Wildlife Knife Ends Exxon’s Strife

You know, folks, it's plumb amazin' the things a body can get in the mail these days. The modern miracle of mail-order merchandising offers such treasures as: The Amazing Mouli kitchen implement, precious recordings of Boxcar Willie and O.B. McClinton, Closet Savers (You know, they're so strong you can even suspend a 46-pound kid from 'em.), Lark MotoScooters and Sol Thesman's Lift-o-Matic Recliners. But we think, without a doubt, the most amazing mail-order offer since the Ancient Egyptians walked the earth has to be The Wildlife Knife Collection, from Exxon (of course).

Now, we all know that Exxon has been taking a lot of heat in the media lately for the alleged "spill" up there in the arctic wasteland. But, we know that this knife collection, a stunning gesture of corporate goodwill and recognition of public concern, will vindicate our pals at good ol' Esso, even in the eyes of the staunchest non-styrofoam-using, newspaper-saving can-crushing environmentalist.

"Hey, that sounds pretty cool," you might be saying to yourself, "What is this knife deal, and how can I get in on it?" You see, one of our Tri-P contacts received news of the offer a couple of weeks after the little mishap on the Valdez.

The Wildlife Knife Collection All you have to do is order an Exxon credit card and they'll send you a whole wad of junk you can purchase with it, none of it having to do with petrochemicals at all. We're talkin' stereos, VCRs, porcelain figurines, even yuppie hummingbird feeders. But, by far, the standout of the bunch was clearly The Wildlife Knife Collection, designed exclusively for Exxon by wilderness pigsticker craftsman Dave Brandon. We could describe these soul-stirring scimitars ourselves, but quite frankly, phesters, we'd prefer to let Exxon's hauntingly eloquent sales literature speak for itself:

"The Wildlife Knives capture the wonder of the great outdoors in vibrant color and careful detail. In your pocket or proudly displayed in their personalized oak case, these are a collectible any sportsman or lover of nature will appreciate.

"Artfully rendered knives capture the mystery and allure of the great outdoors.... Each brush stroke reflects the artist's concern for detail and appreciation of nature. Unique knives sportsmen and collectors will want to own."

Wow! Ed is really psyched about the personalized oak case; he keeps making sketches of what it will look like with "EKD" emblazoned on it. D. just keeps saying the mantra-like phrase "Wildlife Knife" over and over in a hypnotic daze, just 'cause it rhymes so cool. But we know that the truly most important thing about this gorgeous set of outdoor cutlery is that it represents Exxon's unflagging commitment to and unabiding love for the awesome spectacle that is mother nature.

Don't believe us? Listen to this: "The Wildlife Knives illustrate artist Dave Brandon's respect and love for our natural environment." And we're sure that Dave's attitude reflects that of every member of the Exxon family, from the boys on the board right down to fresh-faced, friendly young man who pumps your gas. And that attitude shows; it shows in the quality of the company's car care products, and in the obvious excellence of the knives.

These beauties are built to last; you'll want to buy one now before these heirlooms-to-be are gone forever. "The back of the weighted blade is brushed stainless steel," says Exxon, and the "drop-point blade is Vanadium steel honed to a sharp edge, with lock-back construction."

The set consists of three beautiful knives, a trinity of cutting and penetrating ecstasy, each gloriously capturing a touching scene from nature:

The Woodlands: "The grace and mystery of this pair of white tailed deer evoke the allure of our forests." We think it would be spiritually uplifting to have one of these knives during deer hunting season; we can just imagine slicing open the soft, downy neck of a freshly-killed doe as the hot, crimson blood gushes out all over Dave Brandon's meticulous artwork.

The Wetlands: "From the Bayou to the Northern Lakes, ducks in flight are a traditional symbol of the freedom of the great outdoors." This one would be perfect for taking care of ducks caught in the bounty-laden nets of honest, unwary fishermen; the 2 and 3/16th inch Vanadium steel blade would allow one to quickly and mercifully stab the unfortunate but pesky ducks in the head.

The Waterways: "The bass is a reminder of the great natural resource of our rivers and streams." Hell, man, you can just take one look at that big ol' bass a-swimmin' there, and you know that it's such an awesome and powerful creature that no barrel or two of Superflo spilt in the ocean somewheres ain't gonna hurt it none.

So, come on, gang, let's bury the enviro-petro-political hatchet once and for all. We've sent in our checks for $39.96 (plus $5.96 for postage and handling), and we challenge you to do the same. Exxon has taken enough abuse from the pablum-puking liberals in the press, and we think it's high time we all gave Exxon credit for its nigh religious reverence for this big blue marble we like to call Spaceship Earth. The Wildlife Knife Collection is the undeniable capstone of Exxon's hippie-extorted penance. But we think John Donne said it best when he wrote:

So whoopty-doo, the Valdez spilled a little bit of oil in
The ocean, and all them people whose blood is a-boilin'
We'd like to put a hex on.
Just get yourself a set of these here lovely wildlife knives,
Quit your silly fussin' and let's all get on with our lives:
Yes, we say, "God bless Exxon!"

(Originally published in The Phoenix Student Newsweekly, October 12, 1989.)

D. Trull