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  • Paul Davidson

Silverware Up, Silverware Down

There are some urban legends that never surface.

There are millions of humans on this here Earth who have, at one time or another, most likely been faced with this myth. Yet because so many people take it so damn seriously, no one has ever highlighted it in a movie, a book or even an intelligent article attempting to debunk urban legends.

That is, until now.

When I was a kid, one of my jobs was to load up the dishwasher with dirty dishes and silverware, then unload the damn thing when it was done. Hell, to this day I’m still doing the same thing but without the motherly evil-eye staring down at me from 3+ feet above. But as a kid, there was one very important piece of information that was imparted upon my tiny, strange little skull.

“When you put the silverware in the dishwasher, make sure to put it right side up with the pointy part of the fork sticking upwards or else the fork won’t ever get clean. Same goes for the knives (pointy side up) and the spoon (spoon part up).”

I always found myself looking at the (clearing throat) HOLES in the silverware portion of the dishwasher silverware compartments… There is a way for water to get in there. If I were to stick the silverware face down, I think they still would get clean. But I was never able to prove it as a child because just as that challenging phrase came out of my mouth, my mother would be lucky enough to find a spoon that had been used to lick peanut butter off of, or a knife that had cut through a microwaved Hot Pocket… That stuff wouldn’t come off the silverware no matter if it was up or down.

Recently, now that I am the proud owner of my very own dishwasher, I have tested this theory. This urban legend. I have stuck forks and knifes and spoons and spatulas and corn-on-the-cob spearers and wooden salad tossers into the dishwasher’s silverware tray…upside down. And I have turned on the dishwasher with abandon — leaving my experiment to resolve itself on its own.

And what do you think was the result?

No dirt. Totally clean. Spanking-crystal clean new. Spotless. Shiny. Scratchproof. Reflective (you know, I can see my smile in the spoon!).

My mother and your mother and their mothers… They’ve all lied to us over all these years. And that begs to ask the question…WHY? For what reason in the entire Universe would all our adult family members force such an urban legend upon us? What kind of secret goals do they have, that can only be reached by us sticking silverware in, face up?

I can only suspect that they’re all aliens from a far away planet. And on that planet, they cannot use their satellites to access our transmissions unless all the silverware is facing up. You know, sort of like a huge metal dish, but made out of Crate & Barrell silverware. And once that alien planet has got their beings in the place of our parents, and our so-called parents have forced us in our childhood and then in our adulthood to continue to place every fork and knife and spoon in the upright position… Only then will they have enough transmitting power to take over the Earth.

Talk about an urban legend.

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