Remmington Auto-Home razor - Distracted driving, fifties style!

I know what you're thinking. "Sure I love talking on my phone while driving, but isn't there a way I can make even better use of the time I spend in my car - time which is otherwise wasted by uselessly paying attention to what the hell I'm doing?" You bet there is. As a citizen of the twenty first century, it is your birthright to do just about anything you want while cruising down the highway at 30 miles per hour with the lane stripe lined up squarely with your license plate... from basting a turkey to reading the newspaper to shaving. Maybe you think that such productive, efficient thinking is new? Think again, grandpa!

In 1957, you could buy a Remmington Rollectric shaver with their Auto-Home feature, which was a cord that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Hallelujah! Shave in the bathroom at work? Unacceptable! Shave before you leave the house like most people? That's for losers! The only sensible time to shave is while piloting a motor vehicle.

Hey, that gives me an idea. Why don't pilots talk on the phone while flying? Some flights can take a long time, and if driving on the phone makes good sense, why not flying? Doctors are busy people too. If you woke up during surgery, you would naturally be reassured to see your surgeon chatting away happily about last night's episode of Mad Men on his phone wile he's up to his elbows in your abdomen, because you would know that he's an efficient multitasker. Why'd you wake up in the middle of surgery? Because the anesthesiologist was exchanging recipes with her mom while dosing you with the Isoflurane, as is her right

"But wait," you say. "Maybe Remmington intended that drivers only use the Auto-Home shaver while the vehicle was parked? Maybe Remmington preferred that people keep their eyes on the road, so that they don't rear end a little girl on a tricycle? Wrong again! Remmington wanted it to be clear that you should shave while driving. They went so far as to include an illustration of a man behind the wheel, one hand steering and one hand shaving - both eyes in the mirror.

Here's an anectode from a friend of mine here at work. The following happened to him: While driving home from work, his car was struck from behind by another vehicle. Fortunately, traffic was moving slowly, rush hour being what it is. He responsibly got out of his vehicle to check on the woman who rear ended him, who had not gotten out of her car. Was she injured? She was unhurt, but looked annoyed, as if he was wasting her time. An unfolded newspaper was on the passenger seat. The woman had been reading the newspaper in traffic, but didn't seem ashamed or guilty about it. What a jerk he was, interrupting her newspaper commute by stopping his car. See? He's part of the problem. It's clear that if everyone read the newspaper while driving, traffic would flow much more smoothly, because no one would ever stop. It's jerks like my friend who wreck everything by looking at the car in front of them and stopping when traffic stops.

Also of note is the standard "Here's what we want you to think it does" diagram of the shaver's action. Every shaver ever since has been accompanied by a cartoon of whiskers being lovingly pulled up from the face and gently clipped below the level of the skin. Sometimes the whiskers are cut twice by a second set of blades. Sometimes they're cut by miniature elves and carefully sanded to a rounded point by little gnomes living in the head of the shaver. These cartoons are fiction. They may as well show a unicorn pushing the whiskers back into the pores with his horn. All mechanical shavers compromise a close shave in favor of convenience and lack of razor nicks. Any guy will tell you the same.

If you want a truly close shave, use a straight razor and Barbasol. Just be sure to do it while driving. If you've got leather seats, you can use them as a strop, to put a finely polished edge on your blade, just before you open your jugular all over your upholstery. You can then use your cell phone to call work and tell them you'll be a little late. I'm sure they'll thank you for making such efficient use of your time.


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