It should have been a simple task. Just go to the drugstore and buy a razor. Not even one of those highly complex computerized electric razors you need an advanced degree in electrical engineering to operate, just a plain old manual model with which I could joyfully hack away at my face. It was not to be.
Now, I’m a simple guy. I try to abide by the aptly named ‘Occam’s razor’ principle of science, which basically says that the simpler things are, the better. Now I find myself wondering just how many blades Occam’s razor had.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the evolution of manual razors seems to be roughly following the same path as home stereo equipment. In the fifties, you had a razor with just one blade, just as you had a transistor radio with that one tinny-sounding speaker. Then came the invention of stereo, and the two bladed razor was born. Two speakers and a subwoofer, three blades. Quadrophonic sound, four blades. Now we are up to Dolby 5.1 surround sound and a razor with an incredible five blades on one side and one on the other. That’s right, there are now so many blades on your razor that they can’t even fit them all on the same side.
Where will it end? Is there a theoretical limit on the number of blades one razor can support? I, for one, believe that we are very close to the blade event horizon. Critical mass has almost been reached. It used to be that I would occasionally give myself a slight nick while shaving. One false move now and I’ll be getting tips from Michael Jackson on which nose to buy.
Perhaps the razor companies just don’t understand the concept. Maybe someone needs to tell them that we are just trying to take the hair off of our faces, not make julienne potatoes for a society luncheon while we shower. It’s only a matter of time before someone comes out with a razor that has one blade for every hair follicle on your face, so you can shave with just one stroke and then spend the rest of the morning trying to find your lips.
No more, I say. It’s time to release myself from the tyranny of blades. This morning I gave myself a clean , comfortable shave without using any blades at all.
Now I just need a new string for my weed whacker.