my summertimes when i was an art student were spent working for the terminal building catering franchise at an international airport near me. grandiosely, i told folks i was in storage and distribution, but in reality i worked in the stores, unloading food and drink from a never-ending series of delivery trucks and subsequently distributing it to the various catering outlets dotted around the terminal building and departure lounges. hardly an executive position, but for one who was the embodiment of designer scruff, it was likely the best place to be.
situated on the floor above the stores were the kitchens supplying the airport restaurant, a substantially sized facility leading onto a bar that wasn't that much smaller. sadly, the same dimensions were not applicable to the drinks and keg storage area, but you can't have everything.
the chefs employed in the kitchens were numerous, arranged in order of seniority, one that i'm not sure i ever quite grasped, though it was obviously a descending hierarchy from head chef via the assistant head chef all the way to the commis chef. there was a pastry chef too, but i never quite figured out where they fitted into the grand scheme of things, for the girl that fitted that position was still the pastry chef when i became no longer a student several years later. hardly a rapid rise through the ranks.
one of the assistant chefs, on my return to the fold prior to my second year at college, was soon to become a father, and over the course of the last few weeks before the happy event he decided he would refrain from shaving until his firstborn cried its first cry. in a show of solidarity, not only did the remaining clean-shaven kitchen staff (with the exception of the opposite sex, of course) decide to do likewise, but the three of us working in the stores thought it a bit of a wizard wheeze to join in.
up to this particular point, i had been careful to shave each and every day, a regime that had continued even when impersonating a bedraggled art student for the rest of the year. however, much like sneaking that first cigarette on a bench on the beach promenade, or having an alcoholic beverage for the first time at the newsagent manageress's wedding reception, there is a time in every easily led chap's life when growing a beard seems like a great idea.
those of you who have attempted a similar group effort to grow whiskers will likely also be aware that not every chap's facial growth is the same. bluntly put, some look like captain birdseye inside a matter of days, while the rest of us look merely as if we spent the night on a mate's couch after a heavy night. (not that such a thing ever truly happened, you understand). i, however, thought that my beard growing was progressing at an impressive rate, wondering just how long it would be before i looked like phil collins post lamb lies down on broadway.
however, to paraphrase robert burns, it is often something of an eye-opener "would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us". an inopportune sighting of my reflection in the window of the local bakery on the way home from work one day could easily be classified under the heading frightening experience. as an art student, i felt it incumbent upon me to keep my hair long and scraggly; this was augmented by a pair of prescription spectacles fitted with reactolite lenses. even on a relatively overcast day, these had a tendency to turn dark, a lot darker than their wearer truly realised.
thus this unexpected vision portrayed a bloke with several days' facial growth, longer than shoulder-length hair and dark glasses. without wishing to dwell upon this for a moment longer than necessary, my first act on entering the house was to grab my electric razor and remove all evidence of hirsute behaviour once and for all. since that day, i have never again attempted to grow a beard or moustache, and even shave early on sunday mornings prior to heading out for the sunday ride.
leaving out those for whom facial hair is a religious imposition or freedom of choice, every other chap in the world over a certain age has a daily shave. some do so by means of an electric shaver or via one of those multi-blade razors and either an aerosol of foam or, as in my case, a tin of shaving cream. whichever is your chosen option, there is an entire industry setup to attend to your every whim, whether it be for a particular product or fragrance. there is no badge to be worn upon one's sleeve; 'tis of similar ilk to brushing one's teeth.
however, cyclists are, if you are not already aware, something of a different breed. we either shave our faces or we don't, but an additional choice has to be made over whether we shave our legs. it makes no real difference as to how you justify doing so or otherwise, but the choice has to be made. mountain bikers seem largely content with hairy legs 'neath baggy shorts, but there is undoubtedly unseen but nonetheless tangible pressure on the roadie to pedal feverishly fast with smooth, hairless legs if only to inculcate an all over smoothness of form.
it would be unseemly for the honed athlete to do otherwise.
in much the same manner that you would scarcely be seen aboard a liveried pinarello dogma wearing mountain bike shorts, you would not, under any circumstances shave those legs using bog standard as advertised on tv shaving foam. the athlete is considerably more discerning in such matters, and such discernment will undoubtedly bring the discerner to dz nuts bald, a super smooth shaving cream.
even a surreptitious glance at the instructions on the impossibly white tube will leave you under no misapprehension that bald is aimed specifically at your legs. with an eloquent metallic appearance, the cream need only be squeezed directly onto those rippling leg muscles or into the palm of the hand. either way, the cream is slathered evenly over one leg at a time before shaving commences; i could almost feel the distinct lack of aerodynamic drag as i sped coffeewards down uiskentuie strand. 'notice chiseled definition and look like a champion' as promised by the packaging.
do not succumb to the influences of any tv advertising for shaving foam that does not have your best acceleration at heart. it may seem crazy, but as the brainchild of dave zabriskie, why would you expect otherwise? as the man himself is quoted as saying on the tube "shave it high and tight".
dz nuts 'bald' smooth shaving cream arrives in a 200ml tube at a cost of $15/£11.50
saturday 31st august 2013