When I was a kid, things were a lot different. Normallly I hate to say things like that as they tend to brand me as one of those old curmudgeons that complain “when I was a kid…” But its true. Karen and I went shopping this morning for our lunch picnic, and it got me to thinking. We bought some ham and turkey for sandwiches. It all came in nice neat packages pre sliced for the approximate size of the bread. Not like when dad had to slice the ham for our sandwiches when I was a kid. Then the bread was all pre sliced as well. No bread knife needed there, unlike when I was a kid the loaf of a good rye was a big heavy thing that you needed to slice if you wanted a sandwich. Sure there was that while stuff called wonder bread, but that wasn’t real bread. I’m not real sure what it was, but mom and dad wouldn’t use it. All the sodas and domestic beer come with twist off caps now, and lots of cans these days have the ‘pull to open’ tab on them. Even tuna fish is now coming in envelopes with a ‘pull to open’ tab. No can opener needed there. I remember when you went camping and you needed a large knife just to make dinner. Now its all pre packaged, pre cut,, and just short of ‘some assembly required.” Karen buys stuff from Amazon that has pull tabs on the box that actually work. Most times the pull tabs on envelopes and cans work pretty well. Sometimes they don’t, and then you need a knife. Not much a knife, but something with a sharp edge to cut it open. When I went to open the package of ham, the pull tab started out oaky, but went off track halfway and just tore off. I ended up using my pocket knife to slit open the rest of the package. So there we were today, under a shady big Texas live oak tree with the makings of ham and turkey sandwiches, with some packets of mustard and mayo. We ate good and all I needed a knife for was snipping open the mayo and mustard packs, and the plastic wrapping off the Swiss cheese. My little Victorinox executive handled that job and it got me to thinking about the difference of today and when I was kid and you really needed a knife to deal with things more. I remember when I was a kid, (there, I said it again, ) and I went with mom to the butcher shop. (the big chain grocery stores of the 1960's hadn't come yet) She picked out some pork chops for dinner and the butcher slapped them on some white butcher paper and rolled them up with enough paper to make an Egyptian mummy, wrapped white twine around the package several times and cut it off with he built in cutter on the twine roll. You needed a small machete to open dinner that night. If a package came in the mail, or dropped off by UPS, it came in a cocoon of heavy gauge brown paper that was thick enough to be resistant to small caliber rounds, and then wrapped with that brown tape that got put on wet and dried like a steel band. It came out of a dispenser roll that had a slicer on it and the tape passed over a water thing that you had about 2 minutes to get the package wrapped. I always remember how mom would ask dad to open the package, and dad would carefully examine the package like a demolitions man would examine a bomb. After some careful looking over, he’d take out his very well worn Case peanut, open the small pen blade, and make two exact slices in one end. Then he’d fold out the flap he’d made and neatly slide out what was delivered. The peanut had left a neat hollow brown cardboard shell that was disposed of in the trash. There wasn’t any recycle back then, we were too intent on filling up the earth with trash. Its easy to see why every man who had pants on back then had a small pocket knife in one of those pockets. Usually a small two blade jack or pen style. I’ve carried them and they will do a great job of most the cutting you have to do in real world situations. I carried my trusty peanut for lots of years, and when age and arthritis made the stiff spring little peanut with snappy half stops too much, I switched to a Buck 309 companion from the days when Camillus was still making them for Buck. Had a very nice Boker 240 pen knife with rosewood scales, but my grandson Ryan has it now and carries it everyday. My Case mini copperhead is with my nice Bronwyn in Houston and I know its being put to good use as her purse carry. So here I am with an Executive since the 18th of July 2018, and its proven to be a better everyday pocketknife than my two blade knives. Why? Phillips screws. It seems like the entire world if not the universe, is now held together with Phillips screws. Toys, electronics, wood products from Ikea, and most things that are “some assembly required.” They’re everywhere. Somewhere maybe Han Solo has to tinker with the engine of the Millennium Falcon, he's gonna need a Phillips driver. And unlike my Case peanut and Boker pen knife, the little Victorinox executive deals with small Phillips screws just fine. I did a little work on the nail file tip and it works as a small Phillips driver very well. The nail file of the executive and classic are great Phillips screw drivers and it adds soooo much versatility to the small keychain classic and almost keychain size executive. I think its that little bit of extra tool capacity that makes them so darn good. I know that in the 21 months I’ve been carrying the executive, it’s done things that my old peanut could not have handled. I feel a bit of a traitor for saying that, but facts are facts. I knew my dad pretty well. In many ways I’m very very much like him, a minimalist. I really think if dad had been exposed to a Victorinox executive, he may well have retired his trusty peanut.