Monday, August 9, 2010

Shaving as Therapy

I've taken to "retro-shaving" outside on our deck, weather and time permitting. I use an old-fashioned badger-hair brush, a straight razor for the easy parts, and a WWII double-edged razor for the difficult parts. The outdoor lighting is perfect. The deck overlooks the beehives, I watch their comings and goings while I work up a lather. I bring along a suppressed .22 in order to pick off the chipmunks raiding our garden. (I usually get at least one, and the rifle's stock has become stained by repeated applications of shaving cream.) Ajax the Great Dane watches me intently. Liz brings me a cup of coffee and inspects.

If shaving outdoors with a straight razor and a wet badger, a big dog, bees, a rifle and a fancy redhead who anticipates your needs isn't manly, I don't know what is.

3 comments:

Cheesebeast said...

I too enjoy retro-shaving.

I use a straight edge on occasion, but frankly my technique sucks and I have trouble with using my left hand to shave.

Stropping is an art, and you get the bonus of using the verb: to strop.

I now know why there were so many different styles of facial hair in the late 1800s. All it takes is one aborted attempt to get the hair under your nose off with a straight razor and you start to contemplate growing a mustache.

Snidely Whiplash had the kind of mustache I could admire. He was a villain from a simpler time. He was a really efficient fellow. He could bilk people out of their life savings,
foreclose on a few widows and still have the time to tie a maiden to the railroad tracks before the 5:05 PM Express came though. I have to suspect that his power emanated from his mustache.

Anyway, you can still get mustache wax. Col.Conk (a New Mexico outfit) makes it. It makes an excellent gift for bankers, Wall Street financial wizards, and large angry women who have mustaches.

When it comes to badger hair brushes I am mystified. My badger hair brush absorbs water. It has to be a tough life when you are absorbant and you live outdoors. No wonder badgers are renowned for their ill tempers- they are always cold and clammy. I also wonder what it must be like to put Badger Shearer on one's C.V.

That can't be a picnic, shaving a badger. How do you start in that trade? Perhaps a late night commercial featuring Sally Struthers (just think, in four short weeks you can live your dream of professionally shaving badgers). I have to think that after the first few encounters with a badger some strong words are said about Sally Struthers. That bitch.

So, to wrap all this untidyness up we come to the joys of the double edge razor blade. My favorite brand is Feather (made in Japan). It is so sharp I can't feel it cutting me. I have to say, though, that the quality of my shave using Feather blades is the best I have ever had.

Some people (lesser people, people we naturally shun) ask why I shave with such outdated equipment. They tell me that the cool kids use electric razors.

At times like that I wished I had a pet badger. UNLEASH THE BADGER!

Malcolm said...

i am a regular wet badger shaver...never had a straight edge..nor a .22!

Anonymous said...

Thank god I do not have to deal with all this. Full growth baby, top of the cheek line to the crease of my throat and ear to ear. The bush gets trimmed every time I get a haircut. Been growing it now for 35 years.
But after reading all this, I now have an idea for Christmas gifts. Thanks for the ideas.