Updated: Mar 9
By David Sherman
She stares at me every day, sometimes several times a day. So beguiling, lying on her belly, giving me a shot of her inspiring cleavage, her come-hither smile.
“Wouldn’t you like some?”
Is this the New York Times?
Wrapped in her hand is a razor or a plastic phallus, depending on your mindset. Can you feel the heat? And the rest of the ad that appears constantly in my Times news feed yells, “Manscaping. It’s good for your balls,” accompanied by two soccer balls separated by what appears to be a trophy. As in award-winning balls? Or maybe the balls make what’s between them a trophy.
It’s a welcome reprieve from reading about crazed Republicans but a bit subliminal for me.
The same message was imbedded under the ice the last time I saw the Ottawa Senators play at home on TV. To the right of the net. MANSCAPE. All caps.
It’s the new thing. The provocative woman in the Times won’t be landscaping my manscape any time soon and probably not yours, but the invitation is there. It’s called getting mancipated. Really. I’m not even sure who’s manscape she wants to landscape with the smile and the cleavage and that razor she’s playing with.
Personally, I’m sure it’s a conspiracy of razor manufacturers. They’re getting hammered by men sick of shaving. Their razors and before-shaves and after-shaves and unguents and softeners sit dusty and unloved as men chew on their expanding whiskers and whatever left-overs from lunch are entwined therein. And discover that their itchy nose is not an allergic reaction, just a moustache hair or ten growing into their nasal cavity like Jack’s bean stalk.
Razor companies had to fight back. Create new markets. So, they’re telling us gentlemen we should be running a razor over the hairs we yearned to grow those years before puberty. The short and curlies you were proud to exhibit in the boys’ shower after gym or practice. Yes, you were not only a fountain pen but a real man. Almost. Or getting there. It was hoped.
Now, by decree of some marketing whiz, those prized short hairs have become, well, in need of sculpting. Maybe, with a little sleight of hand, you can carve your initials into your … soccer balls. Sounds fun. Or buzz cut the whole works.
Go back to the days of our youth when we were miserably smooth and had yet to know what great pleasures and addictions this little appendage had in store for us. Well, not that little.
The hairs you counted with pride when you were 12 are now passé. Just take the razor, maybe stand in the shower, and turn on the little buzzing hand tool (sorry) the woman in the ad brandishes, and shave. And try not to scream too loud when those delicate threads of life get wrapped around a blade.
Not really revolutionary when you read women are getting their butts bleached. Think I read about that in the Post. Men probably are, too, and it’s not for their proctologist’s pleasure. So, if some are getting their anuses Ajaxed, why not get our mangoes mowed? Are we not men?
And if the New York Times, which prints all the news that is fit to print, runs this ad rabidly, how can we not succumb? Might get a little chilly down there below the belt, but think of how the woman or women, man or men in your life might react. Surprise them. Watch them faint. Or just stare. Shocked?
“Should I rush you to the ER?”
Or, maybe, “Yum yum.” Maybe.
You can then extrapolate the benefits of having your no-so-privates as clean and shiny as a stunted mango – yes, I know, some have mangoes made of brass that are anything but stunted – while explaining the clogged bathtub drain. There are disadvantages. No longer will your lover’s oral passion include dental flossing. And, you will have to assure your partner that the nicks, abrasions, scabs and Band-Aids won’t hurt and probably aren’t infectious. Promise.
But, no longer will your zipper snag a wee one and have you howling.
Can’t you see him or her just light up with desire? Or maybe pack a bag?
“Call me when it grows back. You make me feel like a paedophile.”
Do we really want our partners smooth and hairless as children? Is this pathological or just mercantile?
This is just the beginning. They got us shaving out heads. They’ll be after men soon to shear our armpits, our legs, our chests and, eventually, braid our ear hair with a new electric ear-hair braider, undoubtedly to be proffered by a model in a bikini with an extruded, erotic tongue she wants you to believe is destined to mine your eustachian tubes. Everyone has to make a living.
In capitalism’s end game, they got us all by the short and curlies. And from whence they sprout.