Yeah, I bought the biggest one. It's nice.
After coveting it for somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five years, I finally felt I'd earned it. I kept finding myself in situations where it would have been handy, where I would have looked smart for owning it. I kept finding myself on eBay, looking at it. Finally, on Friday, I pulled the trigger, and now I have it. What is it, you ask?
Oh, the Victorinox SwissChamp XLT. Yeah, it's got the most features of any Swiss Army knife they make. It's got a magnifying glass. It's got a pen. It's got a set of hex wrenches. Yeah, it's got a couple blades. But that doesn't even begin to cover it.
The thing is deeply, deeply satisfying to own. The tools snap in and out of place with a crisp, Swiss precision. It's the size of a cell phone, and weighs as much as a roll of quarters. If I come across a fish, I can scale it. If I'm lost in the woods and need to repair some nice leather brogues, it came with a booklet that shows me how.
It showed up at about 1:47pm today. I was in the middle of one of those phone calls I always seem to be in lately, where someone is explaining that my web server is down, and I'm saying "I know that, but it's in Seattle on a rack right behind you, can you do anything?" and they're saying, "the guy you need to talk to is in a staff meeting about customer satisfaction, he can take a look at it in forty-five minutes," and I'm saying, "I have just received a tool that has a hook disgorger that I'd like to shove into my monthly invoice and yank out a few zeroes."
The call eventually ended with me slamming the open handset directly against my forehead until it, too, crashed, at which point I opened the knife's shipping box on the way to the train station (I was meeting the wife and tot, who had been at some sort of toddler play group). I had barely gotten the thing unpacked when they disembarked, so I quickly shoved it back in my pocket and gave everyone a "big hug" and "did kisses" and subsequently "got bitch-slapped really hard on the eye" by someone I won't name but who is less than three feet tall and really needed a nap.
On the way back to the Onstad home, I quizzed my wife:
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ME: Guess what I bought!
LIZ: Did your Paypal knife show up today?
ME: You saw the transaction?
LIZ: I run your business. Your business is made out of Paypal.
ME: Yes! It did! Want to see it? [reaches into pocket]
LIZ: [acting more like my mom than my wife, at this point] Sure, honey. Show me what you bought.
ME: [holds out knife] Ah-haaa!
LIZ: That thing's huge! You're going to lose it.
ME: I'm not going to lose it! This isn't yours! You don't get to complain about it!
LIZ: Can we get a move on? If you hadn't noticed, I'm covered in yogurt.
ME: [notices that clothes of tot and wife are covered in dried yogurt] Oh. I thought I smelled something. That stuff goes bad pretty quick when it's 100 degrees out, doesn't it.
LIZ: Quit fanning out all the blades to look like the photograph. You're going to trip and fall on that thing.
LIZ: Put that away until we get home.
ME: Oh, sorry. No.
- + -
So far, I've used it to file my nails, clean under them, shave a little hair off my forearm — and the pièce de résistance is the top of this soda can that I punctured with the chisel so that it looks like a weird happy face. Man, how I wish you could see it. It's like a weird cartoon fish from the 30s. It's really good. Oh, wait! I just did a bunch of things and now I have a picture of it, with the knife: