Gillette—Create a Razor With More Blades. Or Else.

I’m a tough customer when it comes to shaving.  I have some scars on the right side of my face, with gnarled hairs that kind of grow in any direction they want, as if they can’t stand each other’s company.  So I am about the damn authority when it comes to evaluating shaving power and finesse.

I first shaved with a single blade Bic razor.  All I can say to Bic is . . . stick to pens, boys.  I would have been better off shaving with a Slap Chop.  So my mother bought me an electric razor—and that cut me as well.  Sucked in a few of those wild hairs and sheared off a little bit of scarred up skin.

Years passed, and behold, the Mach 3 arrived.  Certainly the answer was not more blades.  Was it?  Hell yes it was.  Shaving cuts became rare.  I used it for years until they made one that had the lubricating strip.  Then—are you ready for this?  They put a battery in that badass, just to make it shake like a real power tool.

Surely this could not go on, but progress has a way of just happening.  Four blades.  Did you hear me?  Four!  I jumped from Gillette and into Schick’s multi-bladed embrace.  Now I never got cut—and I was almost positive my shave was at least twenty five percent better.

But not totally sure.

More years passed.  I was happy and content.  Life was good.  Then I’m walking through Wal-Mart . . . I’m going to get my four blade refills.  Just a normal day at the store.  Or was it?  No, it wasn’t.

They.  Did.  It.  Again.

Five blades.  It was like Gillette-sent angels had fluttered into Wal-Mart and placed this new shaving system before me.  My jaw dropped.  Ye Gods.  My shaving experience was about to increase yet again.  I purchased these blades immediately, along with the new handle, which was pretty much the same as the old Mach 3 handle, but the colors didn’t match.  And everyone knows that color-coordinated shaving equipment gives you a slightly better shaving experience.

I was happy for more blissful years, until I read this article about foolish men who still used their single blade razors.  They like the routine of shaving for twenty minutes with the risk of injury and death.  I read about how men are revolting against the gimmicks of shaving with more blades . . . about how men are stockpiling cheap, older razors, such as the ancient Mach 3 razor, so that they are safeguarded against spending more on the new models.  They cite the old Saturday Night Live bits with hilarious “three bladed razors” and the slogan . . . “Because you’ll believe anything.”

Men!  What are you thinking!  We cannot stop this evolution with our thriftiness or responsibility.  We cannot be good consumers here.  We are this close to shaving immortality.

A friend of mine has the most amazing, shifting beard I have ever seen.  He sculpts it in accordance with pictures from the Beard Hall of Fame.  One day he’s Lenny from Motorhead, the next day he’s Alan from The Hangover.  You can watch the thing grow.  Folks, trust me . . . a beard with this kind of attitude doesn’t require less blades.  Five blades might just be good enough to keep it at bay, but in order to slay this beast more blades will be necessary.  It’s simple science.  More blades equals more things actually cutting through your facial hair.

So if we keep this going—and I’m recommending we do—what will my next razor look like?  Six blades?  Seven?  Hell no.  I want it to look like a farming disc getting pulled by an ergonomic handle.  I will take out a mortgage for the model with the car battery in the handle, you cheap guys out there can opt for the pull start model.  Lubrication strips?  Ha. I laugh at you, lubrication strips!  I want smurf-like creatures riding on the razorhead itself, shooting Aloe-enriched soap onto my face with a whole other smurf-team scrubbing it in with tiny brooms, working as frantically as the Swiss curling team.  I want a shave so close it cuts tomorrow’s whiskers.  I want “5 O’clock Shadow” to be replaced in our lexicon by “Next November Shadow.”

If you have an accident with this razor, I don’t want a simple cut—I want a black box left behind in the bathroom so the authorities can figure out what went wrong.  I want a razor so technologically advanced, that if it exceeds the speed of 88 miles per hour, you travel through time.  Is this too much to ask?  We have been rewarded with many extra blades of shaving power during this last decade, so maybe I’m just spoiled.

So I challenge you Gillette.  My mandate for this breakthrough is 2018.  If you truly want to be the best a man can get, the formula is very simple.  More blades.  More Aloe.  More batteries in the handle.  But most of all, more blades.

Fred Venturini

Fred Venturini is an author and freelance business consultant. He grew up in Patoka, Illinois. In 2014, his story "Gasoline" was featured in Chuck Palahniuk's Burnt Tongues anthology. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South. The Heart Does Not Grow Back, published by Picador in 2014, is his first novel. He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife and daughter.

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