(This is in response to a writing challenge from the Writing Essential Group to ‘Write a set of step-by-step instructions detailing how to do something (prose or poetry). It is also a reminder that I need to shave.)
After getting dressed in a pair of shorts for the first time after winter, go outside in good lighting and determine what grade of razor you require to level the growth attained:
a. Just peachy fuzz – Single-edge ladies razor (available only in pink)
b. Low nap carpeting – Double-edge safety razor
c. Impending jungle – Norelco ‘Weed Wacker’ Shaver*
d. Sasquatch-esque – Save your blade, use a DOW-approved chemical depilatory cream. Have burn unit on speed dial.
March back into home, select hair-assault tool of choice and grab the manly shaving cream you use because, dammit, why do they charge women more for half as much product?
Strip down to a layer of clothing comfortable with doing gymnastics in a porcelain tub. Keep in mind that if you have a terrible accident, your bra and panties should match, because that’s important when the ambulance comes to pick you up.
Determine, in advance, the line you won’t cross and, using a permanent marker, draw the stopping point of the razor. If you have committed to full limb nude-ification, then clear your calendar and set your razor for stun.
Before you proceed, ask yourself this question: “Do I really want to do this? Am I willing to do this every week this summer and suffer the burning, itching annoyance as the tiny army of hairs returns?” If the answer is “No”, put down the mini scythe and walk away. Be hairy, be proud.
Turn on shower to a medium warm setting and get your extremities moist. NEVER dry shave.** Take my word for it.
Once your legs have been zoned for construction and pre-moistened for your convenience, squirt an excessive amount of shaving cream into your palm. (It is impossible to squirt just the right amount and squirting too little is annoying and leads to dry spots on the back of your ankle. (See: Step 6 above.) Slather cream up and down in thick blankets. Then you get to pretend your razor is a mountain skier in the Alps. Feel free to yodel.
Contorting yourself in painful mimicry of a blade-wielding Cirque Du Soleil performer, extend your implement as far as it will reach and commence hacking. Immediately nip a section of flesh just over your ankle bone right where the strap of your sandal will rub it as you walk. Swear in several languages and watch pink, foamy swirls circle the drain. Proceed with greater caution but, as you move ever upward, forget that you have to run the blade sideways when you hit the knee cap—for god-only-knows-what reason—and chop a successive slice across each furrow of skin. Bleed profusely. Swear even more so.
After you manage to finish one leg (meh, good enough) tackle second leg. Never, ever allow a phone call, a whiny child, or a house fire prevent you from finishing—no one likes a lopsided fashion statement. Shaving the same leg twice doesn’t count either.
Now that your razor is nice and dull from hacking through the forbidding forests, you are faced with the unenviable prospect of shaving your pits. May god have mercy on your soul.
Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:
*Watch out for blowback.
**Dry shaving is on the list of acceptable torture methods used by the CIA—right alongside waterboarding and cranking up death metal music beyond ear-bleeding levels.