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Of all the garbage utensils that litter the various drawers in my kitchen, I value the tongs the most. Please never take my tongs from me. I need them. I will die if they ever leave my side.

Think about all the other tools in the kitchen—your favorite spatula (?), a particularly careworn wooden spoon—and then try and name some uses for them other than just pushing shit around. Throw them all away. Replace them with tongs, a versatile tool that will make you feel like a professional chef when all you’re doing is gamely heating up a chicken breast and attempting to sauté a string bean or ten.

If the pushing shit around in a pot or on a plate comprises the majority of your kitchen activity, I have some news for you: you can certainly do it with a pair of tongs. Much like chopsticks—the ultimate kitchen tool—tongs function as heatproof, dexterous extensions of your stubby little fingers. You can pick up pasta with tongs. You can pick up dumplings. You can push a shitload of spinach around in a pan that is slightly too small without getting all of the spinach on your floor for the cat to eat. You can plate the food you made so lovingly with skill and the confidence that you won’t fuck it up by using the tongs.

Scramble the eggs with the tongs, knowing that it will be hard, but feel great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment at the end of your arduous journey when you eat the eggs you’ve made. Flip a roasted vegetable and marvel at the dexterity. Remove a roast chicken from the pan in which it roasted without upending the entire fucker on your floor, the kitchen counter, or the bottom of your filthy oven. Tong lyfe, as it were, is a state of mind. It’s making the most out of very little; it is perseverance in the face of adversity.