My wife and I went to Toys R Us (sorry, I don’t have the correct font for the backwards R) to get some new sand for our daughter’s sandbox. They don’t keep the sand on the shelves; it’s in a stack of 50-pound bags near the exit door. You pay for them at the register and then pick them up. After we did the cash transaction, the woman at the checkout said, “These are kind of heavy. Would you like me to get a guy to help you?” To which my wife replied, “Yes, please.” BOOM! Ego shot, broadside.
Honey, what do you mean, “Yes, please”?? We don’t need “a guy” to help with this! I’M A GUY! I’m standing right here! What do you think I’m doing here? Besides, what guy in his right mind is going to let another guy pick up that bag of sand and put it in his trunk for him? I picked those suckers up and plopped ’em in the trunk, no problem. Just for the record, “the guy” looked like Izzy Mandelbaum, the octogenarian that Lloyd Bridges played on Seinfeld. No thanks, Izzy, I’ve got this one. Why don’t you have another Viagra, on me? Oh, it’s Go Time, all right.
Maybe my wife’s just cranky because the Gillette people haven’t developed a Lady version of the Mach 3 yet. The Mach 3 is the latest innovation in the race for the perfect shave (c’mon, we’re kicking the Russians asses on this one; they’re still shaving with Sputnik!), and for the moment it’s only for men’s beards. It’s quite a breakthrough, the Gillette folks would have you believe, because they’ve been trying to work out the kinks in a three-blade razor for almost three decades. Any minute now I expect them to announce that Tom Hanks is executive-producing a 12-hour miniseries, “From The Chin To The Ear.”
What’s amazing to me is that they’re still trying to improve shaving technology. This is like the people at Nabisco trying to make a better Oreo. Just stop it, you have the perfect cookie. There’s no reason to dunk it in fudge and wrap it in white chocolate. Just put them on sale and give me a glass of milk.
Full disclosure: I’ve had a full beard for more than 20 years, so I can’t speak first-hand about getting a close shave, but I didn’t realize that the old two-blade system was so primitive. Someone will have to explain to me what the problem was, and how the Mach 3 solves it. Wherever I go, I see and talk to regular guys with clean-shaven faces, and never once has the topic of a closer shave come up in conversation, ever. And yet, Gillette had over 500 engineers working on this project for 27 years. Were there that many complaints about the shortcomings of razors? Was there that much demand for a third blade? Why is this such a technological revolution? Could it be that sales of the Sensor razor were down?
More importantly, when it came time to test the Mach 3 on an actual man’s face, did Mrs. Gillette tell the guys in the lab to wait — while she went to get “a guy”?