Times Like These, It’s Important to Feel Clean

I’ve been clean-shaven for about two years now. I won’t say I’ve grown my last beard, but I feel better without one and at my age perhaps it’s time to make a choice and commit.

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2015 me

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2019 me

It’s not as simple as shaving or not shaving. Even when I wore a full beard I still used a razor to shave around the the edges, along with an electric clipper to keep from going total lumberjack. The clipper was a good investment, since I can use it to give myself crew cuts when times are hard, and it came in handy when our auxiliary dog Maxie was attacked by a hawk and we had to shave her rump to clean the wounds. But it’s razors, and shaving, I’ve been thinking about this morning.

Three years ago, wandering around the base commissary while Donna shopped for groceries, I reached for an 8-pack of multi-blade cartridges on the display rack and had to sit down and fan myself. Sticker shock isn’t just for new cars and household appliances! The next day I ordered an earlier-generation safety razor and supply of double-edged stainless steel blades from Amazon. The razor set me back $25 and will last a lifetime; 50 replacement blades (more than a year’s worth for me) are less than $12. The shave is as close as any I ever got from a Gillette Mach 3 cartridge.

Now I’m trying to settle on venues: whether to shave at the bathroom sink or in the shower. Maybe I’ll leave that up in the air, depending on how I’m feeling on any particular day. The good thing about the sink is that I can see myself clearly in the mirror. In the shower I use a small hand mirror, which fogs up. The hard thing about the sink is getting my whiskers wet enough first, then having to use shaving cream. In the shower, my face is plenty wet after shampooing and rinsing, and there’s no need for shaving cream. But as I say, I feel differently about it from day to day. Either way, a clean shave, for me, is a good start to the day.

These are the things I was thinking about this morning while listening to the bathroom radio as Attorney General Barr dissembled and misrepresented the findings in Special Counsel Mueller’s report. I thought Barr was lying his way through the press conference; a few hours later I know he was was because portions of report are now on Twitter and Google News, directly contradicting most everything he said. What we’ve learned so far today is that Mueller in fact found several instances of obstruction of justice on Trump’s part, along with several instances of attempted obstruction, and, in compliance with DOJ policy on not indicting a sitting president, intended for Congress to take the ball and decide what to do about Trump. The stark differences between what Barr said and what Mueller said will no doubt dominate the news for the next few days.

Barr said one thing that rang true, but only if you peel away the shine he tried to put on Trump’s well-documented attempt to quash the investigation by firing James Comey and attempting to fire Robert Mueller: “The president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks.” Shine peeled away, what he essentially said is that Trump, in obstructing justice, can’t be held accountable for it because as we all know he’s unable to control his temper and autocratic instincts and can’t help lashing out. We elected an infant; therefore it’s okay when he behaves as one; therefore This Is Fine.

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I don’t know. Maybe I should start a new beard after all. Any opinions?

© 2019, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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