I love a little gratuitous facial scruff. My bride, however, does not share my enthusiasm.

I despise shaving. My ideal facial state is about four days’ worth of scruff. Make that about two months in wintertime. I relish not having to fret about the process every morning, and it’s handy when you have a little itch on the back of your arm that needs attention. Not surprisingly, my bride disagrees.

That woman hates hair. I was clean shaven with an airborne high and tight when we married. Anything beyond that is therefore undesirable. When I left the Army, I grew a ponytail. When I finally succumbed to the relentless domestic pressure, I cut the thing off and gave it to her in a box. She reacted like it was some kind of dead animal.

As with most marital disagreements, the solution to such a quandary is careful dialogue and measured compromise. You’ll note that in my gun magazine pictures I have a cleanshaven face and no hair. That’s the way I roll.

You wouldn’t think these two familiar household objects would have much in common.
Note how this modern can of shaving cream sports a rustproof aluminum base. Why is that, one wonders?

Everything Is Physics

The world around us is governed by certain immutable dicta laid down by God Himself. Daily life is a complex interaction of physics, chemistry, physiology and providence. Sometimes that remarkable milieu takes us to some fascinating places.

As shaving daily appears to be a lynchpin to my domestic bliss, I naturally maintained a can of Barbasol shaving cream on the ledge in the shower. A squirt every morning ensured my shaving experience was no more onerous than it had to be. However, over time corrosive forces conspired to produce a stubborn rust ring underneath the can. There had to be some engineering solution.

My response was a red Solo cup. I dropped the can into the cup and then set the cup on the ledge in the shower. In that configuration my shaving cream remained instantly accessible without any undue aesthetic baggage left by the rust ring. Everybody wins.

Expect The Unexpected

This day began like any other. I was up early and in the shower performing my morning ablutions. I am a notoriously light sleeper. That was great when I was a soldier, but it’s a curse now. As a result, by the time I am in the shower I’m typically operating at about 98% capacity.

The water was running hot and steamy, and I was by now liberally slathered in suds. The fuzz on my head had been attended to, and it was time for the obligatory rinse cycle. That’s when something quite fearsome detonated unsettlingly close by.

The explosion really did ring my bell. The force of the blast shoved my slick slimy carcass bodily and my ears rang painfully. My face was suddenly covered in something gooey that interfered with my vision. The cumulative effect was most shocking. Had I not recently emerged from my morning constitutional I very likely would have wet myself.

IED obviously stands for Improvised Explosive Device. IEDs are the weapons of choice for the cavemen who have so ably served as our enemies for the last couple of decades. How they might have slipped one of these puppies into my shower stall escaped me at the moment, but this was clearly some diabolical Shower-Borne IED.

It was the benign context that made the event so darn traumatic. This explosion was just so utterly unexpected. Your shower is typically considered a place of sanctuary. It is your safe space where you are voluntarily both naked and helpless. It was for this very reason that Alfred Hitchcock’s shower scene in Psycho struck such a visceral chord.

Once I regained my wits, I scraped the unidentified tenacious goo from my eyes and took stock. I turned to face the shower door and, no lie, was confronted by a negative image of myself painted on the door in shaving cream. That’s when the little light came on.

My favorite can of Barbasol had been sitting in that wet Solo cup for months. Gradually over time the bottom rim was steadily corroding. On that fateful morning the can finally failed and launched like a rocket out of the cup. There yet remains to this day a healthy dent in the ceiling where it impacted before ultimately careening across the room. Everything within the blast radius to include my sensitive pink self was liberally slathered in shaving cream.

I kept that rusty misshapen can for years just in case I might someday wish to document the event. My wife inexplicably discarded it in a cleaning frenzy one day while muttering something about how I’m forever venerating garbage. Nowadays I shave with bar soap. That experience is neither comfortable nor terribly effective, but the chances of a catastrophic explosion are markedly diminished.

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