Boy, I seem to be talking about spamming and scamming a lot lately. You’d think I was a paranoid bastard if you didn’t know me. But this one is FO REAL.
On my 18th birthday I received a Gillette razor in the mail courtesy of the United States Army †. I guess they were trying to say, "you’re a man now, for all intents and purposes under the law, so shave like one you little peach-fuzz pansy! And drop and give me 10!" Well, truth be told, I was in need of a razor, and the Sensor Excel that they provided was in a different class. This wasn’t like getting a free Subway token, it was like getting a Ferarri.
Of course I was a blind youth at the time, and hindsight is 20/20, but I fell right in the hands of Gillette marketers. This suave shaver required regular cartridge replacements, each of which cost twice that of a disposable, and with a similar lifespan. In fact, Gillette produced a disposable version of the Sensor Excel which was supposed to be competitively priced with the cartridges. But this was all about to change. The whole world of razor technology was about to undergo a revolution.
Yeah that’s right, jet fighters that cut a clean shave as they fly by your face in the morning. No really, that’s the way the Mach3 came into my life, through a commercial suggesting the experience was akin to either flying a jet or being shaved by one. If my Sensor Excel came from the brute force of the Army, this baby was the sexy life of an Air Force Pilot. More blades equals more babes, right? To say the least, I was sold immediately, and for many years thereafter, constantly refilling my little jet fighter with cartridges that cost upwards of two dollars a piece. I never looked back or even considered the quality of shave I got from this bad boy.
What’s the point of this story? So cut to 6 years later, same Cameron, same Mach3 razor. I’ve been using it for so long it has acquired a veneer of shaving cream and toothpaste; it’s a war-torn soldier. I’m walking through Costco about to buy another round of ammunition for him when I notice the price. I mean I really looked at it and thought deep and hard. Then I looked the disposables, then the price on the disposables. Sure, the cartridges are more compact, better marketed, and have more blades, but is the shave really worth twice the price?
After thirty minutes of nervous pacing, I decided to try the disposables (a line also made by Gillette). If it meant a year of nicks and cuts, I was determined to prove to myself that I had been making the right decision for years. And as I’m sure you can guess by this point, these janky, blue and turquoise razors actually give me a better shave than my Mach3. Maybe it’s my skin, my facial hair, or years of shave anxiety, but my new razors last just as long, are more precise, and feel just as good. I’m a new man for it. If anyone asks me, I’m the proud user of the Comfort Plus disposable razor. I guess that makes me a member of the Coast Guard, or the Commission Core, but a richer one at that.
† This gift found me through my Selective Service registration, a surprising experience that many others also shared. It appears that these packages no longer come courtesy of the Army, but rather as a gift from the Gillette company (how they get your selective service record is still a question).