The Duncan Banner

Opinion

February 17, 2013

High-tech shaving creates a hairy situation

DUNCAN — Gentle readers, serving my role of examining intellectually-stimulating topics, I’m compelled to address an issue that can enhance humanity as we know it.

For years, the Gillettes and Schicks of the world have treated consumers with bodily hair like they have the IQ of a chicken leg! The razor bladeists have conspired with the Madison Avenueists to hypnotize hair-bearing consumers into believing the number of blades on a razor corresponds with the closeness of a shave.

Now, before we go any further, let’s establish some historical context by reviewing: The History of Shaving.

As we learned in freshman biology, human beings are one of only two species that shave themselves, the other being the frog, which we know because of the phrase “thinner than a frog’s hair.”

The Internet tells us humans have been shaving since the Rolling Stone Age, which was a long time ago, when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were first introduced at a seminar on healthful living.

The Internet also says Neanderthal Man used to pluck his facial hairs by using two seashells as tweezers. No doubt, Neanderthal Woman found this very attractive, except every time Neanderthal Man snuggled up his freshly-tweezed face to Neanderthal Woman, all she could smell was clams. This led to creation of the phrase, “Not now, I have a headache.”

By 30,000 B.C., primitive man was shaving with sharpened flint, which is a ROCK! So, you had a lot of guys whose faces were basically big, oozing scabs, and the frequency of primitive woman’s headaches accelerated.

The next step in shaving technology came when Egyptians discovered how to make razors from sharpened metal. Thus, for the first time, a man who wanted to be well-groomed could cut an ear completely off.

Then came the straight razor and the razor strop, which made ear extraction even easier, and led to generations of children with welts on their legs, after parents discovered the, uh, versatility of the razor strop.

This remained the situation in shaving until the late 19th century, when, on a Thursday afternoon, the safety razor was invented. This ushered in a wonderful era known as “The Golden Age of Not Having Razor Companies Introduce An Unnecessary New Shaving Technology Every 15 Minutes.”

I grew up in that era. I got my first razor when I was 15, at which time I learned the ritual of slathering my face with enough Foamy shaving cream to fill a swimming pool and gleefully shaving my beard, which consisted of three chin whiskers, each of which was approximately one frog’s hair in diameter.

Razors of that era had one blade and they worked fine — ask any male of my generation, who came to school with little wads of bloody toilet paper stuck to his chin.

However, in 1971, Gillette discovered a way to enhance the shaving experience (i.e., “charge more”) — it came out with a razor that had TWO blades. It was called the Trac II, and I still use one, because it gives me a nice, close shave, except on my chin, where some odd skin crevices have developed over the years.

Problem was: The Trac II triggered an arms race between razor companies vying to outdo each other by adding “high-tech” features that made the product more expensive, but not necessarily better. (This, of course, is what we refer to as “American ingenuity.”)

Soon, marketing mooks, who thrive on “American ingenuity,” convinced people two blades weren’t enough. In a remarkable flurry of creativity, they came up with the breakthrough concept of THREE BLADES. Gillette introduced the Mach3Turbo, and Schick countered with the Xtreme 3, which had three blades and two “comfort strips.” (Which Neanderthal Man would have called “sissy strips!”)

Over the years ago, Razor Wars continued. Schick created a four-blade razor called the Quattro (Italian for “more expensive”), Gillette retaliated by unveiling the Fusion 5 that had five blades and Shick’s response was the five-bladed HydroSilk. None of these innovations shave you any closer than one or two blades, they costs about $57!

Where does this insanity end? What’s next, the Gillette Hydrogenated Half-Dozen? The Schick Sexy 6?

And really, what have consumers with bodily hair gained? You can still get a close shave by using seashells, and women are still saying, “Not now, I have a headache!”

jeff.kaley@duncanbanner.com; 255-5354, Ext. 172

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Modern version of ‘Telephone’ hangs up on the truth

    Couple weeks ago, I stopped at a popular morning spot to get a caffeine infusion and encountered a meeting of a chapter of the Coffee Club Geniuses of America.

    July 20, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff's helicopter could be put to good use in water crisis

    A story the other day in which Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney explained the advantages of having a helicopter gave me a chuckle.

    July 15, 2014

  • Technoman offers help on combating viruses

    Good day, Earthlings and others inhabiting the third rock from the Sun. Once again, 21st Century Technoman has dropped in to see what condition your condition is in. So, how are you surviving in cyberspace?

    July 15, 2014

  • Territory impressive as well

    For the next seven days, the world of golf will focus on Edmond, Oklahoma in general and Oak Tree National in particular as the revitalized club and course hosts the prestigious 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

    July 6, 2014

  • Our division is not as dire as some insist

    Am having an Independence Day hangover — and no, it’s not because of any libation I may have consumed during the holiday weekend.

    July 6, 2014

  • Election shared few surprises

    There were no significant surprises or huge upsets in last Tuesday’s election,  but there were some twists and turns of interest locally and statewide.

    June 29, 2014

  • Other voices talk about us and our nation

    It’s almost Independence Day and I could wind philosophic and poetic about this country I love and into which I was lucky to have been randomly spawned.

    June 29, 2014

  • Technoman is relishing art of daydreaming

    Friends and neighbors, greetings again from 21st Century Technoman, and please forgive me if it seems I’ve been ignoring those of you who need a little human contact in their otherwise techno-dependent lives.

    June 22, 2014

  • However dubious, Cooter is a famous American

    His name is indelibly etched in the American experience. For generations, his reputation has crossed political, social, ethnic and regional lines.

    June 15, 2014

Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.