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I use the Gillette Mach 4, and I die a little inside every time I have to buy new blades. And mine run out a lot faster than usual, because I shave my entire head every other day. I just can't bring myself to take the final step and start using the five blade razor. There just can't be that significant a difference for the added cost.

One of these days I'm going to dig out my straight razor and mug and go back to shaving for the $1 or so that it costs for the soap.

I love my vibrating 5 blade razor!

Besides, there is nothing wrong with starting the day off with a little vibration. Just ask your wife. :)

The "little vibration" my wife most often confronts in the morning is our smaller, high-speed dog banging his abnormally long tail against the bed frame.

That's what you were talking about, right?

Oh, and Frank: After years of experimentation I have found that liquid hand soap is the best shaving cream. I don't know if it's the process of rubbing it around so that it foams or the emollients and skin softeners they put in the soap, but it does a really nice job. On those odd occasions when I've been traveling and am forced to use regular shaving cream, I'm surprised how bad they are.

Also -- and this is not unimportant -- if you buy the generic, one-gallon refill bottle of liquid hand soap it's costs like 2 cents a shave.

The single best invention in modern razor technology is the thin vertical wire on top of the array of blades. One of the Schick razors features this technology, which I finally found in the States for the first time only yesterday. What makes it so great is that I can get just as close a shave as with a regular multi-blade razor, but with almost no nicks.

I use a fancy-pants creme that dulls the nerves, making it easier to get a close shave, but I'll have to try the liquid hand soap trick. I, too hate regular shaving cream--it's awful.

I'd love to get into the straight razor thing, but I'm not ready to splurge on the razor, sharpening stones, and a strop just yet. Besides, I wouldn't have the time except on weekends.

"After years of experimentation I have found that liquid hand soap is the best shaving cream."

I did not know that.

Come for the snark and politics, stay for the tips on grooming.

"After years of experimentation I have found that liquid hand soap is the best shaving cream lubricant while surfing for ideas for sex day."

There, I fixed that for you.

Liquid soap is actually BETTER than the shaving cream?

Ha! Now I feel smart. I've been using liquid soap forever, but I thought I was just a cheapskate.

Dear God in Heaven above. $30 to...shave. For you to do the shaving, with no help.

Tell us again how tough times are here in America.

I don't believe I complain about tough times. In fact, I think my main complaint is the wasteful profligacy of American wealth. I believe, in fact, that that was one of the points of this piece.

Wasteful? How so?

You can spend your wealth as you see fit. If you get value from it, perceived or otherwise, is it not money well spent? Also, consider the trickle-down effect: your $30 shave benefits all the people who are involved in the manufacture, transport, and sales of those products, allowing them to buy $4.00 cups of coffee--or $4.00 gallons of gas, depending.

If, on the other hand, you don't get $30 worth of value out of your shaving supplies, then perhaps it is wasteful--but only for you, not the people you support.

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