Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Your First Scream of the Day

This morning, after my bike ride, breakfast, ritual chicken-sacrifice, and shower, I decided to go ahead and shave.

I lathered up, mowed my face (more or less), and then splashed on a palm-full of aftershave. A few minutes later, after I finished running in a circle and screaming, I returned to the mirror to brush my hair and put the cap back on the aftershave.

It was then that I wondered: Why the hell do I do this? Shaving is painful enough, but why do I then insist on slathering blue alcohol on scraped and bleeding skin?

Well, in all honesty, it’s ‘cause my dad told me to. I remember well the day he taught me to shave, shortly after my sixth birthday. He handed me a can of Barbasol, a razor, and a bottle of Aqua Velva and said “You’ll figure it out.”

Oddly enough, that was the same thing he said to me when he explained sex.

So, why do we men slap alcohol on our faces after we just scraped it with a really thin piece of metal? I had no idea, so I went to that bastion of modern knowledge: Wikipedia.

Apparently, ‘It is said that the alcohol in the aftershave closes pores in the skin and prevents irritation ("razor burn").[‘

Huh. Well it is also said that if you throw a potato at a full moon, a werewolf loses its bunions. So, yeah. I am deeply suspicious that this is one of those things that is ‘just done.’ There may have been some reason in the past, when razors were large, ungainly things that doubled as chicken de-boners and were often used to fell trees, but I don’t know if it still applies.

Well, I’m going to keep doing it, even though I don’t know why. With my luck, I’ll stop doing it and they’ll discover that aftershave scares off the bed squid and then I’ll wake up with a face full of sucker-marks.

Which, of course, will make shaving even more painful.



Lord Azrim said...

It might also serve another purpose. In case you have managed to slice and dice your skin with a razor, keep in mind that the razor isn't exactly the cleanest thing in the world after you use it to shave your face. So the alcohol, albeit painful, may also serve to sterilize the wounds and help guard against infection.

Chris said...

hmmm never really thought about it...
but i guess i keep doing it because the pain is so severe, it gets rid of the pain of the shaving (normally due to the luscious growth because of my laziness). styled after the major payne distraction i suppose..
that and the feeling of sootheness right after the unbearable burning feeling is always welcome :)

or it could be an old method, used to ward off vampires, and is now just a conventional way of of putting smell to neck.
i know i wouldnt want to taste the stuff in my food...
in fact maybe the scent thing came from the use of garlic in it, maybe the nice scent is there to mask all that garlic.. i think im on to something!

Anonymous said...

The boring answer is that it probably serves to stop impetigo and other skin diseases, and to make you smell nice. I shave with a cutthroat, and don't use aftershave.

Maybe you could try using cheap whiskey or rum intead. Just as much alcohol, and you'll be able to pick up ladies at the soup kitchen.

Gillsing said...

I didn't know that luscious growth made it painful to shave. For me it's the opposite. If I wait 3-4 days before shaving again, there's much less risk of cutting the skin with my electric razor. And I use cold water to close the pores. There shouldn't be too much risk for infections given that I always wash my face a while before shaving in order to make it nice and dry.

Jason Janicki said...

Yeah, I figured it had something to do with preventing infection, though I like the idea of garlic aftershave. It not only soothes, it wards off vampires!

I tried to use an electric for a while but I just dulled the blades too fast. I ended up mashing it into my face, hoping the extra pressure would actually get it to cut.

I've never heard of anyone actually cutting their face with an electric though.