Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

Pocket Knives

Pocket Knives

The TSA’s decision to allow pocket knives on flights has created quite a stir. There are basically two groups who are exasperated due to the decision. The first group thinks terrorists are going to capitalize on the opportunity and board planes armed with pocket knives and repeat 9/11. And the other group feels discriminated against because they aren’t allowed to carry their innocuous bottles of shampoo.

I have zero sympathy for the shampoo group. Every hotel room has a bottle of shampoo sitting on the counter beside the note letting you know that if you forgot anything you can call the desk. The problem is that by the time you remember what you forgot and notice the note, you’re no longer properly dressed to retrieve from the front desk what it is you forgot. But the shampoo and mouthwash are always there. Don’t confuse the two. And the shower or bathtub of every home I’ve visited has an array of shampoos stuffed into one of those handy bathtub shelves; just pick one. I usually choose the one that promises to add bounce and thicken my hair. There’s no need to take shampoo. You go, TSA!

Pocket knives are a different story; ever since the Swiss heard about Jim Bowe’s famous sandbar fight men have been carrying multi-function pocket knives. I usually carry two pocket knives. One functions as a money-clip and has a small blade, scissors, tweezers, and toothpick. Tell me, what could be more useful? Thanks to the Swiss, I’ve saved numerous people from mental melt downs when I cut open for them a package that won’t tear along the ‘tear here’ line. The other knife is larger, made in America, and resembles something my grandfather used to carry.

Women carry purses, men carry pocket knives. Just as men shouldn’t ask why women carry purses, women shouldn’t ask why men carry pocket knives. Simple observation will yield the answer. Watch any traveling couple and eventually the man will ask for something that the wife will dig through and find in her bottomless purse, and likewise, the man will use his knife to solve a problem for his wife. It’s a timeless truth.

I’ve heard that some men don’t carry pocket knives and it causes me concern. The next thing you know men will be wearing their hats indoors and wearing shoes with little tassels. What is the world coming to?


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