The Close Shave

I was reading an amusing post from my main man Geraint Isitt, and it reminded me of an old childhood memory. Funny how that can happen! Just one little detail can swerve your brain into a strange direction, causing all kinds of things to come back into context, right to the forefront of your thoughts! Hmm, weird! Anyway here’s the story I was reminded of…


It is only in the past couple of years that I have been able to grow any real facial hair. Phew….I feel better now that is out there! But therein is the issue! Now that I’m able to possess it (should I want to look like a lumberjack), I hate it! The shaving process itself is just horrific…if I don’t shave I look homeless, and not like your happy go lucky tramp, who plays his banjo and rides the rails ~ no-no-no, I have the misfortune of possessing the scary/vaguely psychotic look. So shaving it is, done deal! Ahh, no you see – because when I do my skin flares up in a very unflattering way…in fact a slice of corned beef has a more healthy looking complexion.

Witches GIF

Strange then, that before all of that I wanted nothing more than to shave…perhaps I thought it was a manly occupation – I felt dis-empowered that some grandmothers had ten times more facial hair than I did. What was wrong with me? Well nothing…but I felt this way even when I was a young child. I remember staring up at my Father’s razor…its solid steel handle, its sharp layered blades – and the embossed writing on the side that always had words with loads of extra Xs…just to make it even more cool. Wowif only…if only…one day…one day…

Well it was a blessed day when I spotted some hair – right above my lip, it wasn’t much – (you had to press close up to the mirror just to spot it) but it was there. I raced to show my Mother, who pretended she couldn’t see it, she claimed it was all in my head…I was eight I wasn’t blind or stupid – IT WAS THERE, I WAS NOW A MAN – NOTHING COULD STOP ME!

That afternoon I had nothing but that razor on my mind…it was taunting me, daring me to give it a go – it took no time at all for me to find myself in the bathroom, right there at the sink – steel blade in hand. I wasn’t really sure what to do, in this light the hair was invisible – maybe I had imagined it? Not good to think that way, negative thinking – so I went ahead and squirted some whipped cream stuff on my hand, squirted too much…smells weird, tastes weird, eww…like minty chemicals…okay, so then I began to cover my face in it, till I looked like some kind of French fancy dessert.

I then jabbed randomly, and sporadically with the razor…YOWWWWW!!!!

Shave Home Alone GIF

That hurt. I had just sliced a rather huge gash in the side of my face, blood was now gushing out, it was mixing with the shaving cream to make a pinky coloured sludge that clumped to my face, and slopped down to the bathroom floor. This was a mess, this was a nightmare.

“TEA TIME! TEA’S READY!” That was my  Mother calling – I heard the usual Jumanji styled rush of bodies piling down the stairs, “I’M COMING…I JUST…I”M COMING!” I managed to squawk out weakly…

I splashed frenetically at my face, used a lot of toilet paper for the clean up – that way I could flush away all of the evidence…but it was using too much, they would suspect me, they would know somehow! So I looked around for a dark towel, there wasn’t one…ahhh…errr…“JOHN, TEA!” that was my Father this time…I shouted back that I knew, I was just on the toilet – no answer, that’s always a good one, they can’t say anything if you are having a poo – it’s just not allowed.

I continued to scrub all the surfaces, and mop up all of the mess, but my face was still oozing with blood, and new drips were being formed every second – I almost cried, but held it together…after it had stopped, I gave one last wipe over, before tossing the used and blooded towel straight in the washing basket. Done, what a relief.

Patrick Britney GIF

URGHHH! The reflection in the mirror was a shock – I hadn’t realised just how ginormous the slash in my face was. “JOHN, GET DOWN HERE NOW – THIS IS RIDICULOUS, IT’S CLAY COLD NOW!” That was the last straw, I knew that – when that phrase is dropped you are out of lives. So I plodded down the stairs…trying to scan what was left in my tired, overworked brain for a valid excuse. Nothing.

I sat myself down in silence, and began to eat my food with my head down. Someone asked what was on my face…how had I scratched it so deeply, what had happened? I paused, quivering with fear…my hands shook, and tears were filling up in my eyes…

“I…I…tripped…I tripped and hit my face on…the sink…”

There was a pause…a long one…this was it….grounded for forever, no pocket money for the rest of time…

“Awww…you should be more careful – now eat your dinner.” replied my Mother, barely glancing –

And that was it. Everyone else was more interested in their ice cream. I was lucky – usually there would be a deep and unrelenting inquiry – but not this day…not on ice cream day.

Still…I think to this day, it’s probably the most exhilarating shave I have ever had – weird, I haven’t ever seen that experience documented on a Gillette advertisement…

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48 Replies to “The Close Shave”

  1. Loved this story. Always enjoy reading your pieces because you tell stories so well! Thanks for sharing, hoping the laughs can fight away this bit of insomnia I’m having. Hope you are doing well, and glad to hear that razors haven’t caused you to be in mortal peril any time recently 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw, poor thing! Last week one of my grade nine students came into class and said ‘Just had my monthly shave. Feel like a man now’. So cute 🙂


  3. Wonderful post. Sadly, I cannot remember the first time I tried shaving. I was a little older than you were though. No doubt I gouged myself silly. I do remember sitting in class in grade 7, so I would have been 12, and the Indian kid who lived on my block already had a moustache. He got to date a new girl every 2 days because of that damn moustache.


  4. Loved it! This reminded me of the first time I tried to wax on my own-too disturbing and raw to even share-but I ended up keeping my right arm firmly planted to the rest of my body while flaunting the left and waving it around for no reason at all. I have always had problems with completing a task at hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I should send this post to my 3rd born. He has taken the opportunity to lock the bathroom door to shave all sorts of things. For awhile there, his shaved-to-the-skin widow’s peak was named “the horn of destiny”. I refused to shave the rest of his head that bald, so it sunburned and created a pink rectangle. Good times, boys and razors!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Savannah Smiles


  6. Ha! Cute story. Your secret’s out now. My daughters are always desperate to shave their legs and I keep telling them to wait, just wait, you won’t like it when you start. But once you start, you can never stop. Except in the winter.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “The shaving process itself is just horrific…if I don’t shave I look homeless.”

    You and me both. My wife and I call it the werewolf. Lol. I could not wait to get facial hair as a child, but boy do I detest it today. Seeing my barber is akin to winning a prize, because he gives the classic barbershop shave.

    Did they ever find out about the shaving adventure? The towel in the laundry is a discussion, which I would love to hear. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, now, this is why I never started shaving, myself. Also why I had to be hacked out of the bathroom by men wielding firemen’s axes and chainsaws freeing me from the bird’s-nest tangle of my beard at age 31.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My boys used to watch my husband shave and he would let them shave with him…he left the cover on the blades so they didn’t “smash their faces on the sink”. I hadn’t thought of that in years (maternal sigh). The younger boy longs to have a beard like a Viking and is valiantly trying to get his 12 hairs to co-operate. Then my older boy comes home from his trip with a beard like Grizzly Adams (and he rocks it). He lost his shaver and decided to go with it. No effort required. I suspect the younger boy is a bit irked.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. haha! That’s funny, I wish I had the same experience! I have this little dream of going away for a few months, travelling some place – and then unannounced turn up back at my parents with long hair and a bushy beard…so they will not even recognise me, possibly give me some change and send me on my way! But…so far…any facial hair is not working out…

      aka. I am jealous 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Living with four brothers, I know a bit about facial hair. But my Dad is the only one that shaves, the older two just trim (The younger two don’t have hair yet. Have you ever considered trimming your beard instead of shaving?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very funny… my cousin bro (18 now) hates shaving and goes with lumberjack look, only to have my aunt scream her lungs out to get him to trim especially when guests are on way 😀


  12. You made me look like an idiot, laughing out loud in front of my computer. Now everone that saw me thinks I have no life. Thanks a lot.

    Okay, fine. Your story was worth it. You’re a great writer…so, really — thanks a lot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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