There’s a guy who comes to our front door a couple of times a year. He’s a scruffy looking fellow. His opening line goes something like this: “Sir, please don’t be afraid….I’m a criminal on parole, working with this organization to help me learn how to earn my living legally”. Do you think I’m going to buy from this guy? You’re damn right I will. If he’s not a criminal, then you’ve got to admire his schtick. And if he is a criminal, a few bucks is great cheap insurance.

So he opens this small gym bag and shows me a variety of trinkets for sale: Pens, lighters, and oh, what’s this….scissors. I now have several pairs of scissors from this guy…and I’m really grateful.

Scissors have become like those $10 reading glasses you get at the drugstore; very handy to have a few pairs lying around the house in various rooms for when you might actually need them.

If you haven’t already noticed, we live in a scissors world. There was a time not long ago that you could open most packages by just ripping them open. Tried opening a chip bag recently?I bought a bag of Boulder all natural organic potato chips a couple of days ago (they make a nice garnish for a lunchtime sandwich). They come in a rather flimsy looking paper bag. But looks can be deceiving. I tried pulling the bag apart in the age-old tradition and, well, nothing. No one told me that they’re reinforcing chip bags with recycled Kevlar bands from old radial tires!

The sliced cheese container has an “Easy-peel” label on it. Supposedly, the tiny 1 mm. wide plastic edge they allow you for a grip peels apart easily. Unfortunately, my fingers can’t seem to grasp a piece of plastic wrap the width of a fly’s testicles.

And if you’ve bought any electronics, they’ve likely come in those heavy-duty plastic sandwiches that are hermetically sealed on all sides right up to the product itself. There’s no way to pull them apart and if you try too hard, the rigid plastic can draw blood.

Even my bagged Andy Boy organic romaine lettuce hearts need scissors, despite the fact that they use a Ziploc! The Ziploc is so tight that as I’m trying to pull it apart, the bag rips before the seal opens.

It’s been a few months since I’ve seen my friendly neighborhood killer, car thief, gang-banger. I miss him. I need another pair of scissors.