Flashback Friday Shaving Edition: Chuck Heard a Scream

The chill I feel lately is due to more than just ditching the long-johns earlier than might have been prudent. Every fall a beard grows on my face and every spring I hack it off. It’s a bit of a shock to the system, not to mention friends and the cats, but it is spring and an old man’s thoughts turn to shaving.

A barbaric ritual that has been taken to extremes, the shaving of our various body parts supports a multi-billion dollar industry that pats itself on the back for selling us razors with as many as six(!) blades because, well, we’ll buy anything. Or steal it; most modern multi-blade razor cartridges are so expensive that they are kept under lock and key, or behind the counter with the ingredients for crystal meth.

Shaving didn’t used to require a “system,” as pointed out by Remington in this ad, aimed at outdoorsmen, from 1964.

remington 64

Civilized? Maybe, at least until the “rechargeable energy cells” start to run down, turning those 4 roller combs and 348 cutting edges into a low-power clam shell, yanking dozens of whiskers at once and leaving a fellow to return from the woods half-shaved and looking like his shaving kit included a weasel.

The electric shaving revolution was still a few years off in the 1940s when Gillette ran a series of ads depicting exciting shaving adventures in which helpless women were saved by bristly heroes who only needed a good shave (Sensitivity Training was last week; this week we’re back to normal). Not nearly as exciting as Quill Gordon’s annual shearing, they are nonetheless entertaining examples of the civilizing effects of a good shave on rugged outdoorsy-types.



Silly Diane Blair scoffed at the rules, got lost, and just look at what happened! Thank goodness a young geologist was nearby! And why is “dude ranch” in quotes?

Let's "hide" here!

Let’s “hide” here!

Chuck cuts quite the dashing figure in his jodhpurs with the reinforced butt patch. Because he has a gun we won’t say any more but we wonder why so few outdoors people wear jodhpurs these days.

Like to shave?

Like to shave?

Seems a whole lot of shaving and pipe smoking goes on at that “ranch” but hey, who doesn’t like to shave?

He's handsome.

He’s handsome.

Not only is he brave and handsome, evidently Chuck is also self-employed, suddenly deciding he’s on vacation like that. Hubba-hubba! It’s a good thing those “ranch hands” all used Thin Gillette blades! One thin dime for four, two bits for ten — a savings of, well, you do the math.

Now, with a chin scraped raw and exposed to the elements for the first time in over half a year, I bring this Shaving Edition to an awkward close. The wind has picked up, yet another Winter Weather Advisory is in effect, and the old stir-crazy Shack Nasties are rearing their ugly heads like a recurring case of malaria. One of their symptoms this winter has been a song stuck in my head.

It has been said that the best way to get a song out of your head is to share it so I am happy to present this year’s Shack Nasty Theme Song. I hope you will all sing along, and maybe even do the dance, to this little ditty featuring Groucho Marx, a man who didn’t have to shave his moustache because he painted it on.





Categories: Flashback Fridays, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Flashback Friday Shaving Edition: Chuck Heard a Scream

  1. That sure was keen!

  2. Idaho steel

    I just enjoyed shaving so damn much, I had to quit doing it over 20 years ago. Thin Gillettes or no.

  3. No Mike, it was swell.

    I have young people tell me all the time… you’re so odd.

    Hell, you grow up watching Marx Brothers, Stooges… as a pre teen listening to George Carlin, Zappa… reading Zap Comix, MAD Magazine, National Lampoon and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and see how you turn out.

    Notice he didn’t put up before and after pictures, Howard’s weak heart probably couldn’t handle it. Nice of Quill to consider that.

    • At least young people still talk to you.

      Mayhem sure was different in the olden days, wasn’t it?

      No pictures. I startle even myself in the mirror for a few days. Howard and others are safe for now.

  4. My heart did flutter a little bit when I thought we would see a photo of Quill…beard or not. Kind of like that feeling I got while reading Mad Magazine while watching Groucho wiggle his eyebrows. Thanks for the no show Quill.

  5. Very, very funny Quill! But I couldn’t stop laughing at my own twist to your posting of the horse-rustler … “Diane’s screams were heard by a young gynecologist,” instead of “a young geologist!” That might dove-tail better with the possibility of the tales ending, where the two of them consider spending a “vacation” together at the “Dude Ranch.” 😉

  6. Tobin

    Well there are lot’s worse songs to have stuck in your brain than “Lydia” – especially if you don’t know the words, so you make them up and then the wife complains that you are driving her crazy. Wait, if you sing the song “out loud” – is it still in your head?

    • Ear worms are like amoebas and Almond Joys. You can share half and still have a whole, so even if you let it out, part of the song will always be in your head no matter the lyrics you sing.

  7. Wood Chip

    I’ve seen Canadas, Woodcock, even a few brave songbirds, but until I learned Quill had actually shaved I couldn’t say “spring is here!” Well, spring is here! Anything good to eat nesting in that pile of whiskers?

  8. Bob Stanton

    Well, those Gillette Thins are keen and all, but the real selling point for me would be the handy compartment on the package for used blades. Usually, I just throw ’em on the floor.

    • I worked in an old house that had a fancy engraved plate with a slot in it on the bathroom wall. It said, “Used Blades Here.” When we tore out the wall we found hundreds and hundreds of blades, all piled up in the space between two studs. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

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