5.15.2012

The $4,269.95 Pocket Knife (Or, "You, Too, Can Have Finger Surgery!")

I own the world's most expensive pocket knife. Let me show you it:


This is the SpyderCo Civilian G-10. It's SpyderCo's answer to other knife companies making spring-loaded and spring-assisted weaponry under the guise of self defense. And it's BEAUTIFUL.

Among many other things, I collect knives. I don't have a particular obsession with cutting things. I'm not a "knife nut." But I do like a beautiful blade. I find steel working and craftsmanship to be quite fascinating, and when there's a rare or exceptional blade made by a company I like, I purchase it. I own the Ken Onion Shun knife series for my cooking, the first edition Benchmade Balisong 42, and a bunch of other beautiful, exquisitely crafted blades.

I use them mostly to open boxes.

Well, honestly, I don't really use most them to do that job. I usually use scissors for that. I've only used this one to do that, at least recently. And I've only done it once. And it was because of that one time that this became the single most expensive knife I own.

This knife retails for $269.95. And it's worth it, I tell ya. Full stainless steel, solid construction, sharp as the dickens. The surgery it forced me to get, however, is going to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000.00.

And how did this knife force me to get surgery? Well, I'll be honest -- it didn't. I forced me to get surgery. Because I was an idiot.

About two months ago, I received a gigantic box of books from Japan. Some rare books by Moebius, a rare program guide from a Designer's Republic exhibit in Tokyo, and several gigantic volumes of manga. All told, this box probably weighed about thirty pounds.

I'd been waiting nearly two months for this box, so when it arrived, I was QUITE excited. After signing for it, I brought it into the house and sat it down on the dining room table. Right there in front of me was the newly-purchased SpyderCo Civilian G10 knife. Now, on the packaging for the knife and in the documentation for the knife, it clearly states it is NOT a utility knife. They put this literature in front of you so that you cannot claim to local law enforcement that it is, since some knife-related laws allow you to carry utility knives of a certain length that you couldn't carry if it was for self defense.

And this is for self defense, not opening boxes. But hey, it's a knife, and it was there, and I figured "What the hell, I need this box opened." So I used the knife on it. And it worked just fine.

After pulling out a bit of packing material and verifying that this was indeed the box of books I was waiting for (as I do import quite a lot of things from Japan), I wanted to carry them into the kitchen so that I could sort through them and perhaps read one while I finished up a little bit of work. And I figured while I was at it, I'd carry the SpyderCo Civilian G10 into the kitchen with me, so that I wouldn't forget to finally carry it upstairs and place it in my office (where my wife had been asking me to put it for a few weeks).

So, I picked up the box, and then I reached down with my right hand and "slid" the knife against the bottom of the box, placing my hand underneath the hilt to hold it firm against the box. I carried it into the kitchen with no issues. But as I was walking toward our kitchen island, the knife began to slip.

"That's going to go into my foot," I thought. "I don't want it to go into my foot. That would be bad." So I quickened my pace slightly and made it to the kitchen island just as the knife slid out of my hand. It was poised to land right on the kitchen island.

"But it might slip from the island," I thought. "And then it'll land on my foot. And that would suck." Before I could even think, my reflexes forced my hands down (with the box still in them) to "trap" the knife between the box and the island, so that it wouldn't slide off the island and into my foot. Which would suck.

Instead, the back of the knife hit the island just as my right index finger hit the open blade. In less than a second, I'd severed the extensor tendon in my right index finger's first knuckle.

I'm not sure if you've ever severed your extensor tendon on the first knuckle of your right index finger, or if you've ever experienced a deep cut of any sort, but the first thing you think isn't "Ow." It's not "Ouch" or "Oooooh" or "That smarts."

It's "Well, fuck." Because it doesn't actually hurt at first, but you know that with time, the pain is going to find you. And when it does, it's going to SUCK.

More than that, the blood starts flowing pretty much immediately. You're making a mess before you even realize you've damaged yourself. There was a pool of blood on my kitchen island and another on my kitchen floor before I could even process that maybe, just maybe, I should stop the pools of blood from forming by stopping the bleeding.

But once I did, I took care of business. I applied pressure, then went and rinsed the wound immediately. I applied peroxide and then rinsed again, then held pressure until the bleeding stopped.

Because this was the knuckle and because I'd stopped the bleeding, I didn't really think I needed to go to the emergency room. But within a day, I'd caught a pretty decent cold (due to some recent travel) and I figured, while I was going to the doctor to get some antibiotics, I'd ask him what he thought of the cut.

"I think you've severely damaged yourself and you need to see the orthopedist," he said.

He sent me to my orthopedist, who knows all of my history and has dealt with my knees, ankles and elbow for quite some time now. And within seconds of looking at it, she smirked, walked out of the room, and came back with the surgeon. "Severed?" she asked.

"Severed," he replied. And that's all they really needed to say. Except, that's not all they said. They said that, while I could opt not to repair it and just live with it, within a year I'd begin to experience the type of arthritis pain someone in their fifties might feel, and within 3 years the pain would be severe to crippling. They said that if I acted now, I had a good chance of restoring movement to the knuckle, which would... Well, honestly, it doesn't do much. I can point straight again. That's about it.

And so, at 4:00PM today, I'm going to be put to sleep so that highly skilled surgeons can slice into my right index finger's first knuckle to reattach the tendon, which will save me from early-onset arthritis and a lifetime of pain in that digit.

All because I was a fucking idiot with a knife. A $4,269.95 knife.

I doubt very highly I'd get that much on eBay for it.