Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

New York City to Ban Awls

First they came for the sodas—wait, actually, first they came for the black people. But after the City mounted a sophisticated campaign to harass and subjugate basically all non-white people, up to and including Forest Whitaker, then they came for the sodas.

Now, the New York City council is going to vote to forbid the possession of awls by minors and young adults of voting age. We are not even joking, somehow.

Peter Vallone, Jr., is the sponsor of this piece of legislation, which we think appears before the full City Council today at 1:30 p.m. (We say "we think" because the City Council published a blank agenda for today, which is a remarkable and sneaky trick!)

The legislation goes like this: "A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to banning the sale of awls to persons under twenty-one years of age, open displays of awls by sellers, and possession of awls in a public place by persons under twenty-one years of age, or on school premises by persons under twenty-two years of age."

This is, essentially, an addition to the law banning boxcutters for all people under 22. (How do young people open boxes?) We feel specially situated to comment upon this addition. In short: we are strongly opposed!

Most people, we find, actually have no idea what an awl is. We regularly find well-educated and lovely people who pronounce "The Awl" as if it were named "The Owl" or "The Ale." No other three-letter word causes people more anxiety. And now, this legislation will just push awls further underground, at the very least in the province of pronunciation. When only criminals have awls, will The Awl be criminal?

Soon there will be nothing left to legally own in this society, and then we will not be able to pronounce anything.

41 Comments / Post A Comment

petejayhawk (#1,249)

Pictures of awls on The Awl. Our cries have been heard, our demands met.

@petejayhawk : BUT AT WHAT PRICE, etc.

deepomega (#1,720)

@petejayhawk *gives thumbs up, sinks into pool of molten metal*

John Ore (#7,170)

No other three-letter word causes people more anxiety.

Oh yeah? Try asking people how to spell my last name.

@John Ore Orrey? Rhymes with Choire?

IBentMyWookie (#133)

Those fuckers on the city council are all in the pocket of Big Icepick

BadUncle (#153)

When awls are outlawed, only outlaws will have leathercraft kits.

Just wait and see what happens if they come for my adz.

@BadUncle – When only juvenile criminals have awls, will The Awl be criminally juvenile?

russell brandom (#7,699)

Never bring a T-square to an awl fight.

thematt (#222,196)

Do you pronounce it differently from "all"? Because I don't, and I feel silly when I tell people that I read something on "The All."

Multiphasic (#411)

@thematt I say "all" but as if I were from the deepest Philadelphia.

Ben Checks (#4,643)

@thematt I subtract the y from y'all

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@thematt I extend the vowel sound and sound like an idiot. "I think I read it on The Aaahwl." The uninitiated: "What is it?" Me: "The Awl: A. W. L. It's a website that posts mostly funny, well edited, things. Their slogan is Be Less Stupid." I have had this conversation many times. Sometimes I mention a love for bears and a hatred for the moon.

Leon (#6,596)

Now I'm going to have to start killing motherfuckers with No. 4 Smoothing Plane

Tuna Surprise (#573)

What if this is really a noble attempt to undercut the Boy Scouts by effectively making the craft of crafting your own custom belt illegal? Then you'll feel silly.

What a load of cobblers.

Smitros (#5,315)

@My Number Is My Address And multi-tools.

Smitros (#5,315)

Next they're going after spirit levels. And adzes.

swizzard (#329)

The City Council is clearly in the pocket of Big Belt.

ericdeamer (#945)

I'm concerned that this may somehow lead to young people not knowing how to pronounce the name Choire.

jrb (#3,020)

Listicle Without Caloric Value

Yatima@twitter (#12,963)

Awl of me! Why not take awl of me?

But how will we stop the youngs from downloading and 3D-printing their own unregulated awls?

Alternate take : I'll be over here chipping a hand axe out of flint. (Stop by my Brooklyn Flea booth, "The Knappery")

jfruh (#713)


jbsquare (#793)

I think they are actually banning the sending of awl newsletters because that would explain why I haven't received one in awhile.

jbsquare (#793)

"well New York City really has it awl, oh yeaaah oh yeaaaaaah"

I'm taking my bawl and going home.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

@Clarence Rosario This is like voting on an internet poll at work and then voting from your home pc at home.

@IBentMyWookie Hang on while I log out to upthumb this again…

stuffisthings (#1,352)

I can already see NYC's nightmare doomsday scenario: everyone loses tons of weight, because of the soda ban, but then they need to add new holes to their belts and they CAN'T because no awls and then they have to go to New Jersey. The end.

hman (#53)

Big deal, I'll just stab people with a Hairpin.

@hman we can keep our Wire-cutter, rights?

Lcanon (#240,865)

The only thing I know about awls is that's what Louis Braille poked his eye out with.

@Lcanon : … twice.

HereKitty (#2,713)

But, but … you can't even SPELL "law" without "awl."

stuffisthings (#1,352)


just saying.

cherrispryte (#444)

@stuffisthings That reminds me of this one time Spinderella stabbed me with her Treo an awl.


Brunhilde (#1,225)

@stuffisthings Only 1140 or so comments to go…

stuffisthings (#1,352)

It's almost like you people don't want pictures of Awls on The Awl.

Turboslut (#1,036)

Are they banning all awls? Just the more common barn and barred awls, or the whole lot, including the Spotted awl and the Great Snowy awl?

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

Oh nice, this gives me an excuse to quote from one of my favorite articles, Gangs of Baltimore. Here's the pull quote:

"Because the party that ruled the streets held sway at the polls, partisans regularly marched through opposing wards. They also infiltrated opposition rallies, where they threw the crowd into disarray by jabbing bystanders with the easily concealed shoemaker's awl, similar to a short ice pick. So beloved was the lowly awl that shortly before the presidential election in 1859, the American clubs engaged blacksmiths to forge them en masse, handed out flyers announcing their distribution, and incorporated the awl's image into club banners. A favorite featured “the figure of a man running, with another in pursuit, sticking him with an awl.” At the polling places, the Plug Uglies strapped awls to their knees, surrounded suspect voters and “awled” them into retreat. “Come up and vote; there is room for awl!” became one of many election-time chants intended to amuse and intimidate."

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