A close shave

James Bond and Don Draper both shave the old-fashioned way with a soap mug and brush.

You know Bond, of course, and likely Draper too. He’s the star of Mad Men.

We recently bought a fancy television with internet connection. We had never seen Mad Men before, but now we’re addicted. We subscribed to Netflix, which currently has four seasons, 2007 through 2010, of Mad Men.

We see two shows a night and we’re into the early part of Season Two.

We’re as addicted to Mad Men as we are to Breaking Bad, which we watch on cable because the Netflix versions are older, just like the Mad Men seasons.

But Mad Men is not available on our cable service. It’s fresh to us.

Don Draper shaves the old-fashioned way, which is not a surprise since the show is set in the early 1960s, and lots of men still shaved that way, I guess.

My father didn’t. I didn’t, but I wanted to, even then.

I don’t own a straight razor, but I do have a machete. FYI.

Few television shows or movies are set in the early 1960s. Don’t know why. Those were my times. I graduated from high school in 1962.

But let’s return to shaving. James Bond, whom we saw recently at a movie theater, the new installment, Skyfall, a good movie, shaved with the soap mug and brush. He got a helping hand from Miss Moneypenny.

I generally shave three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sometimes I shave on Sunday if something special’s planned, and I want to look my best.

Last week I bought a new can of Gillette Foamy, which I consider the greatest aerosol soap on the market. I’ve tried other things, even those yucky gels, but nothing is as good as Gillette Foamy.

Though the soap mug and brush seem romantic, I don’t think I would have the patience for it, plus you have to put a straight razor to your throat.

Were I in a foul mood, that could get messy.

But if Miss Moneypenny helped, it might alter everything.

38 thoughts on “A close shave”

  1. The cool weather rolled in and my razor was put to bed. I’m about two weeks into the winter beard that has a short shelf life this winter as the Banana Republics are calling. I shave in the shower so the cheeks get nothing but warm water to soften the wee hairs.

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      1. 12/17 we fly into Guatemala City; a month in Antigua, then off to north coast Honduras for as long as I can tolerate the heat. We fly north out of Cancun in March. We’re busing on this trip. I have always rented cars for moving about, but a lady in Merida has me convinced that I might like using the bus. Nicaragua’s Bluefields is on my bucket list of places to see. If I can swing it this trip I will get over there as well. The idea of traveling by river skiff has its romance — we’ll see how the practice fares. I’ll keep you posted, my friend.

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          1. There are a ton of English place names called Bluefield, the one I’m looking at is a river port town on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua. I think the English tagged the place during the dye log harvesting era.

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    1. I’m with Norm on shaving in the shower. No need for a mirror. Fingers tell all.

      As for straight razors. There is nothing as exciting as deadly weapons in the hands of beautiful women.

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  2. I use Gillette Foamy (fine choice, by the way) and top it off with Old Spice. Been smellin good with Old Spice since I was 15. Tried to upgrade with some super expensive girl catcher lotion one time. My daughter said, “You don’t smell like Dad.” So much for the upgrade. I was straight razored once in Jasper, Alberta, scared the heck outta me, too sharp, too close to the throat.

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      1. I smell like a dad. My daughter is a lady of God (Anglican Minister). You don’t mess with the God people. With a face like mine, babes are not magnetized, more like traumatized. You, on the other hand, are a rakish young devil.

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    1. We macho Pátzcuaro expats get straight razored every time we get a haircut at “Estética Revive”. (Yes, the do use a fresh blade for each customer.)

      Saludos,
      Don Cuevas

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  3. I’ve been using Gillette Prestobarba, in a little flat topped jar, ever since I first arrived in Mexico City without my usual can of aerosol foam. On occasion I’ve used other shaving materials, but while they serve their purpose, they don’t usually feel or smell as zesty as Prestobarba.

    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

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        1. Actually, I use Prestobarba Crema because it smells good and has nostalgic connections for me.

          Saludos,
          Don Cuevas

          PS: I know it looks as though I’m replying to myself, but it’s because I can’t reply to you after your last reply to me.
          DC

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  4. If I had my way, I would look like one of the guys in the band ZZ Top, but then no one would want to associate with me … so it’s me and Mr. Braun every day or so.

    I tried the razor bit, but it seemed like too much work. I have considered it just recently … perhaps … maybe again.

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  5. Straight razor shaving seems to be rare, I don’t know why, it’s one of the tests you have to pass here to get a Cosmetologist license. I know someone who goes to a barber in NYC, gets a straight razor shave, hot face towel treatment, and in a huge comfortable chair, very relaxing and the price is right, because they are real barbers. Some do still exist. It also lasts longer than the regular shave.

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  6. I loved the post. I also love a clean face that smells of a fresh shave. The current trend of having a bit of grizzle on the chin is not my idea of what looks nice on a man. The straight razor would be very scary, I think, especially if a man happened to live with a feisty Latina.

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    1. Ms. Chica: I too dislike the trendy vagrant look. Either have a beard or not, but don’t look like you are simply disheveled.

      On the other matter, though my wife is Latina, she is not feisty. That stereotype forgot to attach itself to her.

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  7. The mention of Gabby Hayes brought back memories of my Grandfather, who knew him as a young boy in Wellsville, NY.

    Thanks for jogging my memories.

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  8. I had my one and only shave with the brush and straight razor when I was about 8 years old. My dad let old Mr. Mallory, the town barber, do it.

    To this day, I’ll never know why. Maybe it was a private joke or some initiation of a sort. But I have never forgotten the hot towel before and after.

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    1. Ray: You had a beard at age 8?! No, I suppose not. Sounds like your father and old Mr. Mallory were messing with you.

      Hot towels are nice. I had a barber in New Orleans who would strap on one of those old hand massagers and give you a good workout on the noodle and shoulders. Now, that was sweet.

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  9. Just down the street from my house … haircut for 45 pesos, straight razor shave for 40. His family has been cutting hair in Merida since 1898. You can’t beat them. But … at home I use Gillette Foamy.

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  10. I choose to fly right by the cutting subject of your post to say,…
    Woo-hoo, Mad Men! Woo-hoo Skyfall!

    Mad Men writing is absolutely incredible. I love how each episode is thematic, yet they all flow together. The season 2 finale contains one of the greatest scenes ever in a TV series; scene with Peggy and Pete–no spoiler!

    Skyfall was great fun to watch. Ray did not like it quite as much as I, but he still liked it.

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    1. Becky: We are having a great time watching the first four seasons of that terrific show via Netflix. No commercials, no nada. It’s like an endless movie, and we’re still not halfway through what we have available. I feel the same way about Breaking Bad.

      Of course, it is the writing. It’s incredible to me that so much money, time and effort are put into TV shows that are totally inane, stories that a moderately talented high school freshman would do better.

      I should move to Hollywood or New York. I could get rich. And move to Mexico.

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      1. Here’s some icing for the cake! Go to the AMC Mad Men website and watch the videos called, “Inside Episode X” (for each episode). Producer Weiner gives you his behind-the-scenes perspectives. Awesome!

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