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The Rambler.

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Everyday carry

When I was small, my Dad always carried at least three things with him: a black Pentel Sign Pen, a loose collection of notes in his breast pocket, and a Swiss Army pocket knife. Little did I realize that, decades later, I too would always carry at least three things with me: a Uni-Ball Vision Elite pen, a Field Notes notebook, and a trusty Swiss Army “Rambler” pocket knife.

Stock photo of a small Swiss army knife, indicating cutting off a blade

I carried my first Rambler around for years - at our first house, as our two children were born and grew up, as we got our two dogs, through job changes and starting a company, and all of those little fix-it moments in between.

Airport security

And then one day, airport security found my (forgotten) pocket knife in my computer bag as it went through the x-ray machine. They said I could mail it to myself (my ride to the airport had long since left), but it would be around $15. Since the knife itself wasn't worth much more than that, I was just about to resign myself to handing it over and buying another on Amazon.

And then I got a spark of inspiration - what if I could go back outside of security, snap off the blade, and then come back through? The security guy agreed, so he escorted me back through the exit (which, admittedly, felt a little like getting kicked out of a bar).

My Swiss army knife, with the blade broken off

I stepped on the blade, wrenched it back and forth about 30 times, and SNAP it came right off. Went back through security, sans blade, and all was well. My new TSA-compliant knife also cleared security at two more airports later in the week, so I was good to go. Truth be told, I didn't use the blade all that much anyway, so all was good.

The demise

I kept that knife for almost another decade until an agent at the airport in Melbourne, Australia decided that my stub of a blade was a threat to their national security and confiscated it once and for all.


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