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Shaving with Saddam and the Amish - Rob Felt

During the intensely repetitious coverage of Saddam Hussein's capture this week it's hard to estimate how many stories we didn't hear about Whenever major news breaks the media is forced to concentrate its collective efforts in one specific direction. The effect of this acute focus is the risk of missing other news. What did they fail to note this week?

My electric shaver of six years stopped dead silent and the man in the mirror just stared at me, dumbfounded, with a face full of stubble.

At first this may not seem important to you, but imagine my panic when faced with an unsightly layer of sharp fuzz. Oh, yes – sharp and fuzzy. What madness is that?

Next consider the reaction of those I would encounter during a day in which I let this unholy force go unchecked. Not on my watch! Luckily I had on hand the tiny torture device known as a (insert brand and fancy model name here) razor. It has three blades: I couldn't miss.

In addition to the insidious weapon I also had a can of shaving cream in reserve. I must have purchased these on a whim a while back, only to relegate them as medicine cabinet decorations after a trial run. Shaving cream is the good part. I'm sure there's a recipe somewhere out there that uses lemon-lime shaving cream because it smells good enough to eat, so why not?

I had places to go, so it was time to get this self-mutilation under way before I started looking like the recently snared Saddam himself. Steamy hot water, splash, creamy fluff lather coating, wait a minute, wait a minute – Somehow I knew how to do this, although I'm sure I can count the number of times I have on two hands. I guess it's a guy thing.

Now for the sticky part. I placed the blade at the top of one cheek and slowly guided it halfway down, then rinsed the blade and checked my progress. Not bad. Repeating the process until the sides of my face were satisfactory I examined the area under my nose in the fogged mirror.

What happened next I only vaguely recall, because anger and depression have clouded my memory. Some defunct gene in the instinct division of my DNA (right next to the one that tells me to use electric shavers) dictated that I should use an upward-diagonal motion to shave my would-be mustache. Wrong!

One errant stroke and my face was bleeding. I had caused my own face to bleed. It's 2003 – this should never happen. A lawyer is looking into this for me, but there may be grounds for legislation outlawing this barbaric practice.

As for what occurred on my neck and chin I will spare you the grizzled details, but know later that same day I was at Ulta shopping for a brand new buzzing hair remover and feeling giddy with the anticipation of using it. Sadness for the loss of my trusty old friend was disappearing faster than my five o' clock shadow soon would. I wasn't going under the knife again.

The experience has given me some unexpected insight. Now I understand why the electrically challenged Amish grow beards.

Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at rfelt@henryherald.com