Alibi V.13 No.40 • Sept 30-Oct 6, 2004 

Food 101

Identify This Object! Win a Prize!

Backscratcher or egg beater? We can't tell.

What is this thing? A colleague (all right, it was Film Editor Devin O'Leary) recently discovered this mysterious gadget in a bin of kitchen items at a yard sale. The sellers had no idea what it was and Devin paid less than a dollar for it. Since then we've been tossing it around the office and none of us can figure out what it is. We've modeled it as a codpiece (hysterical but impractical) and imagined using it to whip cream (too floppy), beat rugs (too flimsy) or scale fish (plainly ridiculous).

So we decided to put it to you, dear readers. Maybe you can tell us if you've ever seen anything like this before. The 5 1/2-inch-long handle is made of steel; the loop attached to the flat part with four rivets. This part looks similar to the handle of an old spatula. Suspended from the two holes is a patch of something like chain mail, 5 1/2 inches long and about 3 1/2 inches wide. Only it's not chain mail, it's about 75 interlocking circles—the kind of cheap ring they give you when you have keys made.

Also, it makes your hands smell like you just got done playing on those rickety old monkey bars at the playground. Weird.

What possible use could this thing have? It's killing us! Why put such a sturdy handle on a patch of flimsy mesh? Is it a meat tenderizer? Self-flagellator? We know for sure that it sucks as a dog toy, coffee stirrer or pie server. But it could be good at ... what? What? What? What? You tell us! E-mail your explanation to food@alibi.com. The most plausible (and maybe the most entertaining) responses will receive Alibi T-shirts.