Monday, November 7, 2011

I Bought a Knife

Not a cooking knife, I had those. And I am not planning to go on a killing spree. I needed a pocket knife. I’ve needed a pocket knife for a few decades now, but it only occurred to me today that I needed one and could actually buy one.

What happened today is that I bought a new pair of clip-on sunglasses to replace my old ones, which broke. It had been cloudy most of the morning, so I was able to drive around without them, but the clouds broke as I was coming out of the store with my new sunglasses. “Oh, good,” I thought. “I have sunglasses to wear.”

They were in a plastic case that opened easily. None of that hard clear plastic stuff that takes a low grade explosive to remove, or barring that, a scalpel. Once I got them out of the case, however, I was stymied by something else - a tag connected to the bridge between the lenses with one of those plastic filaments. I could wear the sunglasses, if I was willing to give up being able to see. 

At that point it occurred to me that if I had a simple, ordinary pocket knife, I could have clipped that sucker off and gone on my merry way. Instead, I squinted my way home and used kitchen shears to free them.  

(It also occurs to me that when I make the simplest purchases, things like sunglasses that I need if I want to avoid cataracts, they are encased in so much non-biodegradable packaging, which took who knows how much fossil fuel to make both for raw materials and energy, that my carbon footprint on the average day rivals Bigfoot’s. I try to respect the earth, I really do, but I need a little cooperation from people who design packaging.)

I didn’t want one of those gung-ho Swiss Army Knives that comes with attachments to do everything from opening wine to storing your computer files. (Seriously, they now come with 16 gig USB flash drives.) I just wanted a blade, nail file, and scissors. 

I persuaded hubby to come with me to the Bass Pro Shop. I like to have hubby come with me on errands because that way we take his car and I don’t have to buy gas so often. His car uses less gas anyway, making it good for the environment. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I found one, the Wenger Esquire Swiss Army Knife, that had what I wanted plus a few extras I can live with: toothpick, tweezers and key ring. The problem is, the blade is only 1.75 inches long. I was hoping for something a little more bad ass, but the pocket knives that had blades the size I wanted did not have anything else but blades. I’m afraid if I tried to use them to remove tags from products, I’d remove a finger or two in the process.

Besides it was fairly cheap. That’s important, because I know what is going to happen. It’s going to live in my purse, and one day I’ll be about to hop on an airplane when the X-ray machine at airport security will find my knife, and I’ll wave good-bye to it as a TSA official confiscates it so that I don’t use it to hijack a plane.

But until that happens, I’m prepared for anything on the go. Broken nails, tags on my sunglasses, splinters, sesame seeds caught in my teeth. What more can a girl want?

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