Then it showed one of those tools that you set on the counter and draw
the knife through.
When I was just a kid I saw a guy hustling knife sharpeners at the
I was enthralled.
Even then at my young age, I could easily tell the product was crap,
but the guy pitching the junk was good.
He had a small crowd right in the palm of his hand.
He'd first called them in. Called up a crowd out of nothing at all.
Calling loud enough to be heard but not so aggressive as to be
offensive. Talking pretty fast but not garbled at all.
Once he had them (about 30 as I recall) he began to steadily and
smoothly pitch the unbelievable wonders of the miracle gadget for all
time. 22 uses and thensome.
He has his pitch ballet schtick down like glass too.
Called the dhoop shot in the carnie trade but I didn't know that yet.
Showing how incredibly easy it all was, (because he'd obviously
practiced it a million times).
Precise movements through many different operations, including cutting
glass of course. They always included a glass cutter.
The knife sharpening part of the bit was the longest and had the most
flourish of all. It was merely an angled rod of come sort of carbon like
material with a guide, that made the sharpener work.
I caught his trick right away.
The contraption actually worked, but it only worked twice at most.
So as he talked, he would open a new box and take one out, draw the
knife through a couple of times and slice a tomato. Easily talk about
the next upcoming operation, as he deftly put it back in the box, set if
off to the side and pick up a new box..............
I will always watch pitchmen, at least for a little while.
Preachers, car salesman, sideshow barkers, whatever. I just like to see
how they work a crowd. Its quite a skill.
Oral Roberts was a truly great master pitchman.
Joel Osteen is good too, but he is more of a special effects producer
and does that admirably.
Call them in, get their money, spill them out the side of the
tent............... is how its been done forever.
Well ok, closer to on topic, I guess I better get out some kitchen
I am sure all of you know me as a terrible knife whore. Every kind,
every size, every style.
I just can't help looking for them, and they are not hard to find if
you look. Especially if you are prepared to reverse damage wrought by
idiots on perfectly innocent knives.
New handles, completely reshape and re-bevel the blades, put on a
polish overall. Whatever they want, and whatever pleases me.
When I pick up any knife, who branded it is not the first thing I
look at. Every knife maker has to produce a wide line of knives to stay
in business. From the highest grade to the lowest. Some companies are
generally better than others, but they all produce their cheapest line.
So I look to the shape and handle details. And of course whether its a
forged knife or merely stamped out. Was it ever highly polished or was
it merely left rough ground and sold that way?
Then beyond this there is something I can't tell by looking or
handling a knife in its rough state.
A balance in the work or the exact composition of the steel. How well
it performs for me and whether I enjoy resharpening it or not.
Downstairs I have a whole drawer full of knives I have restored,
sometimes heavily, and tried out, only to find they aren't my favorite.
Famous names and good construction or not, they just don't do it for me
for one reason or another.
I give them away when the occasion arises.
Here are some of my favorite working knives. They have all been
worked on and most of them seriously. I can't tell you exactly why they
are my favorites, they just are.
Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca 96039