Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Old School Rules, Gillette Drools

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.

13 comments:

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

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.

No worries, Crum. Many of the Saints putzed about for a number of years before getting things together. There's hope for you yet. :-D

A real ripper on a wooden pew can sure take the spunk out of a good holy sermon.

I rather think it adds to it.

For the last 28 years I have averaged slightly over one haircut and one beard trim a year.

Holy Toledo. Y'know, more frequent trims would still avoid the use of razors, which you seem not to like. I'm just sayin'.

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.

Wow. Clean shaven for a month, using a straight razor? You're nothing if not ambitious. But on the other hand, if you have to shave, why make it boring? Why not employ a potentially deadly weapon?

Sir, may I recommend a Gilette Mach 3 Turbo. Comfortable, close, and you really have to make an extra effort if you wish to slice yourself up.

Best of luck.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

PHEEnomenal, MRCrum is actually about to rejoin the majority---the trouble is, suspect once he cleans up, he could be a real competitive threat----competition this old dude doesn't need. (lol)

Randal Graves said...

I don't know whether to laugh at the razor-sharp *everyone groan* brilliance in this love letter to facial hair or cry that you're going to be leaving our tribe of the unkempt.

I tried a plain ole razor once. It didn't go well, thus my succumbing to the world of electricity.

A thousand bucks to cut hair off of one's face? Really? As for 2012, don't you think that we'll be too busy being devoured by Quetzalcoatl to go hunting for the ladies?

Bull said...

Crummy: A real ripper on a wooden pew can sure take the spunk out of a good holy sermon.

El Cerdo: I rather think it adds to it.


Especially from an altar boy...and it's a good tactic for killing the incense aroma.

When I was last stationed in Bahrain, I'd always kick off the weekend by heading to a men's salon where for $5 I'd get my head shaved and a helluva neck/shoulder massage; always loved the feel of a newly shaved head. Head off to dinner afterward and then relax the night away in a sheesha bar sucking on a double-apple hookah pipe and listening to arab pop. Head to San Diego for a conference, and some fuckstick barber charges me 18 bucks to make my head look like Annakin Skywalker's.

I'll second the Mach 3 Turbo though. Outstanding razor.

PresterJohn said...

Don't think it'll be shit that hits the fan, Crummy.

More like blood. Yours.

You quite mad you know.

PipeTobacco said...

Mr. MaCrum:

Self improvement is always a good thing, indeed. However, that said, from what I have read in your writings, you seem to lead a reasonably good and robust life, so be careful to not mess with what is good.

On the beard/mustache front, I have worn my beard and mustache without EVER shaving since I grew mine at age 19. My wife and kids have never seen me without facial hair. The comfort/naturalness of it is (for me) too important to ever consider shaving. My caveat is, that in my day-to-day life, I will shave a line on my neck about once a week, and that every two months or so, the beard and mustache are trimmed to keep my overall look relatively constant. I have always worn a full beard & mustache but never went to the "ZZ-Top" style lengths. This summer, it will be 42 years since I have shaved (other than my neck).

PipeTobacco
http://frumpyprofessor.blogspot.com

Utah Savage said...

I inherited my Uncle Linton's strait edge razor when he died. It was the only think I wanted. It's a beauty. I keep it right beside my bed. When I lived with them my fifth year, I used to watch him lather up and shave--never saw a drop of blood or a piece of toilet paper dabbed to stanch the flow. He was an artist with that razor. I treasure it, and it's my weapon of choice.

Speaking as a woman, I'm looking forward to seeing your handsome face, hairless. Just saying.

BBC said...

If you like a beard why not just stay with it?

I can't stand hair on my face but I guess that is just me. In fact I'm posting about that in the morning, wrote my post before reading yours.

Most of my posts are written a day or two before I post them.

So 2009 is my year for big changes.

Some of them out of your control so you had better be getting ready for them the best you can.

BBC said...

So one day a guy decides to shave his beard off. His wife doesn't like what she sees and divorces him.

Hum......

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