neeroc (neeroc) wrote,

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The sharpening man! The sharpening man! To the West, no wait - South

I'm not sure how common these guys are anymore, but we have a mobile sharpening man that drives around our neighborhood several times a summer, offering to sharpen anything that needs it. He does it on the spot, out of the back of his van. He gets your attention by ringing a bell that can be heard a couple of streets away. I've always loved the sound of the sharpening man in the neighborhood, more so even than the ice cream carts. I'm not saying that as a child I didn't beg and plead for spare change whenever I heard the ice cream trike coming up the street, but there was something more unique about the sharpening truck.

Flash forward to this evening, we are finally having some not so cold, not raining weather, and as a result we have the windows open, allowing me to hear the distinctive bell of the sharpening man, and he sounds about a street away. I like to help keep this guy around, and I figure our knives can do with a really good sharpening once a year or so, so I jump up, grab all the knives from the kitchen and go running down the stairs to the front door. I know this is not advisable, I am fairly confident it would be considered more dangerous than running with scissors especially with the stair obstacle course thrown in. But the knives need sharpening and the mail must get through. I throw on my shoes and then realize I may scare my neighbours if I spend too long standing at the side of the road with a fist full of knives. I need a cover story and quick! Luckily tomorrow is garbage day (don't get me started on the evils of a Friday garbage pickup - I spent 36 years of my life knowing garbage was picked up on Monday) Anyways, with a quick trip out to the curb I realize tomorrow will be bluebox recycling, aka plastics and glass. Perfect excuse to spend a couple of minutes hanging out in the driveway, and my knives will only be a couple of steps away.

I haul out both bins of recycling (garbage is hubby's job - yes, we are like that) and then I hang around some more, pretending to pick at some weeds and squish some bugs, still held captive by his promised visit. After apparently spending an uncomfortable amount of time in the driveway, hubby comes out to find out what the heck I'm doing and perhaps to see how much I've upset the neighbours. I explain my mission to him, at which point he takes a quick listen and points out to me that yes, while the sharpening man may be a street away, he is on the street in the unconnected neighborhood next to us! Ah the joys of suburbia, the bitterness of dull knives and curses to the designers of this maze!
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