March 4, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:00 pm

Even though we have a high-priced, heavy duty colander in the House by the Parkway, I would not think of taking on Velociman on the subject of Colander Blogging, as he, having no respect for his elders, would most assuredly gorilla stomp my ass. I, therefore, choose to broaden the blog category to include kitchen wares, more specifically kitchen knives, and even more specifically Cutco kitchen knives.

Here’s the story

One Saturday night, about twenty-five years ago, we were hanging out at with friends in their kitchen, where my buddy and I were working our way through a couple cases of beer. Their doorbell rang, and our hostess escorted a young fellow into the kitchen. Our friends introduced us and explained that he had dropped by to deliver a Cutco spatula spreader that our friend had previously ordered from him. She explained that the kid was selling Cutco knives to help pay his way through college. He seemed like a nice enough kid, but he was, after all, interrupting some serious bullshitting and beer drinking. I couldn’t wait for him to leave.

However, our hostess insisted on showing us this nifty (albeit pricey) tool that was a spreader and a sharp-ass knife all in one, thinking that I might want to order one from the kid. She demonstrated: “See, you can slice a roll or a bagel with the edge of the spatula, and use it to spread the cream cheese or butter.”

It really was a cool tool, and I envisioned myself using one of those babies to zip through a bagel and then plunge it into a large jar of Skippy. The kid followed on with a description of the craftsmanship that goes into the manufacturing of Cutco knives and explained that they are unconditionally guaranteed for life.

I said, “I’ll take one.” The kid beamed. He never expected to make a sale that Saturday night.

Knowing that we could actually use a good kitchen knife, I washed down the balance of my then-current can of suds and asked, “What else ya got?”

The kid said, “I’ll just run out to my car and get my case. It’ll just take a minute.” I think it took about thirty seconds.

The kid returned to the kitchen to show me various kinds of Cutco knives. There was a bread knife, a butcher’s knife, a large knife with a serrated blade, a French Chef’s knife, several paring knives, a carving fork and a turning fork . While I continued to pop beers, the kid explained the uses for each of the blades. He was eager to sell me one of them.

When he was through with his pitch, he waited for me to choose a knife from the ones he had shown me. I took a long pull on a new beer and asked, “How much for the whole set?”

“You want the whole set?”

“Yeah, what the hell. How much for the whole set?”

He looked at me wide-eyed, and said, “I have to check. I’m new at this, and I’ve never sold a whole set.” He dragged out his book, and told me the price. I cannot remember exactly what the price was, but I believe that it was something like four-hundred-fifty dollars, which twenty-five years ago, at least for me, was a helluva lot more than I had any business spending on knives.

I said, “Sold,” and the kid looked at me as if I were Santa Claus.

I even ended up buying the oak block in which to store them.**

The kid was as happy as a clam. Mrs. Parkway was incredulous, our friends were speechless, and I was happily shitfaced.

Of course, the next morning when I realized that I had spent a couple weeks’ pay on knives, I wanted to kick myself in the ass, but I didn’t have the heart to call the kid and tell him to forget it.

It’s now twenty-five years later, and those knives are still on the kitchen counter. They have cut countless hunks of meat, sliced a truckload of breads and vegetables and they are still in great shape. Several years ago, the handle on the carving fork changed color and broke, and Cutco replaced it, no questions asked. About a half dozen years ago, I sent them all back to Cutco, where the company sharpens them and buffs them all up for free. Hell, the company even reconditioned the oak block for free.

Since then, I have also bought a set of Cutco table knives that will cut any-damned thing and can also serve as a butter knife. My most recent Cutco purchase was a pair of scissors that will also cut any damned thing (and they come apart so you can toss them in the dishwasher).

So, I am eternally grateful that once the beer wore off on that day twenty-five years ago I didn’t call that kid to cancel the sale, because I have gotten way more than my money’s worth from those knives.

And, they are made in the USA. What’s not to like?

** This is the closest example of the set that I bought twenty-five years ago.

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