Beaver Cleaver and Bill W.

March 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm (The Easy Chair)

Say hello to my little friends.

When my sister’s favorite kitchen knife, a black-handled parer, parted ways between its blade and handle, I decided to be a nice guy and replace it. (Confession: I also used the hell out of it.) I ended up at the downtown Goodwill, and began picking through the pile of donated sharp objects.

While doing so, I mused about Machete, the Robert Rodriguez/Danny Trejo joint, and realized what a knife-nut I am. Over a half-century, a fair-sized pile of knives have ended up in my possession. While I am not as adept at brandishing a blade as Machete, I am rarely more than a few feet from a sharp object.

Especially at home.

Allow me to introduce Bill W.

I meet all kinds while working, and sometimes provide services that aren’t typically associated with a Kwik-E-Mart. One of my regulars, a nice if somewhat twitchy kinda guy, approached me a while back. “I have a problem. My longtime AA sponsor fell off the wagon. If I don’t have a sponsor to sign off on my paperwork they will kick me out of the hotel. If you’ll sign my paperwork, I’ll make it worth your while.”

After agreeing not to lie, perjure or do anything that would get me fired or incarcerated, I agreed. It was simply stating that to the best of my knowledge he was sober and going to meetings on a regular basis. Since I can attest to his sobriety on an almost daily basis when he comes for soda and Little Debbie’s, I saw no problem.

The next day, he returned to the store, took off his backpack and pulled out four or five little boxes. “Take your pick.” There were a variety of folding knives, from the awkward-looking to the downright nasty.

Guess which one I took.

My Name Is Bill W.

I put my shiny new stainless steel Sharpie pen next to it for size comparison. It’s perfectly sized for concealing in my hand, and with a rapid-open button I can have a person bleeding five different ways before they know what hit them. Not that I would want to do such a thing, but when approaching a pack of teenagers at 1 AM, it’s nice to know they won’t all get away unscathed. One or two would get majorly scathed.

I have three folding knives between monitor and keyboard. Above my head is a boot knife, a gift from a hooker. She needed to ditch it while the cops were chasing her, and gave it to me. Stainless steel, with a hollow handle perfectly sized to hold a gram or so of white powder. She had good taste in coke and knives.

I’ve written about my traveling kitchen utensil. It still goes everywhere with me, but only cuts fruits and vegetables these days.

As I picked through the knives at Goodwill, I found a stainless steel chef’s knife, but when they priced it at $2.99, I passed. (I have three with wood handles in the kitchen already.) I found a paring knife that resembles a chef’s knife. (Perfect for a killer leprechaun.) I found a paring knife that was identical to sis’s, only stronger. A keeper.

But wait… what’s this?

For $1.99, I could be the proud owner of an honest-to-gawd meat cleaver! I’d owned a dollar-store one, but the blade was so flimsy you couldn’t cut bologna with it. This one weighed about two pounds, and could take a set of fingertips with a well-placed chop.

As I waited in line to purchase them, the woman ahead was bragging about her umbrella with plastic roses adorning the outer rim. “I’ll be all ready for the Rose Festival Parade!”

“Yeah, and I’m ready for Halloween.”

She looked at me, gave a nervous laugh and paid quickly.

“Think I’ll get a seat on the bus with these?”

She gave another nervous laugh.

So I have yet another useful and ornamental wall hanging. It’s up there next to the keychain switchblade, Bowie knife earring and chainsaw bits. That’s Mizelle guarding my adopted trailer house from down the street.

Time to load up and get to work. The stainless steel Sharpie is traveling along. After all, the pen *is* mightier than the sword…

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