When you’re a paysan, a French rural farmer dude, you keep a knife at hand. You see them at village meals when a farmer wants to cut bread or when the meat course comes out. They pull out their Opinel and get cutting.
Not only do they all carry a knife, they have a saying “Un paysan sans couteau n’est pas un paysan” that translates to “A paysan without a knife is not a paysan.”
Jean wouldn’t let me be the only paysan without a knife so she went down to Decathlon and bought me one for Christmas. Since we are Americans, she didn’t buy me an Opinel. She bought me an American knife one made by Buck Knives. Looking at the site I’d say it was a Bantam [mumble].
Here it is sitting on the old and dusty IBM clicky keyboard. It gets used for all sorts of tasks – prising open metal tabs on vine posts so I can use them as a place to hang fence reels, hacking through blackberries and morning glory that have wound around the bar of my chopper rotor, cutting off polywire that’s been wrecked from too many cow horns and fence post windings and so on.
It is always there in my pocket and it gets used every day. It is doubtless illegal by some French regulation, yet we all carry them in public places, into banks, cafes and supermarkets. I am yet to cut bread with it.