Never Leave Home Without It

Nope I am NOT talking about an American Express Card! I am talking about that modern miracle of engineering, the Swiss Army Knife!

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Yesterday, my wife, her brother and I were helping my Mom-in-Law, dig through some books and pictures at her old place to move to her new apartment. I noticed when we got the stuff over to her place, that she had a peg missing from her small book case.

“No worries!” says I, and I went outside to find a stick. I took my trusty Swiss Army Knife you see above and whittled a new peg! It wasn’t a perfect match by any means, but since it holds up a back corner of a shelf, and most almost 80 year old women don’t lay on the floor to look under the book shelf, it worked great!

Doing this though made me remember my dad and my first pocket knife. It was around the 4th grade when he gave it to me. He told me a few things when he did it. 1) Don’t cut yourself with it, or your mom will be mad at me. (I did cut myself from time to time, but I knew where the bandaids were so I didn’t tell him to keep him out of trouble.) 2) Don’t cut anyone else with it or I will be mad at you (Never did) and finally 3) Always keep it with you!

I asked him why #3 and he said “Boy” (He liked to call me by when he explained things) “What happens if we are somewhere and I need you to do something with your pocket knife, and you don’t have one?” “I could borrow yours?” I replied. “Nope”, he said, “I will be using mine!”

Well I took it to heart, and I carried that knife everywhere, including to school! (Try that now) My first one wasn’t the fancy one you see above, it was just a blade, leather punch, bottle opener/screw driver and a can opener. It amazed me how often it came in handy. A loose screw at school? Got it! Need to open a package from the mail, got it covered mom! Buy a pop and can’t find the stupid can opener? HAND it over! Helpful Tony they called me! (well maybe not but I felt that way!)

It didn’t stop as an adult. I have had one with me throughout my adulthood, at work and play. More than once I have come to the rescue at a wedding because the bride needed scissors! Presentations at work have been successful because I was able to use the screw driver to disconnect and reconnect a projector. Not to mention if you are bored and want to whittle 🙂

Then there was the legendary rafting trip in 1983. My dad and I ran the Skagit River with a guide service and a couple of older ladies along for the ride. It was in the 80’s that day, and we were in jeans! Out come our knives and we had instant shorts! (NOT Daisy Dukes!) The older ladies took the denim back to the assisted care home and told their friends (WHo had been sure they were going to drown, rafting at their age!) this was all that was left of two young men in there boat after such a dangerous river!

On the bike it is indispensable! I have used the punch to pry a shard out of a tire, an the pliers to reef on a nail that went all the way through the tire and rim. I have used it to cut little kids pants that have wrapped into the chain. If I buy an apple or cheese while riding it works perfectly AS a knife (go figure!) Tweezers ALWAYS come in handy.

I have hated not being able to carry mine in my carry on luggage (since I never check bags) and being on vacation without one is annoying as can be! But soon this may change.

Pound for pound and inch for inch, there is no better item that you can carry with you. In your pocket, your panniers, your handbag or work bag! But remember, don’t cut yourself or you mom will get mad at your dad, and don’t leave home without it!

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