Imagine you’re stuck outside your car because the lock is iced over and you can’t jam your key into it (well first imagine it’s before automatic starters and electronic keys). Reach into your pocket and find your trusty Swiss Army knife! Hack away that ice, wrestle the door open and there you are, sitting inside your freezing car!
That’s my story from the winter of 1990. I was living on my own as a single mother and a good friend gave me a Swiss Army knife as an apartment warming gift, promising me I would need it and use it more than I ever dreamed.
I did use it all the time and not just for hacking the ice off my car lock. I used the screw driver for installing curtain rods, the knife for everything you use a knife for, including opening mail and the cork screw for wine if I had any money to buy a cheap bottle. My friend was right, I used it for everything. It even made me feel safer–no one’s gonna mess with a chick with a blade, right? Right??? Yeah, right. I used the knife so much that the blade was duller than a toy plastic knife by the second week of my ownership. But that wasn’t the point, see I was a chick with a blade!
I had my Swiss Army knife taken away from me once. I showed up for jury duty in Lawrence, Mass and buzzed the metal detector when I walked through so they searched my bag and found my blade. I remember the incredulous look on Belinda, the court officer’s face when she demanded to know, “Ma’am, what on earth do you need this for in here?” (shaking my Swiss Army knife at me) Belinda’s face became more gobsmacked when I started telling her it was an apartment warming gift that I use more than I imagined and never in a million years considered it a weapon, it was really something more of a vital instrument to me at this point in my life…
“Yeah, yeah, you can pick this up when you’re finished in there!” she cut in. It turned out Belinda was not really interested in my Swiss Army knife.
I lost my knife a few years ago, a bitter loss. I haven’t replaced it and have managed to exist (barely) without it. Post 9/11 kind of puts a damper on knife-carrying chicks anyway, we can’t take them on planes or any places with metal detectors–it’s a real drag to have to check your knife wherever you go. I’d even stopped thinking of replacing it until the Christmas catalogue cavalcade began.
Aside from the usual crap: Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Garnet Hill, Orvis, LL Bean I get some interesting hunting and fishing catalogues, mountain climbing, a few new age things and yesterday Hammacher Schlemmer showed up. I flipped through while standing at the recycle bin, glad I did because it holds the mother lode for Swiss Army Knives!
This is the largest Swiss Army knife in the world, holder of the Guinness World Record for “The Most Multifunctional Penknife,” with 87 precision-engineered tools spanning 112 functions. Made by Wenger, crafters of genuine Swiss Army knives since 1893, it uses stainless steel for all parts and is hand-assembled by just two cutlery specialists in Delmont, Switzerland, ensuring that every knife meets exacting standards. It has seven blades, three types of pliers, three golf tools (club face cleaner, shoe spike wrench, and divot repair tool), 25 flat- and Phillips-head screwdrivers and bits, saws, wrenches, and more. It also has a bicycle chain rivet setter, signal whistle, 12/20-gauge shotgun choke tube tool, combination fish scaler, hook disgorger, and line guide tool, cigar-cutting scissors, laser pointer, tire-tread gauge, toothpick, tweezers, and key ring. 3 1/4″ L x 8 3/4″ W. (2 3/4 lbs.) A key ring for three-pound knife? No, I think I need a pit-bull leash to haul that bad boy around.
I mean seriously, how have I managed to survive without a 12/20-guage shotgun choke tube tool? Yet how will I explain that to Belinda?