Wednesday, October 25, 2006

End of an era

End of an eraThe people at Gillette call it a "shaving system;" I would call it a razor, but then would struggle to explain the difference between it and the actual bits of metal that cut away the little tiny hairs growing out my face* -- whatever it's called, mine broke Wednesday.

I have had the same Gillette Sensor Razor since 1994, when the Gillette Co. sent one to me for free on my birthday. Does anyone know if companies still do this sort of thing? It was a brilliant investment on their part -- think of all the replacement razor blades I have bought over the years. But I get the sense that in the modern age, companies are far too greedy for that.

The loss of the razor I've had for 12 years continues this Wales Breaking of Chris theme.

You're probably aware that the philosophy behind constantly screaming at recruits in a boot camp (apart from the fact that it's just downright fun) is that it breaks their will. Once the individual will is eliminated or sufficiently oppressed, so the theory goes, instructors can then build the person from the ground up.

A year ago, I started throwing away my personal possessions in preparation for moving here -- I planned to bring only a few of my things. Then the money burned more quickly than planned and I took almost none of it. A few weeks ago, I lost my wedding ring, and now I've lost my razor, so that the only thing in my house that dates from before I started learning Welsh is a Portsmouth FC jersey that I now refuse to wear because inevitably that will be the day someone chooses to attack me with indelible ink.

Along with this, my courses have completely crushed my spirit. I don't feel like writing, I have no confidence in myself, and on and on -- I could keep going until you started to wonder whether this blog was, in fact, being written by a teenage girl.
Wales is my strange, slow, subtle boot camp. A boot camp with mince pies.

Actually, it's probably not. The only emotion I felt toward my razor breaking was a mild sense of amazement that it had taken this long to break.

And it actually provided for the high point of my day, which was my going to Boots. I'm in a sad state that going to Boots is a high point, but there you go. I bought a Mach3 razor, which is a ridiculous name for a razor, but there was a cardboard cut-out of David Beckham there encouraging me to purchase it or other ridiculously named razors of the same brand, like "Gillette MetaFusionUltra5Xinator."

Yes, my purchase was swayed by the appearance of a man who can't make it onto a team that got its ass kicked by Croatia. I can't help it, I think he's a likeable bloke. That, and Hackett didn't sell shaving kits.

I had never before heard of Hackett of London until I saw their large display of men's heath and beauty products** today. I decided immediately that I want a load of their stuff, even though I have never managed to use a bottle of cologne before it went stale, because they have Jonny Wilkinson modelling their products.

Jonny Wilkinson is the shit, yo. He is the John L. Sullivan. I realise that Welsh Experience will punish me for saying that (probably by having me run into Charlotte Church who will then tell me that she reads my blog and will punch me in the penis because I didn't say that her boyfriend was my favourite rugby player) and everyone will point out that he has basically been injured for four years, but I don't care. The dude's still cool. And if he wants to sell me girly aftershave, I'm buying.

(I am particularly amused by this picture of Wilkinson, where he's been paired with some dainty model boy. Wilkinson is only 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, not the biggest fella, but he looks like he could break the model boy in half. Also, I would like to believe that after this picture was taken, Wilkinson punched the person who thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of him walking that dog.

Wait. How did I get onto the subject of rugby players? Wasn't I talking about razors?

*Extra points for those of you who can tell me where "little tiny hairs growing out my face" comes from; no fair using Google search. I'm pretty certain that Eric, my dad, and Beth will know.

**Side note: Since moving here, I have seen a number of newspaper and magazine articles asserting that British males spend ridiculous amounts of time pampering themselves with health and beauty products. If this is true, why does the men's health section in the Cardiff city centre Boots consist of only two shelves, and why are there only three brands of deodorant?


Chicken Legs, Twm and The Kid said...

Chris, just had a free razor last week via I'm signed up to the newsletter on keep harping on about this site, I should get commission). But I've had two free razors in the past few weeks through tips on the newsletter.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe your razor lasted that long! In the last 12 years, I've probably gone through 10. And the other day, my Gillette, which I got last March (after leaving one in NY), broke! But well done for lasting that long.

Also, I freaking love Boots, and it would be the highlight of my day. If I could go there. Which I can't, because we don't have them. Boo hoo.

Rob said...

ooh, ooh! pick me, pick me!
"little tiny hairs, growin' out' my face" comes from the same place as "Here, kid. Put some of this on your hair. ...Now let's go get us some wimmens."

and sorry about your razor.

even more sorry that your classes are kicking your butt.
if i were there i'd help you with your spanish class and give you a rah rah speech about not being afraid to make mistakes, etc etc.
since i'm not, i'll just sulk about the fact that you're having a Great Welsh Adventure and i'm not.
i'm sure i had a point originally.

David T. Macknet said...

I'm just envious of the mince pies, frankly, and wonder if they're anything like the ones with all sorts of animal bits in them, or if they're mainly fruit, or what.

This from someone who's looking at putting up somewhere on order of 100 quarts of mincemeat this season.