Archive for December 28th, 2005

Walking the Razor’s Edge

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

As I was shaving my legs in the shower this morning, my eyes followed the tiny trickle of blood down my shin, and I wondered why this process seems to be immune from evolution. We are still using the same basic means and methods to de-fur ourselves as we have for the last 50 or so years. With all this technology floating around, why hasn’t anyone come up with a better way of making my legs as smooth as a baby’s backside?

I know there have been a few attempts at a better way to smooth skin, all of which seem to involve ripping the hair from your body at great force. Waxing should be performed in prisons as a punishment for the unruly, but it would probably be ruled cruel and unusual. I haven’t yet figured out why the most violent and painful way of hair removal is so expensive. I wouldn’t pay my hairdresser to pull the hair on my head, so why would I pay his assitant to yank it out by the roots elsewhere? That’s just not for me.

The closest thing to the wax-torture home game was the Epilady. Remember? This device’s lovely and gentle name was betrayed by a medieval method of hair removal that involved springs and ripping of hair, flesh, and anything else that got in the way. I can’t help but think that this device was invented after a tragic accident involving a pubescent boy and one of those exercise contraptions that had a string of tightly coiled springs with two handles at the end. I can just picture the poor boy working out his pecs, stretching waaaaaay back and YOW! A smooth and touchable chest for the next three weeks.

I will admit that razors have evolved since the straight-edged days, but the latest developments leave me scratching my head and muttering “what the fuck” a lot. There seems to be an arms race as to how many blades you can stuff onto the head of a razor. I think some company is up to four now. Then there’s the new battery powered disposable razors. It looks to me like they’re nothing more than vibrators designed to suck money out of your wallet while the quality of your shave is left untouched.

My favorite “new” invention is the razor lube strip. I have yet to see any benefit from this device. Mostly because I have yet to have one stay attached to my razor for any amount of time. Inevitably the thing will partially detach and do nothing more than flop around and annoy the hell out of me. At which point I usually rip it off and throw it down the drain.

As much as I question the evolution of the function of the razor, I must also question the evolution of the price of the razor. Why is it that I can buy a dozen ink pens at Office Depot for $0.79, but razor blade refills are still $2.00 each? ($2.50 if you get the ones with Aloe and Vitamin E in that lube strip I love so much.) Hasn’t anyone developed a cheaper way of making these things? Truth is, they’re probably dirt cheap to make, but the demand is so high, why should they bother to lower the price?

I’m telling you, if I didn’t like the feel of a freshly shaved leg slipping between the sheets at night, I’d just plain give up on this whole business. But like a crack-whore to the pipe, I keep walking that razor’s edge, chasing that smooth skin dragon, and praying for the day that painless laser hair removal comes in a home kit.