Shaving - December 21, 2008
I often read Laurel Kane's Thoughts from a Route 66 Business Owner but, before December 4, her Oklahoma blog had never triggered an Ohio action. On that day, her post described a Route 66 "dime store" whose stock included what she called "razor blades that fit razors that no longer exist". I took exception to that and dug out the razor that had belonged to my Dad and with which I first learned to shave nearly five decades ago. He had given it to me when he went electric many years ago and I retired it a few years later when I went to disposables.

My interest aroused, I soon learned that injector blades could be purchased on line and then that a drug store just around the corner from me carried them. When I stopped on my way home from work, my glowing nostalgia got dimmed just a bit. My memory was that I had made the switch because injectors became impossible to find but that might not be completely accurate. Next to the $6.79 7-blade Schick cartridge was a bag of a dozen disposable Bics for $2.29. It's just possible that economics had a little to do with it. That nostalgic glow got reduced another notch when I actually put my purchase to use. I've long pooh-poohed the three, four, and more, blade razor claims but there's no doubt that a twin-blade 19 cent Bic shaves closer than a near-one-dollar Schick blade in my old razor.

But it still felt good using that old razor and I decided to take yet another step backwards. It was a much smaller step for me than for many. Long ago I read someone's praise for the "luxury" of applying hot lather with a brush. I suggested a brush in response to my kids' annual "what do you want for Christmas?" query and have enjoyed one minute doses of luxury ever since. I've put aside the wide-mouth mug that came with it but the brush they gave me gets daily use when I'm home. (On the road, it's foam from a can.) The reason for the mug switch is that it is much easier to find small diameter shaving soap than the larger stuff. The occasion for the switch was a Burma-Shave promotion of a dozen or so years back. Promoting Burma-Shave with mug, brush, and cake soap was certainly questionable as the brand was a "brushless shaving cream". Its roadside poems included things like:

Shaving brushes
You'll soon see 'em
On the shelf
In some

My one more backward step involved a brush. I have my great-grandfather's brush, mug, and razor. The mug came to me from my Dad (although it's a maternal ancestor who owned it); the brush and razor through an aunt. The blade of the straight razor is now chipped but I wouldn't have the skills (or nerve) to use it in any case. I also decided against messing up the mug but I did whip up a lather with Granddad's old brush. It's a Fuller and, even though it wasn't the top of the line, has held up well.

Stepping back has been fun. Not everyone can apply hot lather with their great-grandfather's brush then shave with their dad's razor even if they want to and I'm sure not everyone wants to. I do and I can so I did.

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