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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The Shaves and Shave-Nots

I’ve been dealing with a bit of a personal grooming issue lately.

This is in addition to the usual male grooming issues, of course — keeping the chest hair combed, flossing between the toes, Q-tipping the armpits, all the regular ‘guy stuff’ we do. And that takes plenty long enough every morning. Especially when you have chest hair as wild and unruly as mine.

“Some people use little bits of toilet paper to clean up after shaving; by the time I’m done I need two cheek tourniquets and a plasma transfusion.”

So this new problem has gotten very old very quickly, and here’s how it started: For the past couple of years, I’ve been using an electric shaver to whisk away the facial hair. It doesn’t cut as close as a razor blade, perhaps, but it does have the significant advantage of not spilling three pints of blood from my face every morning. Some people use little bits of toilet paper to clean up after shaving; by the time I’m done I need two cheek tourniquets and a plasma transfusion.

The electric shaver, then, is a good idea. And for a long time, the process was just peachy. Swipe the face a few times, rinse the heads, and put the shaver back in its little recharging doohickey. Easy.

Of course, that’s when the aforementioned recharging doohickey actually worked. For nearly two years, the fully-charged unit shaved for longer than I ever needed — up to five minutes or more. The past few weeks? The juice lasts somewhere around twelve seconds. That’s barely enough time for a unibrow strafe. What’s an ever-hairier, no-beard-wanting doofus to do?

I’ll tell you what I do. I shave in twelve-second increments over and over until I’ve hacked away enough chin scraggle to go to work. Sometimes it takes five sessions, sometimes six or eight, charging in between. So I find myself spending a lot of time leaning on the sink, with one furry and one clean cheek, waiting for the freaking Norelco to charge. I get quite a bit of thinking done that way. And you know what I’ve been mostly thinking lately?

Massive blood loss and disfiguring facial gashes are starting to sound pretty damned good again. It might not be a painless way to go, but it’s better than this ‘death by a thousand waits’ I’m suffering through now. I swear to god, from the time I start shaving in the morning till when I end, the whiskers actually get grayer.

Dangerous sharp objects and early-morning jitters, here I come. Anybody know where I can score a ‘Band-Aid of the Month’ subscription?

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “The Shaves and Shave-Nots”

  1. #Debi says:

    According to the commercials, the Norelco makes a lovely Christmas gift. Perhaps you should ask Santa for a new one. Have you been a good boy this year? :)

  2. Brad says:

    If you’re grooming south of the mouth, shave at night.

    This has been a public service announcement from the nice people at

    See ya this weekend, Charlie.

  3. Andrew says:


    It sounds like the same company that made your electric shaver also my hand-held dust-buster, with which I can vacuum half of the back seat of my car prior to the battery running out.

    About half the time these days I just can’t be bothered. I simply go to work unshaven.

    This is one advantage of not having any particularly attractive women at work – shaving every day becomes optional.



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