Monday, August 31, 2009

Blade Envy

For many years dad worked at Kimberly-Clark Corporation at their newsprint mill in Childersburg, Alabama. That's where he worked until he retired at 66. There are many stories about the years he worked there. Some I heard from Dad and some I heard from people who worked with him. A buddy of mine worked there after high school and got to know dad. He told me that dad reminded him of the Pink Panther - cool and always up to something. I think that description fits. This story is about a lesson in both gullibility and just desserts.

Dad had bought a new knife to use at work. Dad was a Schrade man. This particular knife had three blades, one of which had a straight edge and a rounded off end (like the one in the attached picture). This type of blade is handy for cutting a slit in cable insulation. Dad was an electronic technician and it was important to have a proper knife for his job.

One day at lunch Dad and his friend, Paul Grub, were admiring his new knife when several electricians came into the shop. One of them asked, "Where'd you get the new knife, Wesley?"

Dad answered, "From the tool shop. I broke my old knife and they gave me this as a replacement."

The fellow said, "I didn't know they did that."

Dad replied, "Well they did for me."

Everyone admired Dad's new knife while they ate their lunch.

Later in the day a group of electricians cornered dad to let him know what they thought of his parentage and moral character.

It seems that the tool shop didn't carry knives and never did. But now a half dozen electricians had pocket knives with newly broken blades.

Dad just laughed at them and went back to work.


  1. I think one of the VanElzen boys offered to scuff him up over this. When I worked at KC they still talked about that incident and the time pops charged all of the capacitors in the spare capacitor drawer.

  2. Ha! I didn't know about the spare capacitor trick. I do remember his telling about charging up a large one and then tossing it to a buddy while coaxing, "Here, hold this for me."

    For those reading this with no electrical knowledge... capacitors, when charged, can impart a shock when one touches both leads simultaneously.