Over 30 years ago my dad came back from a trip to Switzerland and brought me a present, the Swiss Army knife in the picture – perhaps the most complete “gadget” that I own. Quite whether dads should be buying there 11 yr old sons knives is another issue altogether but rest assured I was as happy as probably at any other present buying time of my childhood. He’d arrived back early in the morning so I was given the present before I went to school (I was not planning on taking the knife to school) and rushed up to my room to inspect this item of wonder. Now anyone who’s used one of these knives knows that the spring back into the body of the casing is pretty strong and low and behold it was not 5 minutes later that the smaller sharp knife above had pinged shut slicing deeply into into my index finger. Blood everywhere. If I thought that was going to get me off school you’d be wrong though, scolding from mum, hand wrapped up and sent up the road to catch the bus feeling decidedly faint I seem to remember. I still have a scar in the tip of the finger and can feel it as I type this but no real damage done and it certainly gave me a healthy regard for the sharpness and safety issues around knives.
As you can see from the photo the knife is a bit worn and there are bits of grit and sand etc on it but considering it’s age it has shaped up remarkable well. These days it sits in my bike backpack and so comes with me wherever I go and has proved handy on many rides but it has proved it’s worth over and over again as it has come all over the world on trips and holidays and there is almost always a use for it, if only for opening beer and wine bottles (a critical issue I think you’d agree). I’ve never sharpened it or treated it with much care, quick wash and wipe down is the most it gets but it’s still plenty sharp enough to take a significant chunk out of my finger. It has literally left it’s mark on me but it’s always a permanent reminder of my dad and a link back through to my childhood, even if it was not still incredibly useful I can’t imagine ever getting rid of it.