Thursday, January 7, 2016
Close Shave, 2
So ... as I wrote a couple of days ago ... I commenced my Shaving Life back in the 1958-59 school year when I was in 9th grade. I went razor-and-blade-and-foam shopping with my mom, who, to give her some points, handled the situation about as well as anyone could have, especially when I blind-sided her at the check-out counter with the clerk and implied (okay, said) that I was buying all of this stuff for an unnamed (and, of course, fictitious) him. Fast on her feet, my mom in 1958-59.
And so--as I also said--I scraped and bled every morning (when I got up early enough, which, to be honest, was not all that often).
The Wake Up, Boys! routine was not all that pleasant in our home during my adolescence. Our folks had a huge hand bell (acquired, probably, from my grandmother Osborn, who collected bells), and every school-day morning, Dad would stand at the bottom of the stairs (the three boys' rooms were all upstairs), clang the bell incessantly while singing some ditty of his own manufacture: School bells are ringing, / Ping pong ping pang doodle, / Ping pong ping, ping pong ping / Ping pong ping pang ping ...
I can't really testify to the accuracy of the final words of the "song" because my head (ears included) was usually below the pillow by that time, where, alone with my patricidal thoughts, I tried to wait Dad out.
If we weren't up within a few minutes, he would repeat the song--accompanied by more jarring and annoying bell-ringing (and louder lyrics).
The Third Call involved no bell but just the must persuasive get-out-of-bed words there were (from my father): Last Call!
We knew if we didn't respond that time, we'd better be dead. We did not want to hear his footsteps on the stairs. Dad didn't Kid Around.
A couple of years passed--much more superfluous face-scraping ... and bleeding ... and I learned from a high school friend about styptic pencils--the salvation of a kid-who's-shaving-but-who-shouldn't-be.
(By the way, Dad--and the rest of us (I think)--used Mennen Skin Bracer for our after-shave. Later, Old Spice made some appearances, but I always preferred MSB. I see online you can still buy it. But I don't use any after-shave at all these days--see later posts.) ...
... and then one Christmas I got a Norelco rotary electric razor. It was a generation (or several) before the one you see pictured--none of the curvy-wurvy handle design for Dyers! It was, I think, khaki in color and came in a neat little hard-shell case. And so it was that I buzzed away for a few years (when I managed to get out of bed before the Last Call, that is).
PS--Yes! I just found an image of the old one. But you'll have to wait till next time to see it! (How's that for incentive!?!)
To be continued ...