Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The long black comb

My father was in the military for 26 years. As a Coast Guard officer his appearance had to be a certain way- shoes shined, uniform shirts ironed, hair shorn to a certain length and kept well groomed. And he did his job well. Had a closet full of light blue shirts and Coast Guard issue ties. (I still have one of those ties. Goes along well with my one and only dress shirt, a short sleeved blue number....)

As a kid his tendency towards order and perfection had its pros and cons. When he cooked it had to be perfect or he threw it away. That was a plus. You knew that what he made was going to be excellent, and that there would always be a double recipe :) But the cons. Oh, the cons.

Enter the long black comb.

We usually had half a dozen combs in the bathroom, but he had to have the long black comb. If it wasn't there we would hear about it. I mean, geez, couldn't he have picked up another comb and just used it? No, it had to be the long black one. And with good reason- it was a great comb. Covered the whole head in one fell swoop. But man, would he make a big deal about it.

Just recently my razor came up missing. Now let me tell you something- I hate to shave. I only shave on Sundays and when I might have an appointment in which it would behoove me to shave. On those occasions in which I must shave, not just any razor will do. Single-blade disposable? Nada. Double-blade disposable? At one time I would have said yes. But not now. There is only one razor that comes closer to perfection in shaving as St. Francis came to in life.

The Gillette Mach 3 Turbo.

Those three blades make all the difference in my shave.

A few weeks ago I needed to shave, but alas! My Gillette Mach 3 Turbo was missing. I just knew my wife had used it... I shuddered at the thought.

"Honey, where is my Gillettte Mach 3 Turbo razor, the one with three blades that gives me a clean close shave?"

"I don't know- I haven't seen it."

Well, you know, she had to have seen it. I put my razor back in the exact same place every day, as well as the can opener, the dish soap, my favorite glass... if you put things back in the same place all the time, then you know where it is the next time. But when my wife cleans the bathroom, all bets are off. I picked out an old razor that still had hairs in it and scraped it across my face in an effort that was only slightly less dangerous than Katherine Hepburn, God rest her soul, shaving someone for hernia surgery with a straight razor.

Tonight I finally buckled down and bought myself a new Gillette Mach 3 Turbo. I made it very plain that this razor would be for my face only, and would find its home in the medicine cabinet, third shelf, where I would expect to see it every day.

Then I thought of the long black comb.

Oh man.

I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?


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