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Close Shave

As someone who stares at a blinking cursor for a living, I'm not accustomed to seeing myself. Okay, that's not entirely accurate. I constantly check how I look in the mirror, my rampant narcissism tempered by insecurities bordering on body dysmorphic disorder. In other words, I have no idea what I really look like.

So imagine my shock when I watched myself on AM Northwest yesterday. Actually, you don't have to imagine because I'm going to tell you. That's what blogs are for — to provide more than you want to know. Forget the Information Age, we're living in the Too Much Information Age.

Anyway, while I was relieved that I managed to speak in complete sentences, all I could think was "What's up with that vein in my neck?" and "Why didn't I trim the hair on my chinny-chin-chin?"

So, after visiting KBOO for my second interview of the day (where I made up the word "relevatory" — aka "revelatory"), I decided to take my five o'clock shadow to Chopperz, the "non-salon men's grooming lounge," for an old-school straight razor shave.

The thought terrified me, which is why I did it. Part of my year-long quest to do something new every day has involved things which scare me; that's why I wore a python as a boa, held a tarantula, and wore four-inch stilettos.

But none of those put me in danger of having my throat slit.

Chopperz is designed specifically for "retrosexuals," offering sports on hi-def plasma TVs at each station, as well as a selection of microbrews and specialty cocktails.

I understand why they serve booze. While men have shaved with straight razors for centuries, Rebecca, the pretty, twenty-something stylist with the sparkly makeup, certainly hasn't.

Since I don't drink, Rebecca put me at ease with various lotions and hot towels.

But once she came at me with the blade, all I could think of was blood gushing from that ropey vein in my neck.

In that vein — pun intended — I asked Rebecca whether she'd seen the Tim Burton film of Sweeney Todd.

"It made me cringe," she said.

"It was pretty gory," I agreed.

"No, not that," she said. "Johnny Depp's shaving technique was all wrong."

Maybe that's why so many writers subscribe to the Hemingway and Bukowski school of personal hygiene.

÷ ÷ ÷

Marc Acito's debut novel, How I Paid for College, won the Ken Kesey Award for the Novel and was also selected as an Editors' Choice by the New York Times. Acito is a popular contributor to the New York Times and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He lives in Portland, Oregon.


Books mentioned in this post

  1. How I Paid for College: A Novel of... Used Trade Paper $3.95
  2. The Three Little Pigs (Reading... New Trade Paper $3.99

  3. Attack of the Theater People Used Trade Paper $1.50


Marc Acito is the author of Attack of the Theater People

2 Responses to "Close Shave"

  1.  
    carlam April 24th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Hi, Marc

    I've been enjoying your blog this week..

    Last night I dreamt that you owned a Mexican Restaurant.. and I was trying to query you discreetly as to whether it was a high-end establishment or a Taco Dive, so as not to insult you if it was a dive.. Unfortunately, I woke up before enlightenment..

    So which is it???

    Ummm, I wonder where that came from? .. Go figure..

    Carla.
    "How can there be confusement?"

  2.  
    Lewis October 11th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Excellent article Marc. Seriously, everybody can do this at home. All that is needed is a brush, a razor and good shaving cream. The process is very simple. I personally like Al's Shaving cream because of its high quality and ease of lathering http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekaDfTtOhRc . This is the way that out fathers all shaved and it is the best.

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