Consider the knife. Not the black-handled or serrated object you keep in the drawer with the bottle openers, wooden spoons and spare garage keys and use for cutting bread, chopping vegetables and chasing serial killers from the house when you?re starring in a horror movie, but the simple everyday piece of flatware. The everyday knife is made from one piece of steel, has a rounded nose and is perfect for slicing eggs in two, and pushing mash onto the end of your fork. However it is so singularly useless as a cutting implement that any self respecting household also has steak knives (specifically designed for cutting meat) in a drawer somewhere.
Now imagine, if you will, the average flatware knife?s younger, less developed sibling – the one with the slimmer handle, and the far shorter but equally useless blade – and you would have in your palm the typical airline knife, perfect for dissecting rubbery chicken and smearing greasy margarine on tasteless puck-sized bread rolls. I ask you to imagine the airline knife because you probably won?t be seeing one any time soon. Since September 11th I?ve flown seven times and been presented with steel forks and spoons and PLASTIC knives!
Which raises the question what has happened to all the steel knives? Are they being quickly melted down into shrapnel and shipped overseas to be lobbed into likely looking Afghan caves? If so your average AK47-toting Taliban dude must be wishing the 9-11 Nineteen had used hamburgers or band aids to terrorize those unfortunate passengers two months ago.
Now, call me unsentimental, but your average airborne commuter has a thicker skin than a piece of perfectly cooked tenderloin – and if the average household flatware knife won?t cut a steak what damage do the FAA believe an airline knife is going to do to my neck? That fork I?m using to spear the elastic yardbird while I desperately try to saw through flesh with a plastic knife, is far more dangerous than the airline knife which has now gone the way of the 8-track stereo and the Vanilla Ice fanclub.
WINNERS: 1) The people who manufacture plastic knife, fork and spoon sets. They?re making a killing (oops) and can melt down the brotherless forks and spoons to make more useless knives. 2) Cows. No sharp knives on planes means fewer in-flight steak / dining options.
LOSERS: 1) The environment (again). Plastic, plastic and more plastic. Though most plastic items are washable people will just discard the knives and add new ones to the existing washable steel fork and spoon sets. 2) Airport Wolfgang Puck Pizza Parlors (their pizzas are greasy and served uncut). When you try and cut one of their pizzas you break 5 plastic knives (See Winners #1 and Losers #1) and then accidentally send your pizza frisbee-ing across the terminal into a terminally bored Home Guardsman. Look out for the up-coming news headline: ?English Music Video Director held on terrorism charges for assaulting one of America?s finest with tasteless, fattening faux-Italian eating product.?
Until pencils which could stab, laptops which can k-o as effectively as a brick and forks which can spear a passenger as easily as a coq-au-vin are outlawed I think it?s worth pardoning the unloved airline knife and releasing it from its death-row melting pot.