“Hey, is that a knife in your pocket?” called the bar manager, causing thirty people in the bistro to slide to the nearest wall without visibly moving their feet.
I joined them, eyes peeled for the blade wielding maniac who, funnily enough, turned out to be me.
The manager inspected my old pocket knife, shrugged, and life went back to normal, except the line in front of the carvery magically vanished as I approached; possibly because of my dirty work clothes.
Ever since I was a young bloke I’ve carried a pocket knife. The first was a folding blade made in England from Sheffield steel. That Excalibur of pocket knives lasted ten years until one bleak day the blade snapped while I was prying open a tin of coffee. A small tear was shed as I slurped my drink.
I tried a Swiss Army knife next, which did everything except fit snugly into my pocket. Plus, getting the correct blade out took so long that it was actually quicker to chew through whatever it was I wanted to cut.
The following knife looked good, but if it had to slice through anything tougher than say, a sandwich, then the blade became as sharp as my elbow. When it disappeared into the depths during a disastrous fishing trip I actually smiled.
My current pocket knife is a folding, semi-serrated blade which holds an edge better than a panicking mountain climber. It’s also a very handy screwdriver, splinter remover, apple peeler, tea stirrer, nail trimmer, initials carver, pointer, can opener, paint scraper and sometimes it’s used to cut stuff.
Sadly, it may be my last pocket knife, because nowadays people carrying small blades in public are as popular as a chronic farter in a crowded lift.
And that really carves me up.