Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sharps: Roadwork & bargains

Yesterday...now that was a day.

Parts of it were known in advance, like shuttling the
pooch-screwing member of our family out to Newark for a noon appointment, and the now-familiar trip down to Lancaster for a 6:30pm engagement.

It was the stuff in the middle that I didn't expect.

My wife decided that this was the day to have her car serviced, something that should've taken just a few hours, but when the mechanic discovered a mortally wounded wheel bearing it became a leave-it-overnight proposition. Between Newark and Lancaster, then, I zoomed up to Columbus to fetch Mrs. KintlaLake at work.

On all three trips, about 150 miles in all, both spawns came along for the ride. Each run involved considerable sit-and-wait time between outbound and inbound legs.

I hate waiting. Even more than that, I hate losing an entire day of my life to bus-driving duties.

A bit of serendipity appeared during our early-afternoon layover. Just down the street from our destination in Newark, a large sign beckoned: "Slone's Knives." (Oh, somebody pinch me.) The younger spawn and I took the bait and managed to kill an hour in the place.

Thousands of knives, some new but most used, filled display cases arranged on folding tables in the store's dim, musty interior. We found the owner to be fair, knowledgeable and entertaining as hell.

With the store in the midst of a going-out-of-business sale -- the ailing owner is on the verge of retiring -- there were bargains everywhere. Limited funds have kept me from treating my family to the occasional trinket these days, but here was a way to do something nice for each of them without breaking the bank (or, for that matter, without even breaking a sweat).

I found a lightly used Buck 183 Alpha CrossLock for our older spawn, a proper American-made addition to his outdoors kit. For my wife, who's needed a small one-hander to open packages at work, I picked up a brand-new Spyderco Dragonfly ClipIt FRN with a serrated edge. I treated myself to a well-loved Benchmade 5 Rescue Hook, complete with Kydex sheath, to keep in the truck.

The 14-year-old had his eye on a
balisong -- a cheap, imported one. That wasn’t about to happen, both because it was Chinese garbage and because he hasn't yet shown the kind of judgment such a knife requires. He left the store empty-handed, asking me to defer my generosity to another time.

Fine with me. My grandfather would be proud of him.

All of my choices were inexpensive, absurdly so. I'm seldom in Newark, but I'm hoping to find a reason to get back up to this odd little store again before it closes, if only to gawk.

My roadwork resumed this morning with a rush-hour drive to Columbus, delivering my wife to her place of business, and will continue this afternoon with a trip to another part of the city, concluding (I hope) this evening with our regular Lancaster run. There will be more waiting -- no doubt about that.

Did I mention that I hate to wait?

Benchmade Knife Company
Buck Knives