So 2009 is my year for big changes. Internal, external, diurnal, eternal,and infernal. I am bound and determined to finish the year with as many bad habits as possible tossed in the crapper. And I will hopefully replace them with enough improvements to place me on the first Saint list to come out after I am dead. Or at least put me on some also ran - almost great but he putzed around for too many years, but here's an attaboy for finally getting it together list.
Now, I can promise to stop farting in church or promise to never ever leave the seat up again. But promises like that are promises that even if successfully followed through with, often get lost in the "should of been doing that right along and who cares if it's a big deal to you". Promises that are only noticed when they are being broken. Folks don't notice it when you don't fart, but they sure as Hell perk up when you do. A real ripper on a wooden pew can sure take the spunk out of a good holy sermon.
But how about a makeover, CRUM style? A physical transformation that will make the ladies swoon and all the gnarly dudes want to be my bud? We're talking serious stuff here. Changes that will not go unnoticed.
I have not seen my face more than twice in 28 years. Two times I have shaved my beard and immediately allowed it to grow back. It was not so much I didn't like what I saw, I just hate to use a razor. Shaving to me has always been about the dumbest use of a sharp blade I could think of. And yeah I know, the ladies seem to like that baby smooth face. But well, I was never much on impressing them or if I was I was terrible at it. So the first chance I got, I went comfortable and free. For the last 28 years I have averaged slightly over one haircut and one beard trim a year. A couple of years there I had delusions of presenting a sharper image and had two haircuts in one year. In between I kept the lips exposed with some spiffy little scissors and the flora that sprouts from and around the ears and nose handled with one of those fancy electric trimmers that run forever on one AAA battery. I have had the thing for years now and never swapped out the battery.
I still have a razor. My dad bought it for me when I went to military school forty years ago. Some safety razor that always got clogged and I would cut my hands up trying to clean it out to save those expensive replaceble double edged blades. At that time, giving it to me was a token recognition that I might be a man soon. All I could use it on was my upper lip about once a week. But then the facial hair came in droves and by the time I got to college, I had to shave once a day or suffer from the awful nubby five o'clock shadow that itches like Hell. That's when I decided I hated shaving. It was shortly after I turned 28 I gave it up for good.
When I was a kid, I used to visit my aunt and uncle here in Maine in the summer. Back then I lived wherever my father was posted or decided to live that year. One of my fondest memories was watching my Uncle Herb go through his morning shave ritual. He did not use one of those pansy safety razors. He would pull out an ancient straight razor and while the water heated up out of the faucet, he would begin to strop the razor with authority on this old piece of leather he had hanging from a hook next to the sink. Back and forth. Back and forth. must have done it a hundred times each morning. Then he would pause and place a thumb square on the edge of the razor to test it for sharpness. If satisfied, he would he would drop a piece of soap into a cup, run some water into it and begin to whip up some suds to paint on his face.
Then very carefully he would take that razor and shave off his overnight growth. I was always astounded he never once nicked himself while I was watching. Aunt Helen always said he was showing off for me. She said he regularly would open himself up when no audience was around. But Uncle Herb denied it. Told me the only time he ever nicked himself was when Aunt Helen was yammering on about this or that and breaking his concentration.
So I have had this life long fascination with wet shaving like the old guys did back in the day. Shaving on the edge so to speak. And in my effort to come up with ways to improve the image even if I can't improve the package, I figured I would find my face again and keep it found with a daily shave by the edge of a straight razor. Seemed a simple and straight forward goal, this wet shaving gig. I knew straight razors were still available since I had seen some in the window of some store at some mall sometime in the recent past few years.
Knowing the Internet is the place to find out anything, I googled "straight razor". Damn. Once again, I was overwhelmed with too much information. First of all prices for a razor started at $4 and seemed to top out around $500. There were shaving kits that included everything, strops, sharpening stones, soap, cup, brush, and razors from $49 to over $1000. I found how to videos that would train me in the fine art of cutting fur off my face. There were forums about shaving old school. Stainless blades, carbon blades, titanium clad super secret technology old guys wearing those alpine shorts made blades. And then there are blades probably made by slave children chained to stamping machines who sharpen the blades on the soles of their dirty bare feet. Yeah, straight razors are still available and it appears like anything that plays to our nostalgic tendencies, you can drop stupid amounts of money into it.
But I will not be deterred. I will make this vow, no, this resolution now. By this time next month I will be clean shaven and promise to keep it that way for at least a month. And I will honor the past by using the edge of an unprotected blade. For when the shit hits the fan and the grid goes down for good in 2012, all you losers using a Norelco or a Remington will be suffering bastards and I will get all your women because I will hopefully by that time have it down well enough to not have to keep the band aids and sewing silk handy.
PS - Just wait until I tell you how I want to keep my yard mowed next year.