Emperor’s New Shave – Podcast #33

December 20, 2007

Here’s the transcript to episode 33 of the Bowl of Cheese podcast…

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The myth of gel shaving cream is widespread and has been perpetuated long enough. As one guy—of millions I assume—who absolutely can’t get this slimy stuff to work or provide a good shaving surface, I’m delivering the hard message that gel sucks.

What? You can’t believe I’d say that about the sleek, almost futuristic cans that lure unsuspecting buyers to their shelves daily? Or is it that you think my assertion is somehow racist and that gels work better for men of other colors?

Wake up. My bias against shaving product isn’t borne of another agenda. It’s the result of careful study in my home, at my bathroom sink. It’s the result of dozens of shaves that have ended with my face looking like somebody mowed it with a set of blades that randomly switched height and angle. I have the Chernobyl face every time I finish a shave-gel shave.

So no more!

Sure, all the cans are slimmer than the stubby $.99 Barbasol versions, but they’re more like magazine models than elite athletes. When you look behind the curtain all you see are empty promises, cans of Red Bull mixed with vodka, and ill-fitting garments that only look good on camera because they’ve been pinned and pasted to the models’ bodies.

Why we started getting excited about this mystical gel is beyond me. I guess it’s the same overzealous nature (notice how I’m part of the problem—putting the word OVER before the word zealous because a simple zealot doesn’t imply ENOUGH crazed madness for my argument, I had to push it)…where was I?

Oh, yeah. It’s this same overzealous nature that has created demand for SUVs, iPhones, FiOS, and going back to the topic, five- six- and seven-bladed shavers.

When you sit back in your massage chair, put on your sound-reduction headphones to watch Top Chef or Monster Quest on your HDTV, do you ever wonder if it’s our lifestyle that is creating this proliferation of products built more on image than function?

You can get just as drunk on Pabst as you can on that appletini, but doesn’t the cool nuclear green look more stunning in your hand than a standard size beer can?

The denouement is that people have danced their way so far forward that they aren’t looking back. How crunched up a face would you make if I were czar and I decreed that we had to go back to bag phones (look at episodes of Hawaii 5-0 if you don’t know what I’m talking about), putting coins into parking meters, cassette tape walkmans, 19-inch black and white TVs, sneakers without shock absorbers, and a land without Facebook, Seesmic or Google?

I think the face you’d make would be ill-suited for any type of shaving lotion…even that Old Spice lotion in a cup that makes a perfect gift for dad. And no amount of space-age gel would be able to mask that kind of disappointment.