Filled the bowl and got the brush soaking while I ate breakfast and watched Mantic59 for encouragement. Instead of a shower, I put a hot wash cloth to the face for few minutes (with 7 in the family and 1 shower, my timeslot is in the evening). Then I made a nice bowl of lather with TOBS Avocado (minus the chips) and then but the cloth back on for another 30 seconds before applying a good lather to the face for nearly a minute, massaging in circular motions and finishing with evening thickness strokes. Clearing the “runways” and making sure I had lips again, I was ready.
Grabbing the cold heavy steel I knew instinctively it needed a warm up in the hot water. Bringing the blade to my face, I had to stop and think – oh God I haven’t “thought” about shaving for years – quickly I glanced down to our reading rack in the bathroom to see our family’s copy of the most published book of all time. I needed inspiration and I needed it fast. I bend down grabbing it with my free left hand and turning its cover upwards towards my yearning eyes. There, emblazoned in large, friendly letters, were all the words of wisdom I needed to see – “DON’T PANIC”. Again, our Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (published by "Megadodo Publications", Ursa Minor Beta) knew just how to help.
With renewed vigor, I was ready to forge on. My first stroke was slow, but I remembered: a firm, confident grip, lock my wrist and let my arm move to preserve the 30-degree angle of the blade upon my face and apply no pressure other than that provided by the heft of the cap and guard. My second, third and forth strokes continued as the first – very slow beard reducing strokes, described as WTG or NS. As I worked my way from ear to chin, right side to left, I could hear the scraping of the whiskers as they were mowed down in a rhythmic fashion. My confidence grew with each stroke as I moved to my neck, turning my face from a creamy white to a pinkish hue. I knew ahead lay the curves, corners and parts of my face which would make the expansive areas of my cheeks and neck seem like child’s play. But my confidence grew and my strokes became quicker and surer of themselves (side note, quicker is a relative term). Carefully I pulled, straightened, pushed and contorted the areas I need to make some a sort of even plane on which to use my newly acquired German stubble killer.
Seemly almost as quickly as I had started, I had come to the end of my first pass. Rinsing my face with warm water, I used my hands to inspect my efforts. WTG assessment of my cheeks, chin and upper lip had produced good results, however, my neck proved more troublesome. Additionally, further ATG inspection of my face resulted in very different results indeed – my stubble was taunting me, neigh laughing at me that they had survived an onslaught from a $40 weapon steeped in history and nearly forgotten in time. My first pass was a successful beard reduction, but additional passes lay ahead if I wanted to totally annihilate the enemy.
A sly smile began to arise from my freshly honed face as I realized that this battle was over but the war had just begun. Forging ahead, I was convinced that during my next pass that damned laughing stubble would be laid to waste. But as Obi-Wan Kenobi had reminded Luke, the force of those who have given freely the flesh of their face before me quickly filled my thoughts, overtaking the urge to kill. "Patience you must have my Padawan learner, at first single pass you must take."
I cleaned the remaining lather with the wet cloth, applied as cold as the water would flow from our tap upon my face, dryed myself and then applied a good amount of Nivea balm to the entire area. “Grow my laughing whiskers, for as the day stretches on through the night, racing towards dawn, you will surely lengthen that much closer to my Merkur’s blade, and as time and practice are on my side, your fate will change. Who’s laughing now…”