Monday, January 5, 2009

... thank the knife.

My wife gave me a pocket knife for Christmas. Not just any knife, actually, a Vitcrinox, Swiss Army, Boy Scout Huntsman. I've wanted one for a while. Naturally, when I was a boy scout, I had a pocket knife and it was the subject of much fascination and heavy use. I had the four blade, standard issue knife. It had a cutting blade, awl, flat-head screwdriver/bottle opener and a can opener. I gave a very similar, Victrinox Swiss Army Soldier knife to my groomsmen when I got married. It was all a boy needed in a knife, but naturally we all longed for the full on Swiss army knife. It seemed, in those days, that the more tools and gadgets the better.

Nowadays Victrinox, the original manufacturer of the Swiss army knife, offers several knives with different feature configurations for different purposes. There's one for mechanics, computer techs, campers, climbers, fishermen, etc. They each trade a few particular features for others. Tools like a corkscrew, magnifying glass, file, saw, LED light, and mini-screwdriver are compiled and omitted for the specific type of owner and his typical function needs.

As a former Eagle Scout, I'm well versed in the finer points of pocket knife use. But I've been totally amazed at how useful one can be in day to day grown up life. It's come in handy on numerous occasions in a wide variety of ways. I've used to cut tags off of new clothes, unscrew battery covers, change the diaper genie, pick food out of my teeth, poke a hole in a dried up glue bottle, and open plenty of bottles and cans. The only tools I haven't had a chance to take advantage of are the tweezers and the saw but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I carry it everywhere and take a lot of pleasure in showing it off whenever I put it to use. I'll just have to remember to leave it at home the next time I'm boarding a plane or going into a courtroom.

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