Unintended consequences

Just think: you have a nice business making great products, which are highly valued by their users. And then, one day, some terrorists hijack aircraft and fly them into tall buildings. And the next day, demand for your product falls to, well, nearly zero. Lovely, quirky Guardian piece by Luke Harding on the fortunes of the company that makes the Swiss army knife.

I’ve carried a SAK for as long as I remember. When the wonderful Knock airport opened in the 1980s, I was an early user. Once, a young, enthusiastic security guard spotted the knife in the tray alongside my loose change and watch as I was going through the metal-detection barrier. “I’m sorry, Sir”, he said officiously, “but you cannot take that on the plane”. Needless to say, I protested, and eventually my knife was solemnly handed over to a RyanAir stewardess, who placed it in a drawer on the plane and handed it back to me at Luton after we landed! Ah, the good old days…

(Which reminds me…) On another occasion, I landed at Knock late on a Sunday evening and went to the car hire desk to pick up the car I had booked. “I’m pleased to tell you”, said the chap behind the desk, “that you’ve been upgraded”.
“Wow!”, said I, “so what have I got?”
“A Nissan Micra.”
“But I ordered a Micra”
“Ah yes”, he said, “but this one’s an automatic!”