Sep 24, 2007

Save the Shave!

After viewing yet another commercial on the latest shaver, I was reminded of this tongue-in-cheek article that I wrote several months ago. I hope it makes you smile...


Razor ads have sent me over the edge! We entered the 20th century with men using straight edge razors and exited with shaving tools that resemble lawn mowers! As marketing sinks it’s teeth into our follicles, we are no longer permitted to get comfortable with a product. The new, improved model is always introduced the moment the cashier hands us the receipt for the old one.

Believe it or not, there is a fresh fascination for straight razors. Aside from the avid collectors of the vintage variety, straight razors are being manufactured for a newly emerging crowd of enthusiasts! Ironically, I think I understand why.

Some of us have firsthand experience watching men shave with straight edge razors. It’s not for the squeamish. However, there was always the trusted neighborhood barber who would slather each face generously with shaving cream, each customer lowering his lids as the blade skillfully approached his neck and face. I’d close my eyes, too: especially after seeing the musical thriller Sweeny Todd!

Hair removal isn’t new. Bronze razors have been unearthed from ancient Egyptian tombs. In the early 1700’s, women would remove unwanted hair with caustic lye. Native American men used clam shells as tweezers. Disposable blades became the cutting edge around 1903. Although electric razors would soon follow, it is in my humble opinion that disposable razors were the beginning of the end!

My legs paid a heavy price for some of my hasty shaves with the brutal, single blade razors. Then, the “2 bladed” razor donned it’s cape and "shaved" the day!

Ah, the multi-blade movement! The concept of having more than one blade in a single razor reminds me of the weighted punching clown. You know, that grinning bag of air that keeps bouncing back after being slugged. If we picture a “single hair” as the clown, then it’s easy to imagine the first blade– of a 2-blade razor – slicing the top off, and the second blade grabbing what’s left before it becomes upright! Sounds logical, right?

I was actually satisfied with a 2-blade razor. Yet, I knew in my heart that I would be discontented the moment my trusty disposable was no longer a duet– but a trio! Before I could blink, “Quattro” was demanding a quartet, and now five-bladed razors are sitting smugly on the supermarket shelves!

Let’s imagine “Quattro” going after the punching clown … The first blade severs the hair, the second grabs what’s left, the third reaches into the hair follicle, and the fourth sticks its sharp tongue out at the root. Will we exfoliate ourselves out of existence!

How many blades will emerge– on what could soon become a power tool– before we hunt down the inventor who obviously lost his brakes? I suppose we could tie a rope to this radical razor and drag it across our lawns! At some point we may be dealing with a 100-blade razor that feels like a ten-pound barbell, and we’ll have to learn to shave with both hands just to balance out the muscle in our arms! Then again, my upper arms have been flagging a bit lately!

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♫ Karen