Tuesday, March 9, 2010
PitchforkRadius Garden
Non-Sparking, Non-Magnetic Corrosion-Resistant Garden Fork with Fiberglass Handle
4.9Best New Music

It was five years ago this month that Radius Garden announced plans for a non-magnetic corrosion-proof pitchfork with a fiberglass handle, and over the half decade that followed, rumors of infighting over prong length and quantity, coupled with the underwhelming reception of their ”Non-Sparking Spade with D-Grip” left even the most faithful of R.G. fans wondering if they’d ever live see this day. Finally here, it’s safe to say the wait has not been worth it.

I wanted to like this fork, I really did, and it does have its moments of real ingenuity. Worriers of just how many prongs and at what length can rest easy. Taking a cue from post–Whitley Handles Ames True Temper pitchforks, it features five prongs and staggers them at just the right extension to make both haystacks and compost equally manageable. It’s also clear that Radius Garden did their corrosion-resistance homework, and left little chance of a rehash of the wear and tear concerns that plagued their 1998 release of the (allegedly) ”Corrosion-Resistant Rotary Tiller.” But this is where the positives end.

If you’re looking for faults, start with the handle. Sparks literally fly with such immediacy at the mere touch of the fiberglass handle that one wonders if Radius Garden thinks Coulomb’s Law is nothing more than a prime-time network procedural drama. Also, it seems as though R.G. didn’t fail to deliver on their promise of non-magnetism as much as they just plain forgot, which is the only explanation for a fork that in reality encompasses the magnetism of a young Hollywood starlet. While R.G. head Steven Turner did deliver on his (in)famous Nebraska State Fair announcement of a fork, ”more lightweight than a cloud on reefer”, he did so at the expense of sturdiness, to the point where it’s fair to question when the last time the multimillionaire was even faced with the prospects of joining an angry torch-bearing mob.

Stripping away context and forgetting the five-year wait and brash proclamations, it is possible to conclude that this isn’t nearly as bad as it seems. But context is as much a part of this pitchfork as its rubberized end grip. Whether it’s unfair to or not, we expect more from Radius Garden, and should assume they expect more from themselves. Some have said this signals the end of not only Radius Garden, but of the pitchfork as a viable gardening mechanism altogether. Let’s hope both prove to be untrue, but if Radius Garden has any plans of making that happen, they better not wait another five years.

Conor McKeon is a freelance writer and native son of Worcester, MA. He is both a college dropout and featured writer for CollegeHumor.com, and operates under the assumption that this is ironic somehow. He believes bulimics are anorexics who still want to contribute to the economy and the sun will burn out if it starts using drugs at an early age. Conor McKeon wants to know if you’re planning on eating the rest of your sandwich.


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