"I hit him to get his attention. I shot
him to calm him down. I killed him to reason with him."
- Henry Rollins
Story Short: Shave and a hair cut, two cents.
millions of men in this country I shave using a
multi-blade razor, but I draw the line at anything offering
more than two blades as that, in my experience as a lackey
of the advertising industry, is just a gimmick.
And like those same millions of men I'm perplexed
that replacement cartridges can cost as much as $2 apiece.
A little bit of plastic, a tiny shard of metal, nothing revolutionary.
It's a marketing ploy of course, not unlike printer toner
and ink. So I went in search of alternatives.
The first option I tried was the budget-priced, generic store
brand, but each blade lasted about a week having been apparantly
crafted from recycled Yugos. Next.
I then tried a vintage safety razor, the kind that opens
like a flower when you twist the handle. I reckoned if it
was good enough for my father then it's good enough for me.
I don't how men in the 50s and 60s used these accursed
things but in practice the effect was more like a block plane
a modern ablutionary device. (PS, anybody wanna buy
a vintage Slimline
So I gave up and went to eBay, looking
to swing a good deal on the real item. Almost instantly I
found a guy in Hong Kong
Gillette Sensor 10-packs for $10, a price which included
Now this is where it gets interesting as I discovered that
not all blades are alike, with the Asian version of this
particular blade appearing to be somewhat superior to the
A quick comparison between the domestic and Asian cartridges
revealed, to my untrained eye, that the blades are slightly
farther apart in the foreign brand.
This may mean any accumulated whiskers wash out more completely,
meaning less rust, meaning the blade stays sharper, meaning
it lasts longer, etc, etc., etc. The last blade
I used miraculously lasted three
never once nicked or cut my beautiful puss.
While I'm abusing the commonly accepted modern American methods
of shaving I should mention that about the same time that
entertaining book, written in 1986, looks at the world around
us with a scientist's eye, analyzing everything we generally
take for granted. One of which was aerosol shaving
It turns out this canned goo is designed more to look good
and feel good rather than work most effectively, a triumph
over technology. The author's choice was plain old soap
and, after giving it a try, I'm convinced. I now slather
whatever bar is handy and it works fine.
I can't believe
it took me this long to figure this out.
If you doubt me, try it yourself. The soap is free and the
blades will only set you back a ten-spot, if you can find
them. What have you got to lose?