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Straight Razors Viewed Through Classic Literature Part I: Moby Lancet; Or The Razor

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by , 09-22-2011 at 03:33 AM (2779 Views)
With thanks to Herman Melville.

Chapter 1: In Which Jimbo Goes a-razorin'

Call me Jimbo. Some time ago - never mind how long precisely - having little money in my purse, and nothing to interest me in the malls, I thought I would wander about in ebay and see a little of the straight razory part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the ever-encroaching melancholia that seeps into my psyche, and of enhancing the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim around the chops, when it is a soggy ham sandwich in my soul, when the alarm clock in my heart has run out of batteries or the Windows of my life requires a control-alt-delete; when I find myself involuntarily raging at fellow motorists, or wishing I could give the fellow in front of me in the bank queue a wedgie, I account it high time to get myself to ebay. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, all men, to a greater or lesser degree, at some time or other, cherish within themselves very nearly the same yearning to view other people's varied and assorted crap as I.

Circumambulate the dreary byways of the interwebs on any night of the week. Go from Google to Yahoo, and from thence, by pop-up ad, toward What do you see? - Perched like silent sentinels all around the site, man, woman, and child alike, a-hankerin' for a bargain. But these are all high street consumers; of weekdays trudging through sanitised, marbled, multi-storey car-parked, muzak-laden, escalator-driven, latte-fuelled shopping centres; chained to department stores; penned in and force-fed at the corporate trough. What do they here?

But look! Here comes more crowds, racing straight for the online auction, bound for a bargain. Nothing will content them but the most esoteric of miscellany. Loitering at the corporate website will not suffice! No! Nothing but wading deep into the detritus of mankind's abundant cast-offs will slake their lust.

Again. Say you are in the country, and require a hen-house. Wherefore to dost thou seek? Not the flashy chicken emporium on chicken lane! No, to ebay they flock, for a second-hand, pre-loved, as-new, never-been-used, from-non-smoking-household coop. Wary though they be in the ways of shipping costs, there is an inexorable draw to the web.

It is the glory of the chase, the thrill of the outmanoeuvre, the twitch of the finger, the guile of the snipe, the adrenaline and insanity of the bidding war, which draws man to the auction. It is the age-old image of man, standing tall and proud over a slain adversary, a triumphant chorus ringing in our ears, that holds the secret to our fascination with ebay.

Now, when I say I am in the habit of going a straight-razorin' on the ebay whenever I get a bit wild about the eyes, or twitchy around the nether regions, I do not mean it to be inferred that I go as a lurker. For to go as a lurker you must needs have your fill of razors and assorted accoutrements, and to have your fill of such things flies in the very face of all that a good straight razor man holds dear. No, I never go as a lurker. Nor do I ever go as a seller, nor a sniper. No, when I go to ebay, I go as a button-pushing, mouse-clicking, feverishly-page-refreshing buyer.

So what that I might, by some mistimed click, fail to refresh in time to beat the 5-second sniper? What is it to me that 5 days of patient waiting ends in some fool hitting the BIN button with 30 minutes to go? What consequence that the picture is blurry, or the seller has 80% positive feedback?

I go to ebay as a buyer for the chance to stumble across a rare and sought after thing; to proclaim my good fortune amongst other men; to hear the heartfelt acclaim and feel the hearty back-slaps; to see the envy in mine enemies eyes, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

By reason of these things then, an ebay voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the razor, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a great silver frameback in the air.
onimaru55, ndw76, baldy and 4 others like this.

Updated 09-22-2011 at 03:45 AM by Jimbo



  1. MickR's Avatar
    Jimbo James! Have you bin swimmin' in the moonshine vat agin?!
    Jimbo likes this.
  2. Jimbo7's Avatar
    Part 2: Strops and Sensibility? A Farewell to Mach 3s? Uncle Tom's Shapton? The Adventures of Huckleberry BIN? The Scarlet Bevel? Slaughterhouse 5/8?
    Jimbo and Chefgordon like this.
  3. carlmaloschneider's Avatar
    I like 'Buy it Nows'....
    Jimbo likes this.
  4. ndw76's Avatar
    Reading Moby Dick makes me think about razors too.
    Jimbo likes this.
  5. onimaru55's Avatar
    Some overtones of Genghis Khan there James or maybe Conan the Barbarian
    Jimbo likes this.
  6. LinacMan's Avatar
    Gee guys, being a Southerner I was thinking more William Faulkner style stream-of-consciousness