sticks of SHAME additional comments

edit: reclassified this entry so the backstory will be easier to find :D

(there's a few other details not listed in this blog post, in the submission comments)

translation of the Japanese text:
I cannot use chopsticks.
Because of this, MY FACE BURNS WITH SHAME!!!*
...Can I please have a fork.

To my Japanese speaking friends, I do realize that the text is not exactly the most common/natural sounding, but I did it on purpose, as I wanted to make the reverse of Engrish... Japarese! (haha sorry, the name is sort of an inside joke with my cousin who, incidentally, DOES speak fluent Japanese and was the one who helped me get the phrasing right :D she said it sounds ridiculously polite and very unnatural ^_^)

It really seems that I'm in the minority here, being unable to use chopsticks, but sometimes I think maybe that's just because I live in Hawaii, a state that is 75% Asian people. haha but then I talk to other people on the mainland who have no problem using them, and think perhaps I'm right about being in the minority. Regardless, my friend Jay really enjoyed it, as he can totally relate :D hahah

Anyhoo, without further ado, here is a TRUE STORY OF STUPIDITY!!! :D

(to explain, this is an excerpt from one of those "100 random facts about me" lists. well, sorta. Anyway, that's what this is originally from.)

8. Keeping in mind that I'm asian, and love asian food: I can't use chopsticks (or hashi, as my Japarese brethren would say). At this point, I've just come to embrace my incompetency.

sigh. I've TRIED, and I've TRIED, and I've TRIED, but like I said, at this point, I've just come to embrace my incompetency. haha It's sad that whenever I go to Japanese restaurants with Billy (who is white), I'll be like "Could I have a fork please? ^^" and when they come back, they'll THINK it's for whitey, when really, it's for Jappy. hahalkshdf;asd sigh. The worst time, was just recently, when I was TRYING to advance myself, and so I DIDN'T ask for a fork, and I ATTEMPTED to use the chopsticks. I thought I was doing pretty okay, as I was SORTA picking up SOME food little by little! :D.... but apparently, that was just in my dreamworld, because shortly after starting my meal, the sushi chef looked over at me, then held up these neon pieces of plastic; at first I wasn't sure what they were, but he made the motion of chopstick usage, and I then realized they were little thingies you place the chopsticks in, and they become like tweezers! (I call it my "hashi-helper"! ^^, pictured at right) So I was like "oh okay!! Sure!! Thanks!.... oh my god, apparently I looked THAT pitiful that he wanted to put me out of my misery, good fucking lord how lame can I get???"

THEN! THENNN!!! If THAT wasn't enough, I trudged on with my new tweezer-like utensil, and about 20 minutes later, the waitress comes over with a FORK, and she's like "HERE. Just use this already!! Practice with [the chopsticks] and come back again later." At this point I'm like "kja;sdlkfja;lsdkhf;alsdhf;lakshdf" as I've now been acknowledged as "chopstick incapable" not once, but TWICE, and the second time being WITH the stupid gimpy helper thingy!!!!!!!! That's like using a fucking sippy cup and being handed a god damn BOTTLE. "Hi. We've noticed a good amount of beverage is still not making it to your mouth, despite the conveniently designed spout. Perhaps this nipple is more up your alley." Good freaking lord.

<font size="1">...also, I'm not really fond of chopsticks because I'm DEATHLY afraid of splinters x__x so I prefer the bamboo type, at least those do not splinter as much, or, if they do, they're big chunks that you could kill a man with.
(and yes, I am aware of the "rubbing method" which gets rid of most of the splinters... but I STILL FEAR, paranoid/neurotic jackass that I am.)</font>

...So yes, now you know a little more of my stupidity, and I'm sure your lives are quite enriched from it :D

Watch this

free plastic fork? you'r a business genius, lady.


i just saw your submission, i know this post is a few days old but i loved your story... hahahaha

ilovegravy profile pic Alumni

Thank you ursie!!! hahah you're like, the only person on Threadless who's commented on my stupid story, so I'm glad at least one person was amused by it :D


oh man XD this is way too good of a story. Your personality just reminds me of my dorky friend (just making people smile). Oh man can't stop laughing. I wasn't expecting the part with the fork , priceless. Thanks for making my day :P Oh btw good story, and nice design, it represents more than just asians, but people who like asian food :D

kaloyster profile pic Alumni

What the? Super bump?


oh my goodness - that is incredibly hilarious. my life is seriously enriched by your struggles. thank you! thank you! thank you!


That was just about the funniest story I have ever read. You rock! (And keep on trying with those chopsticks!)

ilovegravy profile pic Alumni

eep! I need to check my back entries more; I didn't realize there were new comments! ^_^;

yangwho: Aww, thanks very much sir!! :D haha, yes, I'm always the dorky friend. Glad my story gave you a laugh! and hooray for asian food!! :9

kaloyster: and now, almost two months later, yet another super bump!

punkola: hahaha wheee, I'm happy to know that my struggles have enriched your life. I MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS LIFE!!!! :D hahah

parabolic: Thanks!! :) And I will indeed keep trying. haha The other day I was sorrrta able to eat a meal with 'em! But then, things took a horrible horrible turn for the worse. haha Maybe hopefully I will post about it later.


Do you think there will be any reprinting of this shirt?

I love this shirt. Simply because I cannot use chopsticks either. And I always feel stupid asking for a fork. Haha.


haha!! I love your story - it made me laugh out loud!! And don't worry, i'm asian and some of my caucasian friends (namely one who went to Japan on exchange) uses her chopsticks better (and actually properly) than i do. I can use chopsticks, but it is definitely NOT the right way!!

I have trouble with chopsticks as well(the three times I was brave enough to use them). I'm asian although only technically as I'm indian and I think indians generally like using their hands(tactile ftw). Granted I'm not really Indian but american with indian parents....
Anyways hilarious story and I liked the way you wrote it, if you wrote a blog, you'd probably be my first subscription(Not that I read blogs very often or anything). Nevermind I just looked and you do blog...maybe I'll subscribe when I get some sort of RSS reader I guess...


Nice. :b Practice makes perfect! I had trouble using chopsticks when I was younger...but somehow I naturally caught on. I was eating noodles almost everyday... but no worries. I'm pretty sure you'll catch on someday and because of your incapability of using chopsticks, you created a shirt that is too cute! :D


i LOVED your story.. it made me laugh hysterically. and i want this shirt. a lot.
i have issues with chopsticks, too. my cousin is going to school in Japan for a year (even though we're american ... ?) so she was taught how to use them. she attempted to teach me, but to no avail.
i give up and use a fork also.


Hahahahaa, I love your story!!!
AND your t-shirt design!!

The bad thing about is that I CANNOT BUY YOUR TEE BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO USE CHOPSTICKS AND I LOVE USING THEM!!! I.e. I couldn't wear it.

Arrhghghghgghh, damnit.


Hahahahaa, I love your story!!!
AND your t-shirt design!!

The bad thing about is that I CANNOT BUY YOUR TEE BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO USE CHOPSTICKS AND I LOVE USING THEM!!! I.e. I couldn't wear it.

Arrhghghghgghh, damnit.


"Hi. We've noticed a good amount of beverage is still not making it to your mouth, despite the conveniently designed spout. Perhaps this nipple is more up your alley."

oh jesus I lol'd.

I have a wonderful pair of chopsticks I bought in Japan - they're sturdy plastic and the bottom inch of the tips are textured so they're more grippy. I don't know if ones like that would help you at all? I'm hella dexterous with chopsticks. I shall send you mine. :D They have waving-kitties on them!


you do realize that the japanese says 'fire comes out of my face', right? not 'my face burns with shame'? i thought this was the most random shirt until i saw the translation


I think jerry seinfeld said it best

"I'll tell you what I like about Chinese people. They're hanging in there with the chopsticks,aren't they? You know they've seen the fork. They're staying with the sticks. I don't know how they missed it. Chinese farmer gets up, works in the field with a shovel all day. Shovel. Spoon. Come on. You're not plowing 40 acres with a couple of pool cues!


Your story made me laugh SO much.
I can eat with chopsticks [NorthCarolina-Wtf; Hardly any asians here] and I'd never heard of the "helpers" xD
I really like the shirt. It's funny.


it's even more sad when you use chopsticks everyday and still can't hold them properly, like me. haha. it's not that i can't eat with them, because i can, just in my own way and not the "proper" way.
just keep practicing, and you'll get it. i manage... hehe


That was great! You made me giggle out loud like an idiot. Love the shirt, and by the way, I'm awesome with chopsticks. hahahaha!


That is a wonderful story.

I learned how to use chopsticks by reading the instructions on the wrapper they came in, but I keep those tweezer types on hand for the chopstick-impaired.


OH! Me too...I always have to ask for a fork. And now I have to buy this shirt just to wear next time I get sushi with my boyfriend. grins Awesome design! :o)


I was laughing out loud while reading this! Hahaha! :D Thanks for making me giggle ;)


Awesome story. I really wanted this a year or so ago. But while waiting for it to be reprinted, I learned how to use chopsticks decently. I had to go to China to do it, though. This is such a great design.


Awesome story! I wasn't going to get this shirt but now I feel like I have to, because your story made it personal. (I liked the shirt to begin with, don't get me wrong! But I wrote off buying it because: 1. I hardly ever eat asian food. 2. My only Japanese friend has returned to Japan and I wouldn't even have the opportunity to show it to her!

PS: I have a little story of my own (nowhere near as good as yours though!):

When I was 10, I went to a Chinese restaurant with my parents and had an epiphany while attempting to learn how to use chopsticks. Out of the blue, I commented to my parents (mind you, I've changed it so it would sound more like how I'd say it today, curse words and all), "No wonder you never see obese asian people! They eat with chopsticks! Since you can only get like, one grain of rice at a time, they probably get fed up and just say, 'Fuck it!' "

My parents thought it was hilarious how I rationalized that. Of course, I would never say "Fuck it" in front of my parents!

Just thought you might enjoy that little tidbit of my childhood.


awww. I thought this shirt was supposed to be ironic. The back story kinda killed my impression of the shirt. I mean, it's cute and all, but not what I thought it was supposed to mean.

I thought it was to be ironic because in all asian countries, most natives can't get over the fact that yes....foreigners can learn to manoever 2 sticks with our hands.


Brillant! Thank you for sharing this great story, you brightened up my day! Lovely t-shirt too.


Amazing tshirt over here! I can't use chopsticks the proper way too even i'm chinese.

J is for Jen

Im awful with chopsticks, my friends can use them but not me. Im always 'ask for the fork girl' and even though I love asian food the thought of asking for the fork of shame sometimes stops me from going in the restaurant!! Eeek.
My thoughtful friend even bought me some practice chopsticks that were attached together at the top so I could practice at home - Im still no good.

Amazing t shirt and Im going to buy one in the hope that it will get me out of situations in the future!


I'm going to buy this for my Japanese boyfriend, who, obviously, is 110% capable of using chopsticks. i'm sure he'll hate wearing it, to my delight :D


best shirt i bought in a long time. my friends get a kick outa reading but as for me? Asian and holding chopsticks at a A+ level...kinda ironic i wear the shirt tho..haha

kaloyster profile pic Alumni

i snagged this tee for a japanese friend of mine. surely love it!


Ah! I bought this for my lovely boy.

He can use chopsticks and knows Japanese.... and I don't know either.


Very awesome design.


I was gonna be a total snob and be like "Ugh... That Japanese isn't even right!" and then I realized you did it on purpose.
I relate. I can't use chopsticks either :( My hand even hurts when I use them, or more likewhen I try too hard and still fail.


DITTO about what megu150 said in the first sentence. ahaha

backstory helped =] now-a-days, there seems to be a million ways people use chopsticks to eat anyway, so even though it might be more of an effort than forks- don't give up! =D it wont give up on you

ilovegravy profile pic Alumni

Thanks a bunch to everyone who's left comments for the past... oh, 2-3 years :D hahah god, I am so terrible with replying. Hopefully/maybe one day I will get to reply to everybody's comment. (I'm too idealistic for my own good. haha)

sushibashi: I keep this on the downlow because I don't want to seem like a liar with my design, haha, but about a year after this shirt came out I FINALLY DID learn how to use chopsticks. :) I'm sure I'm not using them "properly", but I can pick up stuff at least!

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