When I was a boy, I lusted after my very own Boy Scout pocketknife. I was never a boy scout, but I did admire the folding knife. I eventually wore my elders down, and was allowed to save my dimes and make the purchase.
This privilege had a price: The Lecture. (Technically it wasn’t my father who gave me the lecture, because…well, actually I’m not sure my father ever knew I owned a knife. Or pants, for that matter. It was a complicated period, but I digress.) It was my brother-in-law who gave me the lecture, and it went something to the effect of, “You can keep this as long as you don’t leave it where the smaller kids can get at it or do anything else stupid. First infraction, I take it away.” I solemnly promised, and that was that. It seemed to make sense.
Fast-forward many, many years. My daughter lusted after one of those Victorinox “Swiss army knives”, the ones with the red handle.
It happened that I owned a good one, which I’d bought in China and carried for years but had recently retired in favor of a Leatherman. So I gifted it to her, and gave her the 21st century version of The Lecture…
“Never ever EVER under ANY circumstances are you to forget yourself and take this to school, okay? Not in your purse, not in your pocket, not anywhere. Don’t tell me it’s stupid, because I know it’s stupid. Follow this decree anyway. First infraction, they throw your young ass out of school and probably arrest you to boot.” She solemnly promised, and that was that, though it made no sense at all. As far as I know, she kept the promise.
It’s just the world we lived in. A major reason I left.