Over the weekend, the New Yorker food writer Helen Rosner Tweeted that she had been contacted by an acquaintance who wondered if she had 40 minutes or so for a Zoom presentation about Cutco knives.
“This is an aspect of pandemic distancing I absolutely had not previously considered,” she wrote.
Almost immediately, she unleashed a Pandora’s box of memories from Twitter users who had spent their college summers, or who had loved ones who had spent their college summers, going door-to-door selling Cutco knife sets (“guaranteed for life”), demonstrating how the poultry shears could cut a penny in half.
I did not sell Cutco knives myself—I had already discovered the perils of door-to-door sales during my Girl Scout cookie days—but my cousin did, and so did several of my college friends. None of them achieved the riches and glory the Cutco company had promised (though my grandma very kindly bought a set and displayed the block on her kitchen counter, barely used, for years afterward), and they all either found other summer jobs within a couple of weeks or spent the next few months languishing and broke until it was time to go back to school.
But they all came back with stories! Surely there must be a Great American Novel waiting to be written about a sensitive young knife salesman who learned all about Life one summer. Or maybe about a sensitive young knife salesman who blindly sends out emails to everyone he knows, trying desperately to schedule just one Zoom sales session, and in the process learns about Life.
Either way... do you have Cutco knife memories? Share them here!