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Pocket Knife on Testosterone


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My pocket knife disappeared yesterday. It's here in the house and it'll resurface eventually. But for now, I'll need another one. So I went to Amazon to order one. It's been a long while since I last had to replace one.

You should've seen my eyes bulge when I saw the results. Only one was a traditional old pocket knife. Only two others were the traditional Swiss Army knives by Victorinox. All the rest looked like they belonged in Rambo or Predator or Alien. Whew! The last time I ran into that much rampant testosterone was probably the last time I was in a gym locker room. Or my college dorm.

You know, I really don't anticipate any urgent need to go out, daub my face with camo paints, and hunt down dinner bare handed with only a knife. Nor do I really expect to need to fight hand-to-hand combat with some big bruiser who's twice my size and fighting experience. I'm a techie geeky preppie sort of guy. Uh, and besides, I'd rather buy that guy a drink or dinner and talk. Unless of course he wants to mug me. Then, leaving the area unscathed, with my wallet (and body!) intact seems like a much better idea than some super-macho scene from some survivalist fantasy war movie. I mean, really.

Now, I've been known to use a decent pocket knife, or a buck knife, when out in the woods or after a hurricane, or general, everyday chores. That's why I keep one in my pocket, of course. -- I haven't been out on a hike in the woods (or plains or hills) in ages, I miss it. Not that I'm a huge camping fiend, but I miss nature. A lot.

Well, I found a Buck Stockman knife and a Gerber or Schrade buck locking-blade buck knife. I ordered a knife sharpener too.

I did not see any need to order something that looked like it belonged in boot camp. -- Not dissing that. If I were a truly dedicated camper and outdoorsman and hunter, out there needing that often, I probably would. If I were regularly in the parts of town where I might need to defend myself, well, then I bet I'd be signing up for self defense classes and carrying something a little more hefty. But I really prefer to avoid getting beaten up or mugged. -- Somehow, avoiding that altogether, or having a drink and a friendly game of pool sounds lots better.

No, I'm not the big, macho gorilla type of guy. You've probably noticed. :grins:

Anyway, I was just amazed. I have a feeling most guys don't really have any need for pocket knives that look that dangerous, and it's just an ego (or compensating for something) type of thing. Well, my ego's big enough, and that other is big enough to suit, too. (LOL.)

So, in a week or so, I should have a replacement pocket knife. By then, maybe the other one will have shown up.

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When I was a kid my dad always had a pocket knife with him. He had a few different ones. When wearing a coat and tie and going to work, or out somewhere semi-formal, he had a small, very thin two bladed one. For outdoors he had a considerably larger and more versatile one. The rest of the time, at home, and just around, he had a smallish but very versatile one.

By the time I was nine years old, I too carried a pocket knife everywhere. Yes, even to school. But that just wasn't a big deal. Half of the boys in my class had one too. They had, and have, countless uses. To this day I have one in my pocket almost all the time, and I take it out and use it almost daily. Opening boxes, cutting string or thread, slicing tape, Screwing (screws and bolts you pervs), prying, scraping, and on and on.

A knife is one of humanity's most basic, most important, and most versatile tools.

Yet, more and more, it's considered socially unacceptable to have one on you. Especially for kids. God forbid a kid bring a tiny little two inch flat folding blade to school! Instant lockdown, expulsion, and mandatory counseling. Alert the police and the military. Cordon off the neighbourhood.

How did this happen? It's a tool. It's only a weapon if it's used as one. Much like a chair or a screwdriver or a belt or a hammer or a laser pointer or anything else. All can be used as weapons, but mostly they're tools. And very useful ones. Should we ban them too? Just in case?

I'm not at all convinced that banning such things willy-nilly does a whit of good for increasing anyone's safety, and I'm pretty sure the long-term effect is the reverse. By instilling fear and paranoia in everyone, by treating a tool as a weapon and nothing else it becomes one. What's next? Will I be carving a thanksgiving turkey with a spatula?

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I'm not at all convinced that banning such things willy-nilly does a whit of good for increasing anyone's safety, and I'm pretty sure the long-term effect is the reverse. By instilling fear and paranoia in everyone, by treating a tool as a weapon and nothing else it becomes one. What's next? Will I be carving a thanksgiving turkey with spatula?

There have been many effects of the PC movement that struck with a vengeance a decade or two ago. Some were very good, like the ones dealing with racism, and sexual orientation, bullying at schools, equal opportunies for everyone, women's access to sports in schools, and people with disabilities being treated more fairly--even if I would like to park right in front of a store sometime again in my lifetime.

But there have been lousy effects, too, and calling all men likely perverts whose purpose in life is to diddle young boys if they ever get the opportunity is just one of the odious ones. I hate what's happening at Penn State. I hate what Sandusky is going through. Yesterday they were playing a crawl under one of the news programs I was watching, talking about a boy's attorney saying in his opinion, he was sure Sandusky used his charitable organization to troll for boys he could lure into the showers to have sex with. Isn't that great: using news services to promote the prosecution's agenda, and all Sandusky can do is say, "I didn't do that."

Of course, he could be guilty as sin, and in that case I hope he hangs, but this is a witch hunt and entirely unfair. And asking any other boys to come forward now becasue they don't have a real case against him now, but come forward so we can impeach the guy? How's that fair? There will be no proof of anything, ten years later, but the claimants have a good chance of making a fortune out of going to court and simply saying, "I took a shower with him and he touched me. Now, when do I get my million dollars?"

The thing is, what Sandusky said makes sense. It also goes hand in hand with what Gee said. In an athletic setting, guys shower together and horse around. They snap towels, engage in horseplay, and showering together is sort of a bonding experience. I can well remember, as a boy, showering at a campground, or a community swimming pool, with older men. It was just standard practice. Today, it would be shocking, and some man might go to jail. All men are now suspect. There is no more sexual perversion or attacks on kids today than there were when I was a boy, yet the fear of this has been heightened a thousand fold.

Sandusky, Paterno, McQueary and two Penn State officials are being hung out to dry. I guess I have a question. Why did none of the parents go to the police? If this really happened over many years with many boys, it's incredible for me to believe not one set of parents, 16 people, knew anything about it. Nothing at all. If I'd been raped in the showers by some man, whether I knew him or not, you'd better believe my parents would have known about it, the minute I got home. I'd have been hurting, I'd have been walking funny, and they'd have known anyway becasue I'd have told them. That not one of these boys did that seems almost impossible to me.

Sandusky used terrible judgment, showering alone with any boy. That he did could be becasue he was entirely innocent, or it could be because he wanted that venue to do his evil deeds. But either way, it was a horrible choice he made, and he's paying for that choice.

But to return to the original thought, I agree with Gee here. In many ways, our PC consciousness has cost us some sanity.


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Sandusky, Paterno, McQueary and two Penn State officials are being hung out to dry. I guess I have a question. Why did none of the parents go to the police?

You assume the parents knew. We don't know all the facts yet; I'm not inclined to make a judgement until I know more about what happened.

I'll say this: I was baffled when Bob Costas interviewed him the other night and asked him flat-out, "are you sexually attracted to young boys?", and instead of answering, Sandusky flum-fuhed for :30 seconds, repeated the question, and then made a vague attempt at denying it. I'm stunned he wouldn't look shocked and say, "god, no! Of course not!" Looks very bad to me.

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(wrenching the topic back to knives)

I carry a pocket knife, it's a Swiss Army Knife, not the Victorinox brand, the other one - Wenger. I use it a lot, and I note with interest that the most used tool is not the blade, it's the scissors. It's beautifully engineered which is why I like it. I had one confiscated by security at an airport (should have put it in hold luggage, but forgot and it was in my coat pocket) and immediately bought a replacement because I can't do without one.

Here in the UK it's 'sort of' illegal to carry a blade longer than three inches. If you are stopped by police with a knife on you, you can be asked to justify carrying it and charged if they're not satisfied with your answer. In practice if you're out camping with a Bowie knife you're likely to be okay, but if you're prowling city streets in a gang wearing a hoodie and carrying a flick-knife you could be in trouble. The system seems to work okay.

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if you're prowling city streets in a gang wearing a hoodie and carrying a flick-knife you could be in trouble.

Actually, there's no 'could be' about it. Flick knives/switchblades are illegal in the UK. They were one of the 'prizes' you'd bring back from a school trip abroad. Also, if you get stopped in a car and the police find any tools in the boot (trunk) then, in theory (and depending on their mood), they can arrest you for 'going equipped' for burglary. It'll get worse as the Olympics approach. Considering they're talking about installing ground to air missiles in central London, they'll be carting you off if they find a wayward toothpick in your pocket. What's even more 'PC' and ludicrous is that the government have been talking about banning hoodies, though how you can ban a generation's niche fashion statement is beyond me.

Back on topic: I've got a couple of Swiss Army Knives. The first one I ever had was a present from my Dad. I got to choose, and of course got the one with everything - the one that's far too big to use and way too big to carry. If you wanted a tree sawn down, or to light a fire with a magnifying glass, I was the one to call.

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Where I live, I couldn't imagine any kid over nine years old camping without a good knife and a few matches in their pocket. I mean, the camping where we used to 4-wheel-drive for an hour or two back into the bush, then hike for a day, find a waterfall with a pool at the bottom, and set up the tent and firepit. Not camping within hearing distance of the highway and an ice-cream shop a stone's throw away.

It just wouldn't be safe for someone to not have a knife on him in that environment. It's too easy to get yourself into a situation where a knife could easily be the difference between life and death.The choice isn't, "do you want a knife?" It's, "If you want to go farther away from camp than you can easily see, you need a knife and matches in your pocket. No exceptions."

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I'm in the middle of a big city, but a pocket knife is useful nearly every day. If I were out hiking or camping, even casually, a pocket knife would be a must. Gee's quite right about that. And yes, of course it's just a tool.

Someone over in the UK is considering banning hoodies? That's just silly. I wear a hoodie now and then, when it's chilly. (Where I'm from, I define "chilly" as under 70*F. Yes, the Canadians are trying not to spill their drinks from laughing.)

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My suggestion:

The 25 inch Gerber machete.


Makes short work of brush, good steel holds its edge.

Ideal for taking out zombies silently so you don't attract the attention of the hoard.

Street price is $18-22 US. Get one BEFORE the dead are shambling across your lawn.

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