Thursday, August 20, 2009

Curmudgeon gets rather prickly about shaving

I have complained before, indirectly at least, about the gossamer strands of tinfoil that pass for razor blades in this Dark Age.

For the first 30 or so years of my shaving life I used an injector blade, a single blade inserted in a sturdy handle (purple in color -- hey, I got it in the early 70s, what do you expect? -- but otherwise unobjectionable).

Now that I think of it, the fact that it was a purple razor may explain why I began shaving without resort to any cream before or lotion after whilst living in the dorm in college. I was obviously muy macho, at least in my imagination, despite the color of the razor.

Anyway, whatever the original motivation, I've tended to 'dry shave' ever since. Of course, I much prefer shaving after showering... while my face is still wet... so that's not really a dry shave, is it? Also, I find that doing things in this order cuts down substantially on the bleeding. Which is a plus.

The problem is that the injector blades went the way of the dodo a few years back and I've been forced to switch to one of those multiblade razors.

In theory, these are better for the environment than my old injector: Even with four cutting strands, because each strand is so thin, the multiblade uses less metal.

But theory collides headfirst with practice here as so often elsewhere: The injector blade might give a reasonably good job of it for a couple of weeks. The multiblade is pretty much useless after a couple of uses. To try and stretch the life of the multiblade, I've even taken to using shaving cream on occasion. But this requires time... and, given my inability to move quickly in the mornings....

Well, let me put it this way: Some few, lucky people are like solid-state electronics -- instant on. The alarm bell rings and up they springs. (It's not grammatical, but it rhymes.) Me... I'm more like an old tube set. I have to warm up for awhile before I can do much of anything... and by that time... no matter how early I've set the alarm... I'm late.

Shaving cream only slows me down further. I could have sworn I did a post once complaining about the disappearance of injector blades, but I can't find any reference in the Archives. Maybe that was something I did in the course of my first blogging effort. Maybe -- as in so much else in my life -- it was something I intended to do... and never quite did. If anyone out there knows where injector blades may yet be found, please be sure to leave a comment. I still have the purple handle.


Rob said...

I've often wished I could've had my Dad's old safety razor. It was one of those old metal jobs that took the double-edged razor blade. It had considerable heft. It lived in the bathroom mirror (medicine) cabinet along with an old bristly brush and a ceramic cup with a sudsy cake of soap in the bottom. I've never, ever tried using a safety razor, but the nostalgia wrapped up in the memory of Dad's makes me yearn to do so.

But recently I did at least try something different - a straight razor shave and it was undoubtedly the smoothest my face has felt in years! Certainly, the multi-blade razors might be convenient and safer, but the results are a pale comparison.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i have tried for over 40 years to get sarge to use an electric razor but no, i cannot teach this old dog a new trick... he's in the same boat as you but he uses cream.

smiles, bee

Dave said...

I have nothing significant to add, but I'll add it anyway. I went with a beard for many years, needing a razor for just trimming. Then, I did Bics until they hurt. Now an electric that I have to rub and rub until it's kind of smooth. You don't have to be awake, I'm not, to do it.

And, my Dad had the stuff Rob's Dad had. Same thoughts.

The Curmudgeon said...

My father used the mug and brush as well... but I don't remember what sort of razor he used. It may have been a double-edged razor at one point (weren't they called 'safety razors'?) but, knowing my parents, he'd probably switched to injector blades... which was why I had them, too.