Popular Mechanics has an article up on that marvelous wonder tool: vise grips. The magazine asked readers to submit stories about how people have used them in creative ways, such as clamping a gushing artery, dipping cannolis in hot oil, and holding a bridal bouquet together. Here's my favorite:
Back in my college days, my best friend and I traveled from Moorhead to Hibbing for an impromptu bear hunt. The year was 1973, and my trusty 1963 Mercury Meteor's shift lever broke off at 3:00 a.m. I promptly clamped my Vise-Grip on a shard of metal sticking out of the column. The "shifter" sufficed for 690 miles on logging roads. By the way, we did get a bear!"
Well, when I was about 20, I decided to throw a surprise birthday party for my Mom. So I bought a pinata, but was unable to find a way to hang it up anywhere in our apartment that would permit her to smack at it with a stick. So my Dad cleverly hung the pinata from his vice grips, which he attached to the top of a door frame. My Mom was delighted.
Okay, so it's not the most impressive vise grips story. But I did learn how critical and handy it is to have them around.
Click here for a history of vise grip pliers.