Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A clean shave

With all the hoopla over the resignation of Eliot Spitzer and the media feeding frenzy over "who is 'Kristen?'", I have decided it is time to move on. It's time to break away from the unusual and get back to the humdrum and normal. It's time to have a clean shave. When times are full of pressure, doing something as commonplace as shaving can be a touchstone to normalcy. My very sensitive face has always had a problem with straight-edge razors. The method of shaving I have used for the majority of my life has been the electric shaver. I remember how glad I was to be raising a beard when puberty finally caught up with me at summer camp in 1969. My mom sent me a handheld power shaver that dispatched what most would refer to as peachfuzz. The battery-powered, hand-held shaver that resembled a microphone eventually gave way to hot water, shaving cream and a Gillette razor. At first I was fascinated that my beard would come back every day and I laughed along with the nation when I heard Bill Cosby's routine of his imagined athlete with "Little Tiny Hairs" making a commercial for a shaving product. It wasn't long, though, before the laughter faded and the drudgery of dragging a sharp implement with acute angles across my rounded face became a daily bloodletting. I decided to purchase a Norelco rotary system after figuring anything had to be better than the daily gouging I endured with straight razors. The system turned out to be a good choice for me and for decades I was a Norelco man. I found out some years later that because of the lift and cutting technique Norelco razors employ that they are deemed "not kosher" by Orthodox Jews. I mention this because my great-grandfather Ellis Smith was the kosher barber for the formerly very Jewish section of New Orleans along the former Dryades Street corridor. For those of you who don't know, I began keeping kosher while living in Cleveland during the weeks following Hurricane Katrina and wrote about it in the Cleveland Jewish News: . Following my return to New Orleans, I kashered my kitchen, even going so far as to blowtorch the stove I hadn't used in over a year and a half. So when my Norelco shaver began losing its capacity to render a close shave and its battery to hold a charge, I decided to investigate what other shavers were out there that would give me both a comfortable and a close shave. Almost immediately I noticed the reviews on the Internet indicated that the Braun Pulsonic and the top of the line Norelco were...uh...neck and neck. Braun is a name I trust and so I began to consider it as an alternative to the rotary system I have treasured for so long. So, in keeping with my kosher home in New Orleans, I am proud to announce that my bathroom is also kosher. I now have a Braun Pulsonic and aside from the ringing in my ears (just kidding), the shave is indeed close. I look forward to many years of smooth operation and to utilizing its "cleaning station," which is guaranteed to keep the shaving head hygenic and to recharge it regularly. If nothing else, (for a few minutes at least), with a clean shave I am renewed and I don't have to deal with the dirty and dingy dealings of the outside world.

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