Two interesting recent searches that lead someone to this site- "Auld Slapper", the grandmotherly prostitute who performed unmentionable acts on England soccer ace Wayne Rooney; and "Naturists play sports". You know who you are, and you know you need help. Help that only a naked Auld Slapper playing volleyball can provide.
But onto the matter at hand today: Shaving.
I don't normally do product endorsements on these pages but I do have to mention the most wonderful present Country Mouse brought home from Portland this past Sunday, a jar of Maine Shave's moisturising shave cream.
When I was a spotty herbert of a teenager and just starting to shave* my dad gave me a brush, some mug soap, and one of my mum's lady bics and told me to hack away. As I aged and I needed to shave more often** I switched over to a more modern combo of aerosol can and multi-bladed bit of shiny plastic from Gillette or similar. I'm not fully sure if it was the exorbitant cost of replacement blades, a dislike of unnecessary packaging, or a visceral hatred of those stupid ads which suggest that Razor A is built from leftovers from the Space Shuttle and will make sultry lab assistants shake down their hair and wriggle out of their skirts but last spring I said "Balls to the lot of them" and decided to go back to the older, less Maxim-y way of shaving.
I invested in a brush and razor combo on a stand- very nice brush but the razor was crap. I soldiered on for a while with my Mach 3 and the brush/soap combo, but I couldn't stand paying a small fortune to Gillette every month and so finally bought a German-made long handled chrome Merkur safety razor.
Now the problem was the cheap shaving soap I had been using couldn't hold out against the panzer division of a razor I was dragging across my face. It seemed like I was cursed to either use a razor I hated but I'd get to use the brush; or use the razor I liked but have to use that wasteful Mr. Whippy foam. With the winter up here in Maine one does need a decent bit of skin protection, lest one's face look like a post-Dioxin Viktor Yushchenko.
Just in the nick of time, enter Country Mouse bearing gifts. The Maine Shave stuff ain't cheap but it does what it says on the label. I shaved with it and then stepped out into the biting wind and salty air of coastal winter: no burn, no soreness, no bumps or lumps, no redness. I love the packaging, and the product looks good in the jar. I was at a bit of a loss to describe the smell- not really perfumey, not really barbershoppy- until it hit me that it smelled a little like the time I caught a whiff of a bear's den while watching the warden's service tag hiberating bruins***. Let me hasten to add that that bear's dens actually smell good; like a dog at its best with cedar, hazelnuts, and blueberries thrown in.
The upshot is I wholeheartedly recommend this Maine Shave stuff; they have a ladies line too, should any of you women reading not feel inclined to buy your bloke a nice pressie.
*About once a month.
**Twice a month
***I know that sounds ridiculous, but I did do that, about ten years ago