A Hairy Situation

A Fool In NH Column Heading

As nauseating as it is, we are already in full swing into the next presidential campaign season here in New Hampshire.
As always happens, promises will be made and mud will be slung and television and radio stations will reap the benefits of getting paid to run countless hours of repetitious advertisements that, in the end, give us no real insight at all into who might be best to lead our country.
They will cover all the usual topics: the economy, the environment, gay rights, abortion and alike. Still, there is one issue that none of the candidates will touch. It is an issue so volatile that even the news media stays away. Yet, as it is ignored it continues to grow out of control and is affecting our day to day lives.
Of course, I’m talking about the price of razor blades.
Have you bought any lately? Some 10-razor blade packs can cost as much as the Gross National Product of Belize.
If you just look around you can see how the rising price of razor blades is affecting our country.
More and more good-looking young men have decided to give up shaving and to grow hideous and unkempt Rip Van Winkle style beards instead of spending the outrageous price for razor blades. It comes down to one of two things: do I at least attempt to present a decent image of myself to my loved ones and the world or do I eat?
The choice is obvious.
Some say this ubiquitous sprouting of out of control facial hair is merely a fad, that it will soon go the way of the leisure suit, but I am not so sure. This time it isn’t merely about wanting to look totally ridiculous, it’s about survival.
To those men who have, for years, sported beards that they worked hard at keeping nice and neat, I can feel your pain as you are now finding yourselves lost in the crowd. Your years of daily hard work at keeping your beards in a presentable fashion to the world are now being lumped in with the rest of those who are finding themselves with no choice but to just let their beards grow willy-nilly, sticking from their faces at odd angles and, like clouds, resembling something different each day, as they are unable to afford the one thing that can bring them back to a sense of reality.
It’s not their fault. They are not to blame, but it is becoming a national dilemma.
It seemed not that long ago that razor blades were affordable; the price not even worth a second look at the drug store. It was a happy time, but we weren’t satisfied.
We wanted bigger and better razors. We wanted more power. We didn’t want to just shave off our whiskers; we wanted a whole new experience. Soon, meeting our demands, the double-blade razor was created and then the triple-blade. Soon we were demanding skin softener to be added to the blade to make for a more comfortable experience, and we were answered.
Today, it has grown out-of-control. We have razors with five blades. Why? We don’t know but we realize we have to have them. We’re hooked and there is no turning back.
Now we’ve paid the price for our addictions; trapped due to our own vanity and comfort. We have become prisoners to the “Big Shaving” concerns.
Today, it has backfired and more and more young men are leaving the arena of “shaving” and entering the one of “looking totally ridiculous” and it seems like there will be no turning back unless something is done. We will soon be a nation of men with silly beards and we will wonder how we missed it.
That is why I am asking the question here today? Where do the candidates stand on this important issue? What will they do to help bring down the price of razor blades so that well-intentioned young men in this country can once again be able to afford to live a decent life and also keep their self-esteem by being able to once again show the world what they really look like?
It is a national dilemma and no one is asking the questions. I just hope that by writing this column I may start the conversation. That it will spark some of these young men to come forward and admit that no matter how much they defend their beards as something they are proud to have, if the price of razor blades was within their reach, this country would be a different and less hairy place today.

Visit Brendan’s website for information on his books and speaking engagements at www.brendantsmith.com