The advantages of a beard

I’ve grown a beard once or twice, largely for the purpose of making a fashion statement and, to be honest, they’ve never been particularly successful. I also feel more comfortable clean-shaven. As a result, like many others, from time-to-time, I stand bemused at the razor blade section at my local supermarket trying to remember (a) which particular brand of razor I use, and (b) which type of blade fits my razor.

What really pisses me off is that I frequently make the wrong decision and I am now the reluctant owner of several razors with mismatched blades. This happened a week or two ago when, yet again, I had to buy a new razor to go with the ‘wrong’ blades I’d bought a few days previously. However, what really galled me was that, this time, I was compelled to buy a pen-knife that was ‘bundled’ with the razor I didn’t really want in the first place. How can such a simple consumer purchase be so complicated? Why is such a big deal made of the various features of a razor blade when they all do basically the same job? A recent article, Courtroom razor battle has Gillette, Schick in a lather, gives details of the ‘commercial war’ between the razor blade companies, and the lengths they will go to protect their market share. The obscene amount of money spent on marketing — US$100 million, in the case of Schick — sounds like an awful lot of unwanted pen-knives to me. This is efficient use of society’s scarce resources, right?