Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Surgeon And I

Does a surgeon have a favorite scalpel? One he/she uses more often than is strictly necessary? One whose versatility and usefulness have grown as a function of the surgeon's own sentimental attachment to the point of its being used in borderline inappropriate circumstances, say trying to hack through a bone in lieu of a bonesaw or even being snuck home in a pocket to use as a steak knife on the weekend? If the surgeon inexplicably misplaces the scalpel after years of loyal service, is he utterly lost? Does he suit up for surgery only to freeze at the operating table like a first year med-school student with second-thoughts, realizing he could no more perform surgery without his sidekick scalpel than he could stand up on the table and sing the Magna Carta to the tune (and in a round) of row-row-row your boat?
If this is the case (and I, for one, strongly suspect it is) then I have nothing but sympathy and compassion for the poor surgeon because I am a kindred lost soul.

I am without my Hori Hori Knife.

I cannot forgive myself, because it was my own inexcusable fault for leaving it behind in a raised bed along a busy street, like some forged siren singing its many magical properties to all passers-by. I only hope whoever took it will give it a good home, and discover for it many more uses to add to my own extensive list.
For anyone unfamiliar with a Hori Hori Knife (it's okay, you don't have to feel ashamed), it is quite simply my favorite gardening tool and without its reassuring weight on my belt I feel like less of a gardener, less of a man somehow. It is an indestructible 6" Japanese steel blade with a simple wood handle; it is not sharp per-se, but it has one dully serrated edge and one straight edge that meet to form an ever so slightly concave point. Strapped to a belt, from a distance, it looks like a particularly stout and vicious hunting knife (and in fact, I have received more than one suspicious glance from innocent bystanders who must have thought me some kind of half gardener/half military assassin run amok in their neighborhood). It is sold as a "weeding tool", a task to which it is admirably suited but which label does no more justice than selling a modern computer as a "Tetris-playing tool".
In the interests of not publishing an encyclopedic dissertation in one blog post, I will not attempt to enumerate the sundry uses for the Hori Hori all at once, but will rather christen a new installation at Callus and Chlorophyll which will eulogize and regularly explore the applications of my beloved knife gone astray, to be entitled: "Hori Hori R.I.P".
Stay tuned for more.

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