A Close Shave

September 23, 2005

So a shaving razor company has now introduced a razor with five blades. My only question is, What took them so long? I could ask some questions like, Why do we need this? or, Does it really take thirty-seven recycled steel cans to make one of these things? but those questions would make too much sense. Several years ago the first razor with two blades was introduced – the idea being that the second blade would get whatever the first one missed. It was a back-up, a wingman, a co-pilot. But that wasn’t good enough. Guys weren’t getting that prepubescent smoothness, and rather than admit that after years of acne and scraping our faces with a sharpened piece of steel, not to mention just aging, we’re never going to be baby-faced again, it was decided that the wingman needed a wingman, or a co-co-pilot. Going from three blades to five blades was kind of like kids on the playground skipping from the double-dare to a triple-dog-dare – it’s a slight breach of etiquette, but obviously acceptable in such portentous matters as shaving or pinging the P.E. teacher in the back of the head with a rubber band.

At least most guys are shaving again. In the Nineties, for some inexplicable reason, the trend was to shave every part of the face except the spot under the lower lip. Apparently all of us who grew up watching Scooby Doo looked at Shaggy and said, "That’s the look for me!" It was not unlike Hitler looking at Charlie Chaplin and saying, "Hey, great moustache!" But I don’t really want to imply that there’s any resemblance between Hitler and Shaggy, aside from their shared love of giant bratwurst sandwiches.

Then there were the Seventies, when it was either clean-shaven except for long sideburns and a perm (a look which probably cost Gerald Ford the election) or the rough, rugged, completely unkempt Grizzly Adams type who lived in the woods and ate boiled pine needles.

In the Eighties, of course, the hip look was "I haven’t shaved for three days". Guys would go for weeks looking like they hadn’t shaved for three days, mostly through a combination of careful grooming and touch-ups with mascara. The Eighties were a time when a man wasn’t really a man unless he wore makeup. One night when my friends and I were all still underage we bought some alcohol without getting asked for our IDs solely because we had touched up our adolescent peach-fuzz faces with mascara. Some of us had less fuzz than others, of course. I, for instance, looked like Ed Wood, only without the angora sweater.

But I digress. Technically, though, it wasn’t alcohol, because we bought wine coolers. In theory wine coolers were an Eighties fad of wine watered down with fruit juice – which should be "juiced", but that means something completely different. In practice wine coolers contained about as much alcohol as an Amish wake, which is probably why the mini-mart clerk sold them to us. Either that or he was a fan of "Plan 9 From Outer Space".

But I digress. In conclusion, shaving with five blades might seem like a good idea, but it’s about as effective as trying to get drunk on wine coolers. If you need to shave with five blades maybe you should just stop trying and instead invest in a book of recipes for boiled pine needles.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

IN PRISON…..you spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell

AT WORK…..you spend the majority of your time in a 6X8 cubicle

IN PRISON…..you get three meals a day

AT WORK…..you only get a break for one meal and you pay for it

IN PRISON…..you get time off for good behavior

AT WORK…..you get more work for good behavior

IN PRISON…..the guards lock, unlock and open all the doors for you

AT WORK…..you must carry around a security card and open all the doors for yourself

IN PRISON…..you can watch TV and play games

AT WORK…..you get fired for watching TV and playing games

IN PRISON…..you get your own toilet

AT WORK…..you have to share with some idiot who pees on the seat

IN PRISON…..they allow your family and friends to visit

AT WORK…..you can’t even speak to your family

IN PRISON…..the taxpayers pay all expenses, often with no work required

AT WORK…..you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners

IN PRISON…you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out

AT WORK…..you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside the bars

IN PRISON…you must deal with sadistic guards or wardens

AT WORK…..we call them managers


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