If It’s Sharp…It Can’t Be Gillette

I have a hard and fast rule…that there are no hard and fast rules. I promised myself that this blog will not be a platform for rant and spleen…but that promise sometimes benefits folks who don’t deserve anything but sharp rebukes…in this case razor blade makers, who have perfected a built-in time-release anti-hone into every blade…two-and-a-half shaves and it becomes dull as a molar…it absolutely stops functioning as a razor blade.

They advertise new space-age metals, honed better than a barber’s Solingen steel, leather-stropped straight razor. But they lie. Their steel, if it is steel, is created for sudden, catastrophic failure. This isn’t the gradual weakening like out-of-date aspirin…that still has headache relief in it. Past two-and-a-half shaves it can’t peel a layer of Swiss cheese.

So much for progress. Not to live in the past, but 40 years ago, Wilkinson Sword Stainless-Steel Blades made the passage from England to America…double-edged, surgery-sharp and you couldn’t wear them out. Dealers (hardware stores, since Wilkinson made gardening tools) sold them a blade at a time from their five-blade dispensers. No matter, you got 30 shaves. Next month…back to the hardware store for a replacement. Wilkinson, of course, disappeared, so Gillette could make a four-bladed, swivel-headed, comfort-stripped thing of beauty that really looks good, giving you two-and-a-half shaves.