This boy has a new toy. You’ll be horrified when I tell you bluntly what it is. For it is a knife.
Given all the horror stories about knife crime in the daily prints, you will perhaps wonder if I’d joined the dark side. When I tell you that I also have habiliments with hoods, you will fear perhaps that I have gone feral and am wandering around urban environments with bad intent.
But fear not. My heart remains pure and my purposes noble. For I have bought a Swiss Army knife. Arguably, it’s a bit of an affectation, something to make me feel practical and manly like my father, if undeservedly so.
However, within five minutes of its arrival, I’d used the contraption three times, mainly because it arrived with other packages from Amazon, and I was able to slit open the packaging and strings with aplomb.
I first conceived the idea of this world-famous gadget when out in the garden where, frequently, I’ve found I could have done with a little tool to get something done.
I’ve also felt such a need when experiencing one of the worst things that can ever happen to a man: arriving at a holiday cottage or friend’s loaned-out house only to find there isn’t an opener to get the tops off your lovingly chosen bottles of craft ale. I have lost several teeth over the years on account of this lack.
For yes, indeed, the Swiss Army knife boasts a bottle opener and a can opener and a corkscrew and a large blade and a small blade and a large screwdriver and a small screwdriver and a key ring and tweezers and a toothpick and a wire stripper (not sure what that is) and a “reamer or punch” (ditto).
I think now I could walk into the forest with confidence, ready and able to chop down a tree (not that I should want to do such a thing) or carve a wooden idol (ditto) or open a tin of beans, should I be lucky enough to find such a thing in the woods.
I will own that, other than slicing through the packaging with ease, the Swiss Army knife was of little help when I was trying to self-assemble a massive garden storage box. In the end, I had to assemble myself off the floor and the main help I needed was that of a psychiatrist or at least a caring nurse.
As usual, I was reduced to tears of frustration, and I’m afraid uncouth language rang out across the mountains as I struggled to slot plastic bit A into plastic bit B to no avail. And my mention earlier of “the end” was premature as, at the time of writing, I’ve still to attach the doors to the ruddy thing because, as darkness fell last night (four hours into the “one-hour” job), I couldn’t line up two holes that needed screws in them.
I think you’d need a Swiss Army magician’s wand to put up some of these self-assembly kits. In the meantime, though, I stand ready with my knife to open wine bottles, strip any wire that might need such attention, engage the tweezers on anything that needed tweezed, and pick out food that has got stuck in my teeth.