There is no spoon long enough

What I think I’m doing here: This is a “he who has ears, let him hear” sort of thing.

I’ve been thinking of the proverbial saying “He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon” (apropos of nothing, of course). I think my initial interpretation was primarily the idea of protecting your reputation – not wanting to be seen associating with a gentleman of disreputable character, trying to make sure you don’t get the smell of sulfur on your frock coat (this is a very 19th century dinner scene I’m imagining). But, after reflecting on it some more, I don’t think that’s right at all. The reason you need a long spoon is because if you get too close to the cooking pot the devil will tip you over into it and devour you. You don’t need to worry about your reputation, you need to worry about being consumed (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). And so, really the insight of the proverb is: don’t dine with the devil, the potential cost of the meal is too high to pay.