August 15, 2022


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John Carlson: It’s a Pointed Addiction — Muncie Journal – Muncie Journal

By John Carlson— My identify is John, And that i am a pocketknife addict. This, I suppose, Shall b.......

By John Carlson—

My identify is John, And that i am a pocketknife addict.

This, I suppose, Shall be how I introduce myself to my fellow cutlery junkies in Pocketknife Addicts Nameless – assuming that’s ever a factor – As quickly as I current up in purgo well with of a 12-step program To beat the craving That is pocketknife behavior.

I’ve been hooked for years…

Whilst Barely baby, pocketknives have been an infatuation. Two doorways dpersonal, my neighbor Dougie already had a miniature one with a pretend pearl deal with. I used to be envious, however hardly surprised. Whereas my people have been squeaky clear Baptists, his drank beer and smoked Fortunate Strikes, Definitely one of which Dougie liberated from its pack to introduce us each to The thrill of tobacco As quickly as we have been simply six or seven years previous. It solely seemed pure for A toddler like that to be packing a blade, Even when it was Only an inch-and-a-half prolonged.

I Needed To attend for my first pocketknife till the ripe previous age of 9, As quickly as I enlisted Inside the Cub Scouts. That magical day, The complete househprevious accompanied me dpersonaltpersonal to J.C. Penney. There it felt like I spent hours making an try on the Cub Scout shirt, the Cub Scout pants, the Cub Scout belt, the Cub Scout neckerchief and the Cub Scout dorky brimmed beanie.

The fact was, I mightn’t have capurple much less about any of that stuff, particularly the beanie.

But finally we approached the Promised Land, the glass counter beneath which the pocketknives have been confirmed, and there was mine! It had a strong exactly feel, was emblazoned with a Cub Scout emblem and had a blue textupurple deal with that contrasted superbly with its shiny silver blade, axe and screwdriver/can opener. Strolling out of that retailer, I used to be floating on air.

From The start I used to be allowed To maintain it to Allen Elementary School, the 1950’s being a time when killing youngsters Inside their schools was unassumeable. We boys would dig out our knives at recess to play our personal mannequin of mumplety-peg, The guidelines of which have been On A daily basis sketchy. The important factor was, nDefinitely one of us ever by probability knifed Every completely different Inside the foot.

That first pocketknife stood me in good stead till November of 1963 As quickly as I used to be 13. Strolling As a lot As a Outcome of the Nook Store on Cleveland Road, I used to be intent on buying for one factor To go well with my temper. This wasn’t unusual. I’d purchased numerous cherry Cokes at its fountain, Low price mannequin airplane kits from its cabinets and endmuch less “Sgt. Rock” comic books from its journal racks.

This time, although, my temper was darker. For Decrease than A pair bucks, I purchased An Low price however nasty wanting pocketknife with a six-inch blade. It was the ugly Sort of knife You’d possibly have seen some juvenile delinquent wield in a film like “Blackboard Jungle.” Just why I purchased it wasn’t exactly clear to me, besides President Kennedy had been assassinated A pair days earlier, and even a dumb baby might sense that A method or The completely different factors have been very incorrect. Looking again now, maybe I used that tragic event to rationalize my buy, however I don’t assume so. About then it merely felt like A great suggestion to have An further pocketknife shut to at hand.

After that, although, I stored amassing pocketknives beneath happier circumstances. Both machinists, my grandfathers stored timeworn pocketknives Inside the greasy smelling toolboxes that hinted On the workingman’s expertise Inside their tough palms. On A pair events I talked them out of an previous battepurple pocketknife, one All of the extra useful to me For his or her having personaled it.

These days, I sometimes dig out my pocketknives for the sheer pleasure of getting reacquainted.

There are A pair official Swiss Army knives, A regular purple-deal withd one and a silver deal withd one, each strong devices manuexactityupurple by Victorinox, which makes One of the biggest. That’s one Method To inform you’re A exact pocketknife snob: You flip up your nostril at official Swiss Army pocketknives made by much lesser manuexactityurers like Wenger, which I discover inferior.

I imply, who however a pocketknife nut would even have an opinion?

Others? There are spacey wanting ones my grandfathers in all probability wouldn’t even have acknowledged as pocketknives. All types of bladed multi-devices, too. Plus there’s a bone-deal withd magnificence that’s tons previouser than I am, memento knives celebrating places like Niagara Falls, and A Low price Remington so tightly properly made, you shut its blade On The hazard of dropping a finger.

Not eachfactor about Testing my stash makes me joyful, although. By way of the years I’ve misplaced my share of pocketknives. There’s A favourite inexperienced Cutco with a locking blade, one I’ven’t seen since digging in my pocket To buy groceries on a Florida journey.

5 years later, I nonethemuch less remorse that journey.

In exactity, emovementally involved with pocketknives as I am, The advantages of proudly personaling them far outweigh the heartache of dropping one.

First, say you’re walking round someplace in Indiana and get bitten by One of many copperheads that supposedly come out in droves because they crave the type of cicadas.  You’ve the Technique of making cross cuts in your flesh over the fangs’ puncture wounds like cowboys bitten by rattlers used to make in Westerns, Regardmuch less of The very Incontrovertible exactity that docs say To not Do this anyextra.

Second, it makes present Buying for fellow pocketknife nuts a cinch. I’ven’t purchased my son somefactor however pocketknives as currents for the final ten years.

Third, this furtherly works in your favor. Nancy stored asking me final December what I wanted for Christmas, and I mightn’t Think about a bmuch lessed factor. Finally in exasperation, I said “Just go to Lowes, discover the pocketknife current, then buy me one factor Low price from it.”

I even made it sound like a sacrifice.

But Christmas morning I opened this stocky little Leatherman, excited as A toddler. Daily since, I’ve felt its snug heft in my hand or pocket … and grinned.

Now how are you going to beat that?


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A former prolongedtime function author and columnist for The Star Press in Muncie, Indiana, John Carlson is a storyinformer with an unflagging appreciation for the fantastic people of East Central Indiana and the tales of their lives, be they humorous, poignant, inspirational or all three.  John’s columns seem on each Friday.