Cutting out expensive razor blades, plus a beautiful Barber of Seville

by Rob Tiller

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There are certain hygiene-related matters that are, if not taboo, at least highly sensitive to discuss in polite society. I’m referring, of course, to the price of razor blades. As a young man, I was given an electric shaver, and quickly discovered I disliked the buzzy noise it made. So without more ado I switched to the Gillette safety razor. The state-of-the-art Gillette product at that time had two steel blades instead of the traditional one, and worked perfectly well. The same was true when the state of the art became three blades. And four. And five!

But one thing became much worse: the price. Each price increase seemed minor in the great scheme of things, and I rationalized the expenditure with the thought that a good shave was important, and a small increase in price was not important. But in recent months I’ve found myself paying more than $3 per blade. That’s crazy! Somewhere along the way these products got so expensive that drugstores had to put them in special anti-theft shelves. How did they get so ridiculously costly? Dear reader, I say this with shame: because we were not being smart consumers and good stewards of our household resources. We let them take advantage.

Anyhow, this week I discovered a much less expensive alternative to the Gillette product and ordered some on line. Dorco razors have a terrible name, but appear equal to or better than Gillette in terms of form and function. The model I used, the Pace 6, has a slightly heavier handle than the Gillette Fusion, a slightly springier mechanism, and six rather than five blades. It shaves well. The cost is about $1 per blade. What’s not to like?!
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Speaking of great shaves, I want to give a quick shout out of appreciation to the Metropolitan Opera for its new production of The Barber of Seville, which we saw live in HD on Saturday afternoon at North Hills. This may be the most famous opera music of all time, owing partly to the hilarious Bugs Bunny send up, The Rabbit of Seville. But it turns out that Rossini’s 1816 work still has a lot of life in it. The Met’s presentation was bright, touching, and funny, and the singing was wonderful.

Isabel Leonard was a marvelous Roselina. How often do humans get to be great bel canto singers, great comic actors, and beautiful all at once? Lucky Isabel, and lucky us. Christopher Maltman was likewise a wonderful Figaro (the barber) – musical, intelligent, funny, and handsome. Maurizio Muraro was a great grumpy Bartalo, and Lawrence Brownlee was an ardent Count Almaviva with good high notes and amazing vocal agility. Sets and costumes were absolutely wonderful. This was a great Barber!