"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 cheap gimmick.
And like those same millions of men I'm mystified
how the replacement cartridges can cost as much as $2 apiece.
Little bit of plastic, tiny shard of metal, nothing revolutionary.
It's a marketing scam, of course, not unlike printer toner
and ink. But what can you do? I don't exactly have a Dinty
beard so these little whisker's have gotta go.
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.
mistake. 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. Next. (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, and the Asian version of this particular
blade is infinitely superior to the American version.
A close comparison between the domestic and Asian cartridges
revealed the blades are slightly farther apart in the foreign
This means the accumulated whiskers wash out completely,
meaning less rust, meaning the blade stays sharper, meaning
it lasts longer. A LOT longer. The last blade I used lasted
never once nicked or cut my beautiful puss.
In all honesty, at about the same time that I started using
these Asian blades I read David Bodanis' "The
amazing 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 stuff is designed to look good and feel
good, but not to work very well. It's a triumph of marketing
over technology. The author's choice was soap and, surprise-surprise,
he's right. I now slather my chops with Dove soap and along
with these new blades I haven't had a nick or a cut in three
And I shave in the shower without a mirror.
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. What have you got
to lose except the dough you normally fork over to Schick
and Bristol Myers?