Monday 15 November 1999

Me & razor

Pic of the day: To shave or not to shave, that is the question.


My electric razor went gently into that good night. So, it's not quite like losing a cat. Though there may be some similarity. For one thing, they both purr. Purred, I mean, because they will never do that again. (Bwaah.) And some of you may shave by spreading whipped cream all over your face and let the cat lick it off. Anyway, that would probably qualify as wet shave, which is what I do now. Wet shave, I mean. I don't do the tongue thing.

My "shaving machine" (as they are called around here) only waited till she was certain I had lost the warranty card before she took the plunge. Then again, I should know better than to buy electric equipment anywhere except the Shop of Angels. Once I bought an electric toothbrush, also at the competing shop. It was kind of fun, but the vibrations set off some kind of local infection from my upper jaw upwards towards my eyes, and it lasted for weeks. Definitely bad vibes, in my book. If I had tried to buy it at the Shop of Angels, they would presumably have warned me or suddenly not had it in stock or something.

So I am back to the Gilette Mach 3. It is a fabulous razor, and wet shave seems to be the best for the skin anyway. But dry shave is significantly faster, at least the way I do them. There are times when you are in a hurry, particularly in the morning. Today, for instance, I did not even have time to fetch my mail and get my daily fix of Nova Notes.

(No, I don't read Squishy for breakfast like the best and the rest. Squishy, if rumors are to be belived, is the one with the dead cat. Well, the one with the famously dead cat. Not including Schroedinger's cat, which is famously either alive or dead, or perhaps something inbetween. Nobody knows until they open the box. But after all those years in the box, I'll take any bet that Schroedinger's cat is dead anyway. Also, if you put a cat in a small box and close the lid, you will usually be able to hear if it's alive. In fact you can probably hear it all over the house.)

So, after like 3-4 days without shaving I was practically bristling this morning. I simply couldn't go out like that. Yeah, it's supposed to be sooo manly and stuff. But it also incidentally looks like you're in the middle of a drinking binge. Though I guess with my quality clothes the impression might be slightly different. Like a fairly well paid programmer in the middle of a drinking binge. Or something. (Actually I'm not well paid, but there's no reason for the chicks to see that. So I still avoid the worn levis and the T-shirts, and I still comb my hair. And I still shave.)

There is one more problem with wet shave. The shaving soap (or foam, or gel). I like shaving soap. It fascinates me. How can they manage to make a soap which translates into foam so easily? And such a thick, soft foam? What is the secret? I've tried with normal soap and it works poorly. No money to save there. The shaving foam is not just softer and richer, but also somehow slicker. It makes shaving easy and painless. And it smells slightly, a masculine fragrance. Ack.

I'm rather selective about how I smell these days. I used to not care. I mean, I grew up on a farm. You worked with goats, sheep, cows and the occasional horse. You jostled the animals to get where you were going, you cleaned out the manure. (Well, I tried to avoid it, but some things just have to be done.) After that, you're sort of de-sensitized. In later years, I've found out that stinking is not cool, and lately I've found out that it is not entirely the same how you smell. At the final stage of my olfactory enlightenment, I've discovered that it is not always a good idea to mix two great smells. In fact, it is usually a disaster for both of them.

Even after I've rinsed my face thoroughly, the smell of the soap lingers. This would been a great idea, if I had a matching smell for the rest of my body. I haven't. My favorite of late is the "Legendary Harley-Davidson", the normal version. I used to like fresh-sweet smells, such as Boss Elements. I still like the smell, but I don't like to smell that sweet myself. And I don't like smelling too soapy. "Legendary" has a unique and (to my nose) distinctly masculine smell, and it not only lasts long, it grows better for quite a while. Anyway, the problem is that my shaving soap disturbs the olfactory image. I may have to shop for a fragrance series that is good and includes a shaving soap (or gel). Either that, or buy myself a new electric razor...

There is of course the option of letting the beard grow. Growing a beard, as they say, as if one was cultivating some kind of plant on one's face. There is a disturbing trend among male Itlands towards beards. Even my youngest brother (though still older than me) boasted one last I saw. My dad got a beard, though fairly late, I guess after people started taking him for one of us kids. A beard helps. I started my lip rug after I was asked by a bus driver whether I was adult or child. At the age of 26. Over time, I've added a small strip of fur in front of my ears too, though I'm still in doubt every time I've cut my hair: Kill it or let it live? To shave or not to shave ...

Or, with a nod to Stephen Donaldson:
"and with the one word of truth or treachery
he will shave, or damn the Earth

To the dentist today again. Survived again.

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