According to the fine people at Zellers, I own a fearsome weapon. No, not that! It’s a Swiss Army knife. Now stop laughing and work with me a moment as I recount my tale of this deadly piece of Swiss engineering.
I remember getting my first jack knife when I was 7 or 8 years old. It was a very cool thing to have, with a thousand and one uses, most of them having to do with turning large pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood. As the years passed, I graduated to a Swiss Army knife. With its collection of screwdrivers, scissors, corkscrew, and yes, knives, it was and continues to be one of the most useful tools I have ever run across. I never leave home without it. Many have joked about my insistance on carrying the classic red toolkit, but the laughs disappear when someone needs that screw tightened or just can’t seem to find a corkscrew. Marcel is ready with his faithful Swiss Army knife.
These devices seems to last forever but every few years, it’s time for a replacement. That was a few weeks back. I started looking at the various department stores around here, looking for something I’d be happy with for the few years to come. I’m sure that at some point, I purchased one at Zellers and since Zellers has good prices on things, I decided to go in and ask to see their selection of Swiss Army knives. I was blown away by the response.
"Zellers is a family store and we don’t carry weapons."
Excuse me? Did you say weapon? I jokingly inquired whether they sold forks, knitting needles, or nail files.
When did Swiss Army knives become a weapon. One of my Facebook friends replied, "Well, doi! The Swiss Army uses them!! 😉" In fact, my short posting about the Zellers experience generated many comments.
"You might hurt someone with that little pair of scissors… ; )"
"Apparently, the US TSA airport people now run Zellers."
One of my friends on Twitter said, "given the schools haven’t allowed Swiss Army tools for at least 12 years, I’m not surprised they’ve graduated to ‘weapons’."
Come on, Zellers! If a Swiss Army knife with a two inch blade is a weapon, and you don’t want to sell weapons, you’re going to have to stop selling a lot of other products. The steak knives you sell are far more deadly than the Swiss Army knife I wanted to purchase, and the person who might want to do something dastardly would find a barbecue fork far more satisfying than spending thirty seconds trying to ferret out the little blade hidden beside the bottle opener. Want a weapon that beats a Swiss Army knife? How about a screwdriver, a hammer, a baseball bat (or a baseball), a golf club, a hedge trimmer, or that nail file I mentioned? Seriously, I could put together an amazing list of devices far more deadly than the Victorinox weapon Zellers is afraid to sell.
You know what you can use to defend yourself against a Swiss Army knife?
I did finally buy a new Swiss Army knife. This past weekend, we spent a few days at the Amazing Deerhurst resort in Huntsville. One morning, we took a little drive into historic Huntsville where I found my new red toolkit sitting in a display case at a department store on Main Street. It has everything I need, and a couple of things I don’t.
You know what’s funny? The store doesn’t even know they sell weapons.