New products tempt Barbasol Revolution

May 16, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND

Needless to say, I was thrilled that a horse named Barbasol won the Kentucky Derby - even if they misspelled his name on the card.

I suppose it's not so amazing to think that the horse racing industry caught on to my Barbasol Revolution as soon as it did. I am pretty influential, after all. Just this week, I was sitting on the pavement outside The Plum after not shaving for a couple of days, and I talked a nice lady out of giving me a fin.

I suppose she thought I needed a Barbasol refill. Speaking of which, sort of, it was nice to see that they have set up the canopied stage in University Park for the summer music program. Or it would have been, except that some chap failed in considering it as an instrument of entertainment but succeeded in considering it as an instrument of housing.


When they said Hagerstown had a band of homeless people, I assumed ...

Since you asked, yes, I do believe that "The Barbasols" would be a good name for a band. Although it might sound more like a trapeze act. "Get your tickets now to see The Flying Barbasols."

But to those out there who have taken up the banner of the Barbasol Revolution, I need to warn you that the evil forces lurk. It hadn't been three days after my public, sworn allegiance to consumer products Barbasol shaving cream and Pepsodent toothpaste that I received a package from the wisegals at the office of Dr. Paul McAllister, my dentist.

It contained a tube of "Crest Vivid White" toothpaste and a tall, superdeluxe can of Edge gel shaving cream.

Foul temptresses.

Let's get a couple of things straight right now. I do not, I repeat do not, use toothpaste that comes out of a tube that stands up on its own. I do not use toothpaste that comes out of the tube, not in the familiar, smooth cylinder, but from some fancy star-shaped nozzle like some glorified cake-decorating apparatus. And third, I do not use toothpaste that has a W and a V in its name. Got it?

Although I was tempted.

These modern products promise to whiten up the old chompers after just six weeks of use. Which got my thinking. I mean a brushing is a brushing, right? If you brush twice a day for six weeks, how is that any different from just brushing 84 times in one sitting?

So I called into work and said I wouldn't be in because I was brushing my teeth, and got busy. You don't think much about brushing your teeth, but it's not all that easy, as full-time occupations go. I think if that were by job I'd be applying to a transfer to another department - like shampooing - because your arm gets tired after the first dozen or so brushes.

Besides, I was getting kind of mesmerized by the can of Edge, which was done up in kind of a tubular hologram, like the logo on a credit card which, frankly, made Barbarsol's stylized barber pole look a little thin when the two cans were both sitting on the shelf. Since I was already bored with the sport of endurance brushing, I decided on a side-by-side shaving test.

And that's when the dog named Jake Biscuit caught the squirrel.

Well, caught is likely the wrong word. More like the squirrel walked into his mouth. Jake is 8 years old and slowing down a bit, so I reckoned I could let him out on his own. But it was poor judgment.

Jake's hunting style has gone from stalk-and-attack to just kind of lying half asleep in the grass with his mouth hanging open. As I understand nature, it's the same hunting strategy employed by the crocodile. If something gets close, you snap.

As fate would have it, a juvenile squirrel got close. It still might have been OK, except the young rodent picked the wrong time to have a lady-in-a-dress-shop moment. Right, left, backward, forward - he just couldn't decide.

I got there too late and so did Momma Squirrel, who made one chattering, ill-advised charge at the dog. Jake gave her one baleful look over his shoulder, and she just stopped and walked away, like "Oh well, I've got 20 more where that one came from."

If an anecdote about the Death of a Squirrelsman seems out of place here, it is only to cover up what should logically have gone in that space - the results of my side-by-side product comparisons. I refuse to give these various Consumer Guides in High Heels and/or Smocks the satisfaction of knowing for certain that they were right.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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