My electric razor up and died the other day. 

It was very sudden. 

I was getting ready for work one morning and the razor was doing its job and making quick work of trimming the black (and sometimes red and more-than-usual lately white)whiskers that sprout on my face and chin overnight. 

And then, nothing. It was alive one minute and gone the next. 

I checked the power attachment. It was still firmly in place. I checked the wall socket plug in. In place, there, too. 

I even sprinted outside to the utility room and tried turning the breaker off and then on again. 

Nothing worked. In the medical treatment of razors. That was the last resort. 

I put it back in its case and closed it up. I keep it there on the sink as a memorial.

I say it is my razor, but that’s not exactly so. It is a hand-me-down razor. 

I know that sounds weird and maybe it is, but that’s what we do in the south. From one generation to the next, we hand down names, we hand down land, we hand down the dining room table and the ultimate status symbol, a coffee table. 

Oh, the coffee table. I own one. It was my Grandma Deal’s. The coffee table entertained my first cousins and I for a thousand hours when we were growing up as it was contestants row on our version of The Price Is Right. As the oldest male cousin, I was always Bob Barker and got to say “Come on down!”. And, even though my cousin, Brittany Ambrose, always bid over $1 million dollars on the show case showdown, I always awarded her the brand new car, the trip to Italy and the gas grill. I’ve never been too good at math, but I am pretty certain she overbid every time. 

No, never have been too good with the numbers, but I got out my calculator and figured up the age of my razor. It is 34 years old, going on 35, if it hasn’t had its birthday yet. It had been my Granddaddy Rollie Deal’s razor. It was a Norelco® and was brand new at Christmas of 1984 when he unwrapped it. The tag in the case still has a readable 1984 manufacture date. Granddaddy used it until he graduated to glory in 1986.

My daddy ended up with it and used for the next 20 years, until about 2004, I would reckon. My brother often said my parents would never suffer from empty nest syndrome, because I was never leaving. He was right. I wouldn’t leave home, so my parents up and moved back to the place where my Dad grew up. I inherited the razor along then, as Daddy had gotten an upgrade. 

I had used the razor faithfully since then. It was great to not have to get up and shave every single day. With black hair, it is not easy at all to cover up the five o clock shadow. In fact, it’s plumb nearly impossible. 

I had loved the razor for its convenience, its easy use and its sentimental value. 

And, now, just like that, its gone. 

I am allergic to change. I don’t like it. I break out in hives and cold sweats and get all anxious and out of sorts when change hits. 

After a few mornings of waking up earlier than usual to lather up and take an old fashioned razor to mangle my face, I’d finally had enough. 

We’ve put a man on the moon. We’ve created Doritos® and Zax sauce and chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough ice cream — all marvelous inventions.

We’ve created electric razors and by golly I would just go out and buy a new one. 

So, I did. 

I selected another Norelco®. 

With the track record of the last one, the way I figure it, I will be a very old man when I have to change it again. 

Take it from me, one instance of change every thirty-five years was a really close shave.

And that’s what electric razors are for. 

• Jason Deal is a staff writer for The Blackshear Times. Reach him at

Jason Deal can be reached at or (912) 449-6693.