There's nothing like slicing through a finger to appreciate the magic of a really sharp knife.
The fact that I did it to my own digit the other day suggested in the moment I wasn't the sharpest item in the cutlery drawer.
Small consolation as I watched my life essence begin to seep ever-so rapidly onto the kitchen bench-top.
I'd hardly felt the cut, and the bigger surprise was that we'd had a weapon so capable of inflicting such a fillet.
The usual lament in our house concerns the bluntness of objects in the kitchen.
That may well be a personal reference but you have to be sharp enough to take the message on board.
Keen no less - so, hello Mother's Day gift this year perhaps.
In the meantime, I needed a band-aid and blood transfusion.
It's funny how a really good cut is kind of painless at first and then stings a lot.
Hairdressers, chefs and other psychopaths will tell you the same.
It brought to mind childhood flashbacks of an eye-opening (not to mention animal-opening) primary school excursion to an abattoir.
Abattoir being a French word meaning "to fell", as in multiple primary school kids fainting as they witness the grim reality of life being sliced up for market.
The dagger that inflicted my wound had been sharpened recently by a relative to a level worthy of those hardened boners.
It had breezed through the "slice a tomato" test. Scored pork effortlessly. And I'm pretty sure you could have literally split hairs if you had wanted to prove a point.
Which was the point made to me about the need to sharpen all our other knives to a similar state after I'd carved myself up with this one.
Inspired/ridiculed/lacerated, I headed to YouTube to hone.
There I found many many masters of the craft spruiking variations on a theme that essentially came down to: whet stone, level focus and machine-like application.
Lacking all those, I sort quick fixes.
My father, ancient Shogun of the concrete slab, had long advocated sharpening the one kitchen knife we had during my entire childhood, on the back pavement.
Mum would request an adjustment, dad would head out the back and a few millimetres off both the knife and slab later, dinner would be carved.
Unfortunately, this method no longer passes hygiene rules.
So I took the next logical step for loafers and hoped I could pick up a cheapo easy to use "wonder" sharpener at an op shop.
They seem idiot proof.
It took time to get one that didn't actually ruin what were perfectly good, if not blunt knives, before I found a goer.
I knew I had one when in attempting to see if the knife was sharp, I carved a new fillet in my thumb. Who said idiot proof?
Again, it was not the sharpest move, and yet - it was; proving that when it comes to sharpening knives, cut to the chase.