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What Kind of Comb Did Amy Klobuchar Use to Eat Her Airplane Salad?

An Eater investigation into the best kind of comb for eating salads

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Scott Olson for Getty Images/Eater

Senator Amy Klobuchar came under fire again today over reports about how she treats her staff. Following initial reports by the Huffington Post earlier this month, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s actions were scrutinized in more detail today in a New York Times piece, which casts the senator as demeaning toward employees. One introductory story that encapsulates the Klobuchar drama is an anecdote in which the senator — on an airplane with nary a fork in sight — plucks a comb from her bag and eats her salad with it. She then, according to the account, handed the dirty salad comb to a staff member and told them to clean it.

The story raises a lot of questions about Klobuchar’s character, but fails to clarify one extremely distracting detail: What kind of comb did Klobuchar use to eat that salad, and how did she do it?

Let’s start off by recognizing the obvious truth that a comb hidden in one’s purse surrounded by god knows what, plus greasy hair and dandruff, is not the ideal tool for consuming food. Sometimes you’re just that hungry though, and the proper utensil isn’t available. A person in that situation might simply use their hands to load said pile of lettuce into their mouth, but perhaps there were extenuating circumstances. like a whole lot of salad dressing.

Whatever the case, if The Little Mermaid taught us anything, it’s that forks are really just a comb for food — couldn’t it go the other way too? Let’s find out.

All-Purpose Comb

Shutterstock/Richard M Lee

This comb says it in the name. It’s for all purposes — including eating a salad. Sure, the tapered angle of the teeth would make it difficult to scoop roughage or stab the vegetables, but Klobuchar could figure it out.

Handled Comb

Shutterstock/Winai Tepsuttinun

Here is as worthy a candidate as any. This comb has a handle that makes it more like a fork than the all-purpose comb, while the scooping quality of handle could work as a makeshift spoon in a pinch. Although the teeth would, once again, be impossible to stab with, one could theoretically fit more salad on the wider platform.

Pick Comb

Shutterstock/Pachai Leknettip

A pick comb — while essentially a jumbo fork — is completely impractical for eating airport salad. For one thing, it’s probably the same size as the container. It’s also way too wide for anyone’s mouth and the teeth are too big for stabbing anything other than enormous hunks of unchopped romaine lettuce.

Folding Comb

Shutterstock/kasarp studio

Perhaps this folding comb could be used in a pinch as makeshift salad tongs, but this thing’s going to be a real pain in the ass to clean.

Rat Tail Comb

Shutterstock/photo one

Now this could work. The rat tail comb, whose shape aptly recalls the Padawan braid, could potentially be used for skewering individual pieces of salad or perhaps a cube of tomato. Of course, given the diameter and sloping angle of the plastic handle, the food might just slip off before it reaches the mouth.

Pin Tail Comb

Shutterstock/Sketch Master

The pin tailed comb, a close cousin of the rat tail comb, is even more promising. It’s pointy and sharp without the troublesome angle of the rat tail, which means Klobuchar could make a little salad kabob.

Winner: Teasing Comb

Shutterstock/Sketch Master

If one had to use a comb to eat a salad, the teasing comb would be the half-assed tool for the job. It’s versatile, with teeth angled in two directions, while the body of the comb is narrow enough that it could be comparable in size to a normal fork. This, one hopes, is what the senator had on hand, if only for her aide’s sake.

The image is so clear now: Klobuchar sitting at her tray table, teasing comb full of microgreens, laughing like so many women who came before her as she consumes the world’s saddest desk lunch.

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