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Saturday, November 12, 2011


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I was about five years old when I noticed my father in the bathroom doing something odd.

He had a pan of hot water and reached up to a shelf and brought down a mug and brush. I was somewhat entranced as I watched him take the brush, wet it and proceed to create a foaming lather from the soap in the mug.

Of all things he put that soap on his face which I didn’t understand at all for I tried to avoid getting my face washed. This was due in part to when my mother washed my face I was sure that she was going to rub the skin off.

There he was rubbing that soapy brush all over his face and then he did something else that was very odd, he took a hot towel and covered his soapy face. I stood there quietly, enraptured, not speaking for fear of destroying the next moment to follow.

Now I was in the primal learning stage and many things were new to me. While I considered myself to know everything; on occasions like this I was also willing to submit to new information.

That day I was on the eve of discovery, my father took a knife which he later informed me that it was called a straight razor, and warned me that it was very sharp and I was not to touch it. He then did something strange; he took what was called the razor strap.

I was surprised that the strap had a secondary use. The primary use was one that I had experienced several times and considered it an instrument of torture but here he was sliding the razor back and forth putting an edge on it.

For the next few moments I could hardly believe my eyes he was attempting to cut the hair off his face with that knife. After a few minutes he was satisfied, washed his face and put everything away.

After he left I got close to the mirror and looked to see if I had any whiskers. Not being able to see any I figured they must be there I just couldn’t see them.

After watching this event several times, I figured I knew how to do it and when alone I prepared everything just like my dad. I got some water, the mug, brush and of course the strap and razor. After cutting the strap on the edge, I decided to forego that step and get to the lather process.

Then my big moment came. With razor in hand I made my first stroke and another until most of the soap was gone. Then I saw this red stuff running down my face. I was bleeding. Then there was another place and another, there were cuts everywhere. About this time I began to panic.

I had ruined myself.

My razor sharp mind then flashed back to when my dad cut himself. I remember what he did. I grabbed the toilet paper and started to apply it to my cuts. It was amazing; this must be magic stuff for after several applications the bleeding slowed and then stopped.

I was saved although I looked funny with my face plastered with toilet paper. It took some time for my cuts to heal and I’m glad to say the scars were minimal.

It must have been a good shave for I didn’t need another one for ten years.

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