopter.

Uri hasn’t claimed the power of self-propelled flight.

For mine – If Uri had been responsible for the ball moving, it would have been cheating – Psycho-kinetics aren’t specifically outlawed by FIFA but outside interference generally is.

The good news out of all of this, apart from if you’re an England fan who’s happy to win at all spoons, is that Uri is just as good for football when he’s not involved.

After the dismissal and subsequent conviction of a couple of administrators (Neither of whom were Uri Geller), Exeter City were bought out by their fans and run in the kind of sensible fashion that saw them clear the club’s debts and return to the Football League. It’s true, they’ve not reached any great heights – For the 2013/2014 season, the Grecians have done just about enough to remain ensconced in the League proper, a scant couple of points from disaster – But they’ve managed that without crystals or pop stars.

This then leaves me with a final thought: Uri Geller claimed to be able to bend spoons just by willing it so. Apparently we all have the power to do this. Maybe this is so, but if you believe that I have that ability then I’d invite you to consider something:

Those spoons I bent digging ice cream out of over-iced tubs? I wasn’t willing them to bend – I was willing them not too bend. I just wanted the ice cream and a bent spoon was not getting me that.

If Uri Geller claimed to be able to not make spoons bend, then I’d give him more credence. Until then I, and hopefully the likes of Exeter City too, will put my faith in good old fashioned hard work and maybe 1 of Alfred L. Cralle’s disher scoops.

Feel The Rhythm With Your Hands

  1. I only bend spoons when I try to avoid using the ice cream scoop and subsequently find the ice cream is the master of the spoon depending on its hardness. As far as English Football it appears my Norwich City Canaries are headed for relegation. I adopted Norwich last year for no other reason than I saw a picture of a snowman made up in Norwich colors, became intrigued, and watched them play a couple of home games. The whole relegation thing is fascinating to us in the US. I would like to see it adopted in our pro sports where if you didn’t make the playoffs you went to the minor leagues and other cities could come up for a “spot of tea” where they of course would immediately lose their shirts and go back where they came from. However, it would at least give those minor cities a moment in the sun…and it would shame owners and general managers into doing all they could to keep their franchises at the “Premier” level of their sport. We will be approaching ice cream weather shortly. I will advise you when and if I can straighten these bent spoons myself with my mind. It’s not that I don’t like the scoop…it’s just that sometimes I am in a hurry and can’t find it amongst the other kitchen devices…but that’s a story for another day…

    • Yeah, it doesn’t look good for Norwich. The scuttlebutt has them potentially resorting to legal action to stay in the EPL – Sunderland, who may stay up at the Canaries expense, fielded an ineligible player earlier this season and got away without the usual points deduction. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

      Relegation/promotion is an interesting tool. I don’t know how it would go in the US – It may not sit happily with the kind of draft systems you operate. The latter do a decent job of equalisation across outfits, although the NBA system for instance seems to encourage tanking.

      Anyway, be careful what you wish for – Liverpool haven’t been relegated in my lifetime but I’ve heard from others that the pain of the drop far outweighs the joy of winning it all. My sympathies therefore lie with the fans of any team facing the former fate – Somehow I figure that it is tougher on them than it is on the players or owners.

      Thanks for reading and commenting – May your ice cream always be frozen firm, but be soft to serve.

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