The Graduates: Summer School

If, after struggling for four, long years to harden one's skin through pogonotomical scholarship... after doggedly exploring every feasible cosmetic, kitchen and garden resource to find consistent hair softening... after dedicating countless morning hours of half-conscious, organic learning to physical mastery of the blade. If, after all this, one still misses the crude sensation of the stratum corneum being shorn along with the hair, the way one's expensive multiblade cartridges used to do... one might, against better judgement, streak through the library with one of the following.

Razorock JAWS

In side-by-side comparison with the Gillette NEW long-comb, the modern razor wins (on my face, anyway), providing enough traction control to advance the razor smoothly. Whereas the other, aiming to excavate to the depth of its gap, requires short strokes. Arko and pumpkin juice were used for this test.

If one-pass WTG shaves are your thing, or you just don't have enough hair to generate traction, maybe you'd want to go the old (NEW) way. Both razors do allow full angular control, unlike the previously discussed anchor heads, and encourage -- nay, require -- draw strokes. So I'll admit that I'm expressing a bit of unfair bias against exfoliation. Perhaps the mark of "Incomplete" better applies to those other razors.

In the spirit of diversity, it is a good thing that even self abusers need not resort to cartridges, with the variety of aggressive open comb razors that are available. Again, a lack of comprehension in design requires the buyer to experiment. Bottom line, for me: I'm retiring the NEW.

Schone Travel Razor

A couple of what I now refer to as "crazy flex razors" were granted a final opportunity to get with the program. But there's a big difference between getting wasted and naked, in a sheltered environment, and being the drug dealer on campus.

Most respectable of this bad lot is the Schone travel razor, which I believe originates in the same Indian factory as the JAWS, maker of Cadet and Pearl razors. This is their anchor-style head. It came with a nice, brass handle, lines up the blade fairly easily, and plows the blade through my face smoothly. (After what Procter and Gamble have tried to do in their country, I probably deserve it.) My new Atomic Razor, said to resemble Maggard V3A, was relatively hopeless. Couldn't get the blade centered; weepers were raised immediately; and progress was halting, on the final ATG. Every stroke with either razor felt hazardous, even with the proven Williams and pumpkin juice prep. They just weren't made for prolonged blade use.

This trend isn't going away, and it probably doesn't matter what I say about it. If you have fine hair and thick skin, letting a sharp blade pitch automatically to catch hair is the easy way out. College doesn't pay, they say, and it's hard to argue against that logic in a corrupt, corporatist society. But that isn't the reality of the world. Our beings are actually becoming, on a life cycle. Only the good die young. You, on the other hand, will probably live to regret these choices, when your beard gets tough and the skin thinner with age. ;-)

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