The pushers have addicted me.
For more than 12 years, I have been using the same type of razor, and probably have had to replace it two or three times. Sure, I had to buy the replacement blade cartridges, but that's all part of the evil of using manual razors. Many fancier models with an extra blade and more pivot points have come along since then, but I've remained true to the SensorExcel that has always met my needs. I've tried electric -- so no thank you to anybody about to suggest that.
On Monday morning, I picked up my trusty Gillette SensorExcel and realized I'd been shaving on that particular blade refill too long. I judge this by how much shaving cream scum has accumulated on the plastic parts. Now that's scientific.
I turned over the razor's base, where there is space for five blade cartridges to rest comfortably until I need them. Rats! The four remaining had the telltale white stains and the fifth was on the razor. I had skipped a shaving day over the weekend, so my face was kind of stubbly. I had to shave.
That's when 12-plus years of undying loyalty met its match.
In Bentonville, Arkansas, there is an atmosphere unique to the known universe. The largest company in the world has its headquarters there, and vendors of all stripes have converged on the humble community of 20,000 (but quickly growing) to court its business. In fact, Wal-Mart informed said companies not long ago that in order to do business with them, they had to have a physical presence within 30 miles of the headquarters. Since then, it's been almost like watching birds converge on a huge billboard (constructed by Wile E. Coyote) reading "free bird sed."
In such an environment, it is ridiculously simple to find sponsors for a golf tournament. What do some of these companies do to get their name out to the participants? You guessed it. Goodie bags.
In one of the three times I set foot on a golf course that year, I participated in one of said tournaments. Although I didn't score well, I got brand new stuff in plastic bags.
Back to now, where I opened the bathroom cabinet to find a razor, packaged in a transparent plastic shell that's impenetrable without a knife or scissors. Oddly, the back of the package featured a rectangular perforation that made opening it quite easy. Why can't 99.9% of manufacturers catch on to this?
After getting over the amazement of Edge gel turning to shave cream as I applied it (I'm a simple man), I gripped the razor's comfortable handle and carefully dragged the blades down my cheek, then over my chin and down my neck.
I then knew the name of my latest addiction. It is called Gillette Mach3 Turbo, and although it makes my teeth grind to type the words, it lifted me to a new level in shaving comfort. The pushers have won.