A short time after the holidays I needed to buy some replacement blades for my Gillette Fusion razor. I don’t give you the brand name to promote the product but to give you an idea what kind of razor I had. And, if you know what kind of razor I had, then you have an idea how much replacement blades cost for this razor … a small fortune.

The safety razor

The safety razor

I decided to take the road seldom taken and get back to the basics. I started looking for a safety razor, the double-edge kind that our fathers used to use. The decision to do so came after going to Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, Costco and just about any other retail place you might think you could find razors, only to discover you just can’t find a safety razor in a store. I could get a Schick 5-blade, or a number of other 5-blade brands, but could not find an old-fashioned safety razor. My dad would be shocked.

What happened next could be called a mission. Patti is probably more accurate when she says it became an obsession. I started researching online looking for the safety razor. I found loads of them on all kinds of sites. I found out about the differences in brands, costs, comments from other users, what company offered a razor at a fraction of the cost of the same razor at another site. Hey, I was a consumer. I saw just plain common safety razors for as much as $140 and some for $9. There was everything in between.

That’s when I succumbed to the cult.

As I went from site to site, I kept noticing comments from other buyers much more committed to safety razors than me, who were using terms like “wet shaving,” who used the acronym DE for “double edge” or the term “open comb” versus “closed comb” for the way the razor slid across your face and even how shave time each day was “individual” time to not be in any hurry, to celebrate slowness and accuracy and enjoy the personal time with your razor. Ok, so obsession may be more descriptive, after all. Once I checked out the websites and their offerings, I settled on a nondescript safety razor and some extra blades from Amazon.

I placed my order on January 27, 2014.  Just before I placed my order (for a whopping $11), the delivery information showed on the screen. “Delivery between February 27 and March 11.” Huh? Really? From Amazon? Again, really? I thought there must be a mistake, but it was just a razor and some blades. No big deal.

I started letting my beard grow, so I wouldn’t have to buy a Fusion blade ever again. I’ll just wait for the razor and blades to show up. Couldn’t really take too long. It’s just a razor.

On or around February 22, a small shipment from Thailand came in the mail. I got the blades, but no razor. Again, really?

And, March 11 came and went, still no razor.

I wrote a message to Amazon, warning other customers to be sure and check the shipping and delivery information before ordering a razor from Amazon, well, from a “provider” to Amazon, MMA Sales.

In my message, I told Amazon that I had to make some assumptions about the delivery of my razor. I said that MMA Sales must have had to build a gravel road to the most desolate area of Outer Mongolia to send a guy on a donkey, so he could use a shovel and dig some metal out of the ground with his hands. After traveling back with the metal, the donkey rider had to find a one-armed blacksmith to mold the metal into a razor and precision razor blades. Once the blacksmith completed his work, MMA Sales must have found a three-legged burro to take the razor/blades from Outer Mongolia to the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere in China. Once at the ocean, someone had to build a replica of Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 Kon-Tiki raft, to carry the razor and blades, against the prevailing currents, to the West Coast of America.

Once at the West Coast, somewhere near San Francisco, someone put the razor and blades on the backs of several ants to make the journey from the West Coast, across the Rockies, the desert of New Mexico and west Texas to my home in Austin.

To this day, March 26, I still do not have the razor I ordered from Amazon.

However, just a week ago, I ordered an inexpensive  safety razor and blades from an online Canadian company called Fendrihan. They arrived today.

One man’s toiletries is another man’s obsession.