A knife less ordinary

Never look a gift-knife in the mouth

Someone sent me a knife by courier a couple of weeks ago. A very beautiful, very sharp, wooden-handled knife called the Messermeister Oliva Elité (note that this is no ordinary knife – not content to be merely Elite, no sirree; it’s an Elité). It is a very good knife. It comes in a sleek wooden box with a little brass latch.

It was sent to me, I’m assuming, because I’ve been writing the Quick Bites food news page for The Australian Women’s Weekly for the past year or so, and I get sent a lot of stuff to try. Of course, it could be a hate crime, but there’s nothing in the accompanying press release that would lead me to believe that. And I reckon a hate crime wouldn’t involve a sleek wooden box, either, latch or no latch, unless it was big enough for me, of course.

This knife has scored a fine line between pleasure and pain.

First – purrrrrrr – someone had kindly sent me an expensive kitchen knife to try. And verily, it was good. It slid through those tomatoes like a sharp knife through a tomato. She sent it to me because I might write about it for my next AWW page. Except – ouch – I’ve given up that particular day job, which means this Elité-st of knives has now been wasted on someone with little influence in the mass-media-sphere. Not that I’m sure how many people have actually read my AWW page, but I’m guessing it may have been slightly more than those who read this one.

And I feel a bit bad about that because I like this Messermeister, and it would have looked very handsome as a high-resolution image on my magazine page. And I could have written a punny headline like ‘Knife Work!’ to go with the copy. But not bad enough about it to send it back – I’ve never had any aspirations to be the NSW premier, anyway. So thank you. It’s fab. I hope whoever takes over my AWW gig will also receive one and do it media justice.

Using this paragon of knifeliness threw my kitchen-drawerful of bluntness into, um, sharp relief. So I did something about it, or at least Vicky Loomans, motorcyling Messerherrin of the mean streets of Botany, did. I am now happily (and harmfully) armed with an entire squadron of Messer at the peak of their shärfe.

Life is good when you have your own personal knife sharpener – especially one as cool as she is. She even does the serrated ones, tiny scallop by tiny scallop. I like that kind of dedication. I will definitely be entrusting my Messermeister to her care.

Vicky and I met while walking our respective dogs at Sir Joseph Banks Park. Sheer repetition does that to people. In the end, we wear each other down with our cheery hellos. Her dog, Ace, is a lean, spare little Staffy cross, full of smiley, bouncy good humour – unless you’re a rabbit. Mine, as you all well know, is none of these things, except for the smiley, bouncy good humour thing. Rabbits laugh at Lucy behind her back.

Vicky is one of a handful of regular pounders of our local mean streets and parks. There are Debbie and Basil – Debbie, a nurse, warm of heart and lover of a chat with the girls over a sav blanc, who specialises in breast cancer care; Basil, a taciturn, preoccupied Schnauzer, who leaves the talking to her. Theresa and Skye – Theresa, a maudlin, late-middle-aged Croatian, all Eeyore-like gloom; Skye, her once-handsome German Shepherd, now sagging-hipped and bouffant-haired, a wistful victim of over-grooming and an unwavering (unrequited) passion for Lucy. And dear old Gerry and Max – Gerry being a chipper, chatty, Cockney fellow who likes to talk to me about my choice in cars; Max, his unfailingly amiable fat black kelpie, whom Gerry gets clipped regularly by someone with either a disturbing disregard for consistency or blunt clippers, thus rendering poor Max rather patchy, though so far blessedly un-scarred. I might recommend that Gerry seek out the services of Ms Loomans for the relief of all concerned.

As for anyone else in need of a damn good sharpening, here’s Vicky’s email address. Because you’re worth it. vjloomans@gmail.com