It was my father who instilled in me that any man worth his salt must carry a few items at all times: a watch, a handkerchief, and a good knife.
He forced a wristwatch upon me when I was a senior in high school and interning at The Philadelphia Daily News, saying I needed to wear one so I could be on time for the bus. He made me wear it on my left wrist even though I was left-handed, and when I asked him why, he gave me some rambling reason that equated to the Boomer version of why I thought it was only acceptable for guys to pierce their left ear and not their right.
The handkerchief is something I’ve only recently adopted because my school has a significant shortage of Kleenex, but my dad’s pressured me to carry one for decades.
“What happens if someone has arterial bleeding?” he says, as though it’s a scenario we’re all faced with on a daily basis. “THEN what are you going to do, tough guy?”
Uh, I don’t know, cry like a baby and hope someone with higher levels of testosterone is in the vicinity?
I can’t say I’ve ever used my handkerchief to tourniquet someone’s bleeding limb, but I have used my pocket knife on a nearly daily basis.
I’ve carried a bunch of knives over the years, starting with Wal Mart Gerbers and moving through CRKTs and Kershaws. But I always knew there was something better out there, and that’s when I finally pulled the trigger on a Benchmade.
She’s a fantastic knife: strong and rugged, and dear lord, is she sharp. I put the blade on a leather strop every couple of weeks to keep her edge, and every time I do, I apologize to her for only using her to open boxes of copy paper and Amazon packages.
Now, I am weird enough to improperly tag an inanimate object with the pronoun SHE, but I’m not one of those people out there who get all hot and bothered over everyday carry (EDC) items. I do, however, appreciate a good knife. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google EDC Porn.
…oh shit, wait. Do NOT Google EDC porn. I repeat, DO NOT. That is NOT what I’m talking about.