Monday, July 19, 2010


I'm not really sure how many Leatherman knives our family has had over the years, but I do know my son lost one on the rides at Universal Studios when we were in Florida, January 2002.

A Leatherman, if you don't know, is a practical variation on the Swiss Army Knife, with lots of little gadgets and utilities to help you open a pop bottle, cut twine, tighten a screw or whatever little thing needs to be done. It's compact and it's practical and you can buy it online at The Leatherman Store.

That trip to Orlando was the first winter after 9/11 and there were almost no lines in the parks. It was a tough season for the tourist trade everywhere, but especially in Orlando. The whole country had stepped up its security measures a notch. Which is why I don't understand how my son got into the park carrying that Leatherman in his pocket. The sign out front said "No Knives" but we got in, no harm intended, just an accidental oversight because we rural folk are often guilty of being "armed" with tools. As it turns out, the Leatherman fell out of his pocket somewhere during the day, maybe in the theater where we watched T-3 in 3-D or back in the boat where Jaws sinks his teeth into a small wooden craft of unsuspecting tourists. Fortunately they didn't lockdown the park in order to find the culprits who snuck it in.

Growing up I don't think I ever owned anything more than a basic pocket knife. I had a one speed bike and a basic pocket knife. I liked simplicity.

Evidently there are people who enjoy complexity, the more extreme the better. Example of the day: The Wenger Giant Knife 16999. The Wenger Giant has 87 tools, including a cigar cutter and laser pointer. It's got a nail cleaner, corkscrew and compass. It probably packs a wallop as a weapon, too, if you strike someone across the side of the head with it. The Wenger Giant's screwdrivers with various kinds of heads, needle nose pliers, woodsaw with ruler, chain rivet set, adjustable wrench, scissors with serrated self-sharpening edges will keep you in the game if you need to be a handyman. For golfers this baby has a club face cleaner, shoe spike wrench and a divot fixer so you can impress your friends on the back nine. Fishermen doing a weekend in the woods will enjoy the fish scaler, hook disgorger and other features designed to make roughing it a little easier. Files, saws, flashlight... the only thing missing is a kitchen sink, though you can probably fix one, or even build one, using this implement. For only $1400 you can replace three-fourths of the tools in your garage.

Anyways, this was just one of the many items listed in a Wired article themed Overkill. To find out the rest of the features on this Guinness Book champion, visit Wenger.

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