Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Laser Razor

Through no fault of my own, I finally purchased a three-blade razor. For years I had used a two-blade razor, and I had been perfectly satisfied with its performance. It cut my beard, left my face smooth, and spent the rest of its time quietly in the bathroom drawer. What more could I want or need from a razor?

But recently, after twenty years of daily use, my two-blade razor handle broke, and not a single store in town had one. Instead they had triple-blade and even four-blade razors. Shaving technology had taken a huge jump and left me behind. The modern razors use “monofiber handles” and “laser polished steel” and even “titanium structured bases.” NASA has nothing up on razor companies.

According to the box in which it came, my new triple-blade razor will “deliver a shave as smooth as a baby’s bottom.” Not being around babies that much, I didn’t even know their bottoms needed shaving. It does explain why they cry so much.

The new multi-bladed razors promise “a super smooth face that women will love to touch.” Apparently they will wander up on the street and stroke your face. That seem sort of forward. I mean, shouldn't we exchange names first?

And the cost was amazing. And by "amazing," I mean unbelievably expensive. For that cost, a beautiful woman should show up and shave you. And clean your bathroom. Maybe make you dinner before telling you that you're not communicating and she wants a mink coat.

I examined a four-bladed razor during my shopping. They had four blades stacked on top of each in a configuration that reminded me of pictures of World War I biplanes. It also weighed a ton. It might be a way to combine exercise and shaving, but it seemed dangerous to me.

In a four-blade razor, the first blade pulls the whisker up and cuts it off, then the second blade cuts the whisker at a lower point before the hair can pull back, and then the third blade cuts the whisker off at the root while the fourth blade digs deep into the bone and threatens your face if it EVER even thinks about growing whiskers again in your lifetime.

You’d think that the shaving companies would be content with this, but right now, they’re working on a five-blade razor in their laboratories. It will split the atoms of your whiskers to give you a closer shave.

On the drawing board are plans for a six-blade and even a seven-blade razor. They will be so sharp that you will have to be licensed with the FBI, CIA, NRA, and the Red Cross to own one. They will be capable of cutting a hole in the space-time continuum!

You think I’m kidding about that, but a group of scientists have actually modified a laser to give shaves. It delivers a close shave (to the six-thousandth of an inch) and only costs a little over a million dollars. But with mass production, the price will surely drop to a couple of hundred thousand. I can’t wait. A word of caution: You definitely don’t want to cough while you’re using it or you’ll make an ash of yourself.

This leads us – well, me – to consider those laboring scientists. They went to college for at least eight years to get that Ph.D. in engineering or physics or thermodynamics. They probably figured they would be investigating the secrets of the universe, but instead they’re working in a secret shaving laboratory. They must be wondering what that college degree is really worth.

A friend of mine says we’re spoiled these days. He’s old enough to recall shaving with a long-handled straight razor. He said it delivered a close, clean shave, but you lost a lot of time making out your will each morning and then receiving the necessary blood transfusions afterwards. He says his face looks like a road map, and that’s why he has a beard.

Anyway, I now have a triple-blade razor. When you women see me and have the overwhelming desire to rub your hands on my face, please wash your hands first. Particularly during flu season.

(Copyright 2015 by Stephen B. Bagley. From the book Floozy and Other Stories available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.)

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