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…

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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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