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The Daily Tar Heel

Shaving Into Manhood By Choice Razor

Sadly, I'm always forced to conclude, whilst heaving a heavy sigh, that I'm as manly as a flock of fat, one-legged pigeons taking a nap.

Yes, I'm a boy.

While other kids my age dreamt (or, I guess, still dream) of being Luke Skywalker or Rocky or, for some strange reason, Mr. Miyagi, I worshiped and idolized Scott Howard.

Better known as the character played by Michael J. Fox in the comedy/horror classic "Teen Wolf," Scott Howard was a classic role model that proved that there was one and only one key to manhood -- hair, and lots of it.

So, last week I went to CVS to go buy myself a razor -- not because I really needed one for my sparser-than-Indigo-Girls-fans-in-a-frat house stubble but because I felt that without it I'd be missing out on an important rite of passage.

Without a razor, I can't really call myself a man because every man needs a razor, right? The razor is the key to my ascendancy from boyhood to manhood.

You see, I already have an electric razor, which by the way, definitely ranks as the most bizarre Christmas gift I've ever received from my parents ("Gee, thanks Mom and Dad. ... Um, do they sell some kind of Rogaine for the face?") However, shaving your face with a buzzing piece of cobalt blue molded plastic doesn't seem to be as virile as frosting your face with scented foam and painstakingly raking a bladed device across your skin. Or at least, that's my impression, since I've never actually used a razor. Or taken the driving test.

So what better razor for a burgeoning hopeful-man like myself than the Gillette Mach 3? As I was staring at the decidedly unkempt razor display at CVS, the Mach 3 hung silently on its rack, smugly awaiting for me to shell out $7.29, all for the sake of reveling in the validation it could provide for my tenuously assembled male soul.

Six days of facial growth later, I still haven't bought the Mach 3. Frankly, I'm a little scared -- its three anti-friction blades and soft, protective microfins will banish what few facial hairs I have to a foamy, scented purgatory. Yeah, they may grow back, but then again, tomorrow I might wake up a monkey. (With my luck, it would be a hairless monkey with three nipples.)

Furthermore, I refuse to shell out a meal's worth of dollars for a razor whose only difference from any pre-1998 razor is one measly blade. So, why is it so bloody expensive, I wondered.

Well, surprise, surprise. Gillette's flagship razor, a true marvel of depilatory technology, cost nearly $1 billion over a period of seven years to develop. There were undoubtedly a myriad of sleepless nights for the tireless research and development specialists -- tired, surely, from spending an average of $400,000 per day on building a better razor. A third blade! Ingenious!

Talk about another reminder about the stupid world in which we live.

What bevy of fools needed the amount of money it takes to buy a B-2 stealth bomber (another notorious waste of money) and the amount of time it takes to digest a piece of gum in your stomach (a complete lie) to come up with something as mind-numbingly simple as the Mach 3? This display of sheer brilliance rivals only that of smart-mouth Dan Quayle and the space program, combined. *Sigh* A Dan Quayle joke -- I feel so sophisticated.

What a dilemma -- I'm standing on the event horizon of a paradigm shift, yearning for the man-status that the billion-dollar "stealth bomber" of razors can grant me. The irony -- finding manhood in a piece of plastic that removes the one piece of evidence I have that testosterone courses through my veins.

What me and my bruised, hairless boy-ego really need is that Rogaine for the face. Why isn't anybody pouring a billion dollars into that?

The White Ribbon Campaign is this week. It's an opportunity for men at Carolina to pledge their support in ending men's violence against women. Please, show your support by signing the pledge and wearing the white ribbon (this can be done in the Pit). Thanks. Also, contact Eugene Kim at

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