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9:38am on Thursday, 22nd March, 2012:



I'm going to Guildford later today to give a talk, so I thought I'd have a wet shave this morning in order to trick the good people of Surrey into thinking I'm less scruffy than I actually am. I don't have wet shaves all that often (maybe once a month at most) so for ages I relied on a shaving gel my dad gave me as a Christmas present, probably last century. After it finally ran out, I bought this replacement stuff that does the job but leaves me smelling like I'm trying to disguise a heavy smoking habit.

However, I was surprised to spot in the bathroom cabinet a can of shaving gel I hadn't used before. I don't know whether I bought it or it was given to me or if my wife picked it up as a free sample at the train station or what, but hey, I thought I'd give it a go.

I squirted a blob onto my hand: it was blue, quite dense, about an inch in diameter and half an inch high. OK, that looked about right, so I slapped it on.

Augh! It expanded on contact with water! That reasonably-sized blob foamed up to several orders of magnitude more than its original volume. I was left looking like Father Christmas with a blue beard. I couldn't see my chin, it was buried deep beneath a mountain of bubbles. I could only move the razor a couple of inches before I had to clean the mess off it.

I think maybe I'll give that shaving gel a miss next time, unless I want to do some cavity wall insulation on the house.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).