Monday, July 21, 2014

On Addressing the Fear of Knives

Is a pizza cutter a good spatula?
I can remember that my dad always carried a jack knife with him. A red Swiss Army Jack Knife, complete with a toothpick, a screw driver, a pair of scissors, a nail file, and of course a blade. It is the blade I remember – Doral sitting at the breakfast nook, taking out his knife and using it to clean under this fingernails. I can also remember Doral playing mumbley peg on Sunday mornings. After Sunday School the 12 year old deacons would gather around him, and those with knives would join in the game with him. Who could do the most steps in the game with their jack knives? That was the purpose of the game. I didn’t ever want to have the priesthood, but I did want to have a jack knife and I thought the two were inextricably combined. So I resigned myself. Jack knives were only for boys. I can remember Doral saying, when a boy gets his first jack knife, he should also get a box of band-aids which is the first thing I thought of when I knew the boys were going to get one.

It was Rebecca, thinking that Ben, Duncan and David were old enough to have whittling skills, and so she gifted each of the boys with a set of knives. A small one. A larger one. It is summer. They are in the woods. It all seemed to work for her.

Our training with them began in the kitchen – using them on their individual pizzas, cutting sausages, making pineapple spears. One pineapple each to begin with. When the pineapple was finally cut the boys had juice up and down their arms and all over their clothes ... from where they had wiped their hands. As well, the kitchen needed a thorough cleaning of the island, a wiping down of the cupboards and a mopping of the floor. I didn’t know two pineapples could slip so many ways.

Is a square pizza as good as a round one?
The knife training continued to the garage where they were collapsing the cardboard boxes to lay flat in one large box to be carted off to the recycling depot. A third time the knives were used was when a plastic-netted pack of chocolate gold covered coins were to be used at the some-more bonfire.

“How am I going to open this package,” Duncan said.

“I know how,” said Ben as he reached for his pocket.

 “I never thought of that,” said Duncan, reaching into this own pocket. I told them that the knife is never to be brought out for people to see for some people think that knives are weapons, though we know that they are tools. I never see the knives and wouldn’t know the boys are carrying them, until one is brought out.

All to myself?
“Let me see your new knife,” said Rebecca. “Sorry,” said Duncan. Grandma said that we are not to show them to people.

“I would like to see your new knives,” said Glen. “No, you aren’t gong to trick us.” “Knives is the one thing I never joke about,” said Glen and then on a chance to take a good look at their, he commented, “Nice balance and weight.” “A good knife needs to be sharp,” he continued. “Come and see me when it is time to sharpen your blades and I will show you how. Now, can you show me where the safety mechanism is on this knife?”

The boys obliged. They are comfortable carrying a knife in their pocket and having a back up in their camping pack.

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