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The Mysterious Razor Blade Slot

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Straight Razor

My flat dates back to the '60s with seemingly the original amenities and utilities, sparing the loo and sink in the bathroom that were replaced evidently, maybe twenty years ago, before my occupancy. I was spring-cleaning my antique medicine cabinet and happened to notice the slot midway in its back panel, used to dispose double-edge razor blades. Wet shaving—now a fading art which requires a steady hand, tender stroke and lots of creamy lather—utilizes the somewhat cutlass-like grooming device known as a straight razor; or the double-edge safety razor, which contains a cutting edge similar to a scimitar, both of which can slice one's throat very easily.

Double-Edge Razor and Blades

The blades for the latter razor are micro-thin: .009 inches (0.02 centimeters) thick, meant to be disposed after a shave or two, and conveniently can be discarded through the aforementioned slot; making me wonder where do the extremely dangerous, tiny accoutrements go, once in the back of the cabinet? Worse yet, what happens to wherever they disappear when it fills up? Does the entire cache of skin-tearing smallswords have to be exposed by breaking out the fixture from the wall? And lastly, has anyone ever had the unfortunate occasion when no more blades fit through the inscrutable slit?

With the advent of disposable razors, double-edgers fell by the wayside and presumably only a small fraction of the present shaving population use them. I prefer the former, convenient but not as green to the environment as the old types are. Considering my medicine cabinet is most likely going on fifty years old, a virtual treasure trove of rusty, tetanus-laden steel blades must be well hidden, probably within the deep recesses behind the wallboard, in between the two studs which enclose the medicine chest. I have thought of buying a packet of double-edge blades just to test the slot out, listening for how long it takes before the ultimate metallic clink as the razor-sharp steel lands atop the infamous pile of its long-fallen comrades.

Next time I'm in a Lowes or a Home Depot, the plumbing department will be my first stop to examine if modern-day medicine cabinets still maintain that razor-blade slot. In researching this topic, I read all certified remodeling contractors are aware of these dastardly, left-over, mini-guillotine-like, saber-edge metal strips, capable of slashing off a finger or two. Most wear heavy-duty gloves to remove the blades; if it were me, I'd be using chain mail. One even mentioned his using a Shop Vac, but had to replace the industrial-rubber hose after each such application. Another article reminisced about how as a child, the author was thoroughly fascinated by the mysterious razor-blade slot, wondering if the old shaving utensils ended up in China, or magically vanished; while forever sliding the father's spare blades down the hatch and giggling when the parent bitterly complained of always running out.

Life is chock-full of exotic mysteries, thank goodness, offering marvelous fodder for a seminal blogger to extrapolate while filling an overdue entry in their hard-hitting journal; thus another mystifying conundrum is out of the way until the next time rolls around.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2013 09:49 am (UTC)
Save yourself sometime Mike & go cordless or remember Victor Kyam? He liked the Remmington so much he bought the company

Shirley Ann
May. 19th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Razors
I've tried a few electric razors over the years and didn't like the shave (not as close or smooth). I have a cordless beard and nose-hair trimmer, with detachable heads to form a shaver as well; but still like the razor better. Disposables are cheap. Thanks for your observations and comments, Shirley Ann. They are most appreciated.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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