Slim For The Win

I ought to be humiliated, struggling as I am to avoid razor burn, still, after four years of DE shaving. But I'm lucky to be able to look directly at the next generation for my inspiration.

Here in Williamstown, VT, it's all about basketball and soccer. Whereas richer towns might debate cutting football or hockey, we vacillate about baseball. And today, my seven-year-old finished a difficult season in defeat, at the hands of the second local team, in this town of basketball champions.

The kid has his mother's metabolism and coordination, typically tripping over his own feet, but her good nature as well. (It will be years before he appreciates not having inherited my hair.) Though I was a terrible player, I got my ass out on the schoolyard last summer to share some shooting skills. He made the first basket in the first game. (And I can see how his size might make him useful on the baseline, next year...) But today, after a week of illness, no luck. He still looked like he was going to puke after team pictures and surrendering his jersey, exhausted, despite playing second or third string.

His coaches made them all special orange-iced basketball cookies, a certificate of participation, and a medal, and he thanked them for a good season. At home, we discovered the medal had his name painted on it, and he proudly called his maternal grandfather up on the phone (who is a decent athlete still, as was my brother-in-law in his football days).

Glory Shave

The single convenient thing about everyday BBS is, I don't have to shave when dragging my ass out of bed for an 8 a.m. basketball game. No one ever sees anything but a clean-shaven man. There is hardly enough stubble to take full advantage of WTG after 24 hours, so I would actually have had to wait, even if I wanted to shave. As it was, I still had a few hours to go when I shaved after the game.

The odor of athletic rubber and topical medication, with strong overtones of dirty laundry, pointed me to the powdery freshness of Tabac and English Leather. I had already smeared the scuttle bowl with coconut oil before reaching that decision, so it was an especially lotion-like lather. I would have thought it had no chance of drying out, but by the end of second pass, it was getting there, though not so much that I wouldn't push my luck.

Settings 6 and 7 took care of the first two passes, and as might be expected, the second strokes on WTG weren't really hitting anything. Do you see how that is safer, though, than digging XTG until you hear the hair? Setting 8 was enough to get full depth. I was frustrated by repeating strokes under my jaw on the side ipsilateral to my dominant hand, which is not unusual. But I think I finally realized why: angle too steep.

Yeah, it's a bit awkward to keep a low angle when "pushing" the razor upside down there, with my wrist bent backward. And, I tend to equate steepness with aggression, because that's definitely how it works on a basic, WTG cheek stroke. Not there, though. I figured it out before causing any damage, thanks to the Slim's precise guard. For the first time, proving its value as both a learning tool and a low-angle shaver.

Progress, not perfection. I got all the hair, and didn't get burnt, but I could be more comfortable still. Yesterday's burn didn't develop at a particular time, as I thought it might, but stayed barely perceptible throughout the day.  This is significantly better, but the skin is not completely without inflammation. It feels like I tried to lotion my face. But, I'm giving myself the trophy.

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