Sun, 13 Mar 2005

Mach3 Power Scam

I have been using Schick Tracer FX razor for years. It's a great razor; the best feature is that its two blades flex, giving a close shave for people without two-dimensional faces. It's increasingly difficult to find Tracer FX blades, though. Apparently, Schick has eliminated the product, and replaced it with the Xtreme 3 (3 blades) and the Quatro (4 blades), which reminds me of this:

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted Stroehmann: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.
Ted Stroehmann: Right. Yes. OK, alright. I see where you're going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin' there, there's 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted Stroehmann: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted Stroehmann: You guarantee it? That's -- how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you're not happy with the first 7 minutes, we're gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That's it. That's our motto. That's where we're comin' from. That's from "A" to "B".
Ted Stroehmann: That's right. That's -- that's good. That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you're in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody's comin' up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won't even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.
Ted Stroehmann: That -- good point.
Hitchhiker: 7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 doors. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.
Ted Stroehmann: Why?
Hitchhiker: 'Cause you're fuckin' fired!

Update (09/15/05): The above is even more apropos with the announcment of Gillette's Super-Mega-Turbo-Mach-Power, 5-blade, facial-hair-obliterating gizmo. (via Seth)

Anyway, fretting the day when my supply of Tracer FX blades runs out, I have been on the lookout for a replacement razor. Enticed by a four-dollar Costco coupon, I bought a Mach3 Power. I knew the razor-cum-vibrator was a marketting gimmick and a way for Gillette to sell more Duracell batteries now that many battery-powered devices come with Lithium-Ion or other rechargable batteries. But, just what if all of those Ph.D.'s slaving away for years in Gillette's labs really did make a huge breakthrough in shaving technology. Did I really want to miss out on the revolution? (It was televised, but my Tivo sheltered me from the 30-second clips.)

In short, the Mach3 Power is nothing special. Because it's vibrating, it sounds similar to barbers' clippers. This doesn't make for a better shave, though. I'm also not very fond of the swiveling cartridge; I feel like I don't have enough control of it.

I'll be on the lookout for old stock of Tracer FX blades before they become a relic of history.

Update: I guess it's "Mach3" rather than "Mach 3". I've made the appropriate copy changes.

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat