A friend sent me this over the weekend:
Setting aside the comments (though I did wonder how this guy had never seen one of these things before), and the fact that the writer never actually expresses why every man (and woman, for that matter) should own such a tool, I’ll agree with the sentiment. I’ve had a Leatherman tool for years and years. I don’t wear it on my belt (it’s in my truck’s center console), though it did have a place on my patrol harness on those occasions I went to the field in the days when I was one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children. It’s more than earned its keep since I first bought it, along with my Swiss Army knife and the pair of GTE lineman’s scissors that can cut through pretty much anything.
Now, you want to talk about something everybody should have? How about one of these?
It’s perhaps the simplest tool ever devised by man. It’s perhaps the finest tool ever devised by man. It’s a can opener.
I got the first one of these from my father before I was ten. A couple of them were packed in the boxes of C-ration meals he would acquire from time to time for use during our frequent camping trips. By the time I joined the service, C-rats were being phased out and replaced with the first versions of MREs (“Meals, Ready to Eat”), so the P-38s were no longer needed, at least for the individual meals. I’m probably among the last generation of service members who even had a chance to get one right out of the box. The things still came in handy in a variety of situations, though, so those of us who had them refused to part with them even long after we hung up the rest of our gear. I had one attached to my dog tag chain throughout my time in uniform, and to this day it occupies a place on my keychain:
You can read more than you’d think should ever be printed about such a dinky tool by checking out this link:
In particular, this article sheds some nice light on the history of the P-38, and why so many service folk love the dang things so much:
You know you want one, right?
Trivia, for you Star Trek fiction readers: In a couple of the Star Trek: Corps of Engineers stories Kevin and I wrote, I make mention of a “P-38” tool designed to break the magnetic seals on all those sliding doors. Such a device was first seen in the Next Generation episode “Starship Mine,” though it was never given a name, so I decided “P-38” was a nice tip of the hat to the famous little tool.
There you go…some rambling thoughts on a Monday morning while I wait for the caffeine to take hold. So, go and get yourself a Leatherman…and one of these things for your dog tag chain, too.
EDIT: I’ve been informed that I’ve been remiss, and there’s actually another tool that you shouldn’t be caught without: