Whew! That was a close shave!

This post originally appeared January 26, 2018, on the Chile Today Hot Tamale! website. (www.chiletodayhottamale.net)

This whole megillah started because I wanted a replacement puck of Old Spice shaving soap.

I’ve used shaving soap and a mug since I started shaving back in the 1960s. My father was a shaving cream guy, but he did have a mug of Old Spice shaving soap (in an Old Spice shaving mug, of course), and a brush from prior to World War II. And that is what I used until, asserting my independence, I bought my own Old Spice shaving mug and brush.

But there is a problem.

A few decades ago it slowly dawned on me that it was getting more and more difficult to find replacement pucks of Old Spice shaving soap for the mugs. I attributed that to the fact that I lived in a small town with limited shopping options, despite the fact that I couldn’t find it on my excursions to the big cities I visited from time to time. The stores had shaving soap, just not the Old Spice brand. So, I made do with either Williams or van der Hagen shaving soap, always vowing to stock up on Old Spice brand whenever I ran across it again.

Which was never.

Just last night, a thought crossed my mind: I can probably find this soap on Amazon. You can find anything on Amazon, right? So I checked, and sure enough, I can buy Old Spice mugs and soap there.

But for a price.

First, you can’t buy the soap alone. You have to buy both mug and soap. The lowest price I saw for this combo was $40, which is pretty steep. But the worst part had to do with the aroma. The sellers could not guarantee that the soap would have that characteristic Old Spice, clove oil smell. You see, the soap was 30 or so years old. Apparently, I was having trouble finding the soap in stores because the company stopped making it. All Old Spice shaving soap for sale on Amazon and Ebay and other websites is very old product.

Sort of like me.

This is not the first time I’ve been disappointed by companies that no longer produce a product that I really like. I enjoy a good root beer, and one of the memorable root beers from the dark and dismal days of youth was produced by Worley’s Bottling Company, out of Selma, NC. It exists no longer, though you can buy an empty bottle for somewhere between $10 and $20 on the internet.

If I dwell too long on these, and other, items from a period earlier in my life that are no longer available, I get a little down. The temptation to curse the modern world is strong in those of us who are not very happy with change. I have been known to use the line “I just haven’t been all that happy with the world since Queen Victoria died.” Most people take it the way was intended, as a joke. But there is a kernel of truth in that line.

On the other hand, the modern world has brought us things that were unimaginable in the days of my youth. My old iPhone 4, no longer in service, is a better computer than the on-board computer used during the Apollo lunar missions. Who would have believed, back in the 1960s, that we would all be carrying this level of computing power in our pockets? And what of the medical miracles that we see today? Cardiac bypass surgery, perfected in the 1960s, is now passe, replaced with technology such as stents that do not require a chest-cracking incision, or the use of a heart-lung machine. Recovery from these procedures is remarkably swift, compared with the full bypass procedure. It is impossible to watch television for any length of time without viewing advertisements for drugs that promise new, effective treatments for medical problems that have plagued us in the past.

So change can be good. And sometimes, change happens that makes me very happy.

Lavoris mouthwash was the favorite of my family dentist 50 or more years ago. I haven’t seen it in the stores for awhile, and many years ago tried in vain to find it on the internet. I wrote this off as another lost product.

I just ordered four bottles on Amazon. They will be here Monday.