4 March 2011

The razor scam!

To shave or not to shave that is the question that millions of us men ask ourselves each morning. I have no statistics to prove what I now say, but from my own observation the majority of us decide to shave. Some do grow beards and some have what they think looks like designer (film star) stubble, but in my view makes you look like a down and out, or wino! Call me old fashioned if you like. Take Kurt Beck for example. Were it not for the fact that most of the time he wears a suit and tie and is a leading German politician, you could imagine him as fitting the image of a wino. I certainly would not want to be represented abroad by the image this man creates of himself. But I digress.

So having made the decision to shave how are we to go about it. When I first started some 48 years ago I used what my father used and can imagine that most of us did. My mother, however, had other ideas, she did not want me to shave at all and insisted I use some cream which she gave me, to remove what at first can best be described as "bum fluff", once a week. Needless to say she never managed to keep me using it.

My first razor was the well know "safety razor" made by Gillette and patented by him in 1904. One could and I often did change blades and use Wilkinson Sword blades. As time went on, I used more Wilkinson Sword blades than Gillette until Gillette brought out a new razor with two blades. Now one could not use another manufacturer's blade as they did not fit. One was sucked into using their system and they charged us royally for the privilege. 

Over the years I have drifted back and forth between the Gillette and Wilkinson Sword systems. I understand that Gillette use New Zealand as their testing ground for new products, before conning the rest of the world that their new system is the best. My choices have been decided purely on the basis of cost. I object to paying their horrendous prices for the blades. 

The latest campaign by Gillette is another attempt to con us as they have only changed the colour of the razor and blades and not much else. How many more blades on a shaving head do we need really? Surely the first blade cuts the hair, so what do the rest do? Do they take it in turns? As the first blade gets blunt does the second take over and so on till they are all blunt and we are forced to change it?

Part of me sometimes gets so angry about this scam that I swear I'll grow a beard again. But Hanna, thinks I look like a Hamster with one; it certainly makes me look older, so I don't. 

The use of an electric shaver seems to be the cheapest method of staying clean shaven over the long term, but I don't like them. I do enjoy the ritual of wet shaving each morning. It makes me feel clean and wakes me up. Perhaps the best idea is to try and use the old fashioned cut throat razor, for this in the long term would also be more cost effective.