Dear Visitor to Baby Butt Smooth dot com, This Sunday morning I suffered a most terrible shock. About a week or two ago, I became a member of the world famous DE shaving forum, “Badger and Blade.” This is the website which serious DE shavers from all over the world visit in order to discuss important matters relating to DE shaving. Being fairly new to the international DE shaving community, I was somewhat timid about coming out as a member. I didn’t know how I should introduce myself, or what I should say. I certainly craved acceptance, but exactly how was I going to go about earning the respect of my fellow members in the Badger and Blade community? I wasn’t sure… A part of me thought, well maybe if the members of the Badger and Blade community catch a glimpse of this beautifully ambitious website that I’ve painstakingly built up over here all by myself at Baby Butt Smooth dot com, and all the very useful DE shaving information I’ve assembled for all the world to see- for free- well maybe that alone would be enough for me to earn my place as a fully fledged member of the international Badger and Blade DE shaving community.Sweet Mother of Jesus, if only life were that simple and straightforward.
This morning I timidly posted the following “thread.” For those of you who are not yet members of an internet forum, a “thread” is just a message you post on a forum about some topic of concern to the community, which other members of the community can then respond to and discuss. Here is what I posted this morning on the Badger and Blade website, line by line and word for word:
Dear Fellow DE Shavers,
I am fairly new to DE shaving but once I learned about it I got on board big time. I hope that you will welcome me into the Badger & Blade community, I am very happy to be here. With all due respect, I would like to share a certain viewpoint that some may strongly disagree with, but here goes: I think that fancy shaving bowls and skuttles are not only totally dispensable but should in fact be avoided at all costs. I elaborate on this here, http://babybuttsmooth.com/de-shaving-bowls-and-skuttles-just-say-no/ but the basic idea is this: a simple, wide mouthed coffee mug will retain heat better than a fancy chrome or frosted glass shaving bowl, and will cost much, much less. As for the skuttles, they are, in my opinion, just way over the top, and they should be avoided on principle alone; if/when you buy yourself, and use, a fancy, expensive, ancient looking shaving skuttle, then your wife, girlfriend, female companion, male lover, partner- will be able to go on wasting money on clothing and shoes and there won’t be a thing you’ll be able to say to stop them. Please take a look at the image below. Then tell me what, if anything, is missing. What does this inexpensive jumbo mug, perfectly suited for use as a shaving bowl, lack, which some expensive metal or glass bowl has to offer? I like to think of myself as an open minded person, in fact I really do make an effort to actually be open minded- but I cannot, for the life of me, understand the point of all the overblown shaving bowls and skuttles. For me it feels like the one part of DE shaving which simply doesn’t belong, but I would be interested in hearing your viewpoints on the matter. I’ve sure been wrong about many things before so maybe right now when it comes to these deluxe shaving bowls I’m simply missing something.
Baby Butt Smooth dot com
Yes, that’s the innocent message I posted this morning, word for word. I then raced out of the house and headed over to a museum here in London, hoping to impress a certain German woman with my culture and sophistication. But actually I had spent so long crafting my very first post on the Badger and Blade website that in fact, I had to sacrifice a shower and a shave in order to get to the museum on time. So there’s the picture for you- the plan was to shower, get an amazing baby butt smooth shave, dress nicely, wear polished shoes, and discuss the Van Dyck, Rubens, Velazquez, and Rembrandt paintings… but instead I’m showing up with sweat dripping down my shirt and 3 days worth of beard growth, unwashed hair, completely strung out from running, basically looking and smelling like a no good junky from the streets. But that’s how much my very first Badger and Blade post meant to me; I wanted it to be absolutely proper and correct, because as they say in that American deodorant commercial, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well as it turns out, the German woman I was supposed to meet at the museum was over 45 minutes late. We were supposed to do a special museum tour at 2:30, but by the time she showed up the tour was almost over. Plus she still needed to drink coffee before she could look at the paintings.
On the other hand she did look very clean and pretty, unlike me. I have always had the greatest respect for German precision and organization, one of the reasons I love my Merkur 34C so much. There is a certain German expression, “ordnung muss sein,” and that’s exactly how I try to live my whole entire life. Unfortunately my German museum companion seems never to have heard a thing about this “ordnung muss sein” concept. It could have been worse- she did send me multiple SMS messages on my phone on her way over to the museum. In one of those messages she indicated that she was running late- she sent this when it was already half an hour past our arranged meeting time. After some more time had passed, she then sent another message indicating that she could not find the museum. That’s when I said, “first of all this woman can’t possibly be German, and second of all, is my Badger and Blade thread online yet, and getting any responses from fellow members of the Badger and Blade community?”
On my smartphone I visited the Badger and Blade website. Sure enough my post had been published. Rock and Roll! My heart was racing. Would people accept me? Embrace me as a new, hyper motivated member, a guy that was so gung-ho about DE shaving that he took it upon himself to build an entire website about the topic? I re-read my post and felt proud. Then I scrolled down and realized that there were already some responses- unbelievable! People were already providing feedback! I was now a fully fledged member of the community. I scrolled down further- and that’s when my heart began to sink.
Dear Readers, you have no idea the kind of vicious and hideous things people were writing about me. I was repeatedly accused of being a “troll.” The truth is I had no idea what a “troll” was. I sent an email to my good friend, Oliver, a fellow DE shaving enthusiast, someone relatively new to the world of DE shaving, just like me, and I came right out and asked him: “what the hell is a troll?” I’ll tell you what- if someone- in fact if a whole gang of people- suddenly start accusing you of being a troll- well, even if you don’t know what the hell a troll is, it’s still bound to cause hurt feelings. Why? Because the way they were using this strange word, “troll,” was just dripping with venom. I thought of the old American proverb, “even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over and being kicked.” I’m an idiot and I had no idea what a troll was, but let’s put it this way, I knew these individuals weren’t being friendly. They were hating on me.
It was exactly that- senseless and insane, shocking, unbridled hatred. Who knows where darkness like this even comes from, maybe deeply repressed conflict and anger. This is what Wikipedia says about trolls:
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion… mass media uses troll to describe a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.
Now look, you yourself read what I posted, it’s up above there- it was a wholesome, innocent message about shaving bowls. There was nothing “inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic” about it. I most certainly didn’t write it “with the aim of causing grief to families.” I wrote it because I really care, but I mean I really genuinely care. And with regard to the issue of over-priced, under-performing shaving bowls, I’m not the only one who cares! Here’s what a fellow DE shaver wrote to me personally:
I enjoyed the website content so far. I especially appreciated the comments re shaving bowls, having bought a chromed metal bowl by Muehle and suspected that the Villeroy & Boch cereal bowl that I was using previously did a better job!
Dearest Reader, if you like you can dismiss everything that I have to say, but the man who wrote me that comment above happens to be the partner of a very respected law firm here in London. This is a guy who is truly and genuinely civilized and sophisticated- I’m just the guy who’s trying to pass as an unusually cultured American man to impress some German broad at a museum. I never told him this, this law firm partner, but for me, his Villeroy & Boch bowl would have itself represented an extreme extravagance. I began mixing my lather in one of my dog’s spare water dishes- yes, it was manufactured for a small dog, but it is after all made of stainless steel.
Later on I upgraded to a big thick coffee mug which I scored for just one pound in a ghetto chain store called PoundLand. Everything in PoundLand costs just one pound and you should know that they also sell food in there. I have treated myself to many, many boxes of fresh Oreo cookies from PoundLand. Anyway that’s not it, I present to you now a second message from another fellow I know:
I invested in a stainless steel shaving bowl- massive mistake!! It retains zero heat. I guess I should have thought of this before I ordered it, but hey what can you do? I think I’ll be better off just using a mug for now.
This comment above was sent to me by another successful professional man that I know here in London. Highly refined, totally sophisticated, extremely cultured, speaks English in the most beautiful way- he is so kind and such a gentleman that in spite of the fact that he’s 100% heterosexual, women nevertheless know that they can trust him completely and they simply cherish his friendship. That’s two high caliber men right there who came out against fancy shaving bowls and scuttles, just like I had done when I posted my thread this morning on the Badger and Blade website. So even if you want to dismiss my own views based upon my lowly and questionable socio-economic background, that doesn’t mean you can do the same for those two true English gentleman that I’ve quoted up above.
When I read the vicious comments directed at me regarding my Badger and Blade post, I was simply astonished. I was sitting on a bench outside the museum waiting for the disorganized German woman to finally arrive, and a group of Italian tourists sat down next to me on the same bench. They were smoking cigarettes and I wanted to ask them for one, and suck that thing right down, even though I’m not a smoker- that’s how upset I was about this whole despicable affair on the Badger and Blade website.
I want to be perfectly honest about a couple of things that I have learned from this episode.
First of all, I’ve learned that I’ve been misspelling the word “scuttle.” It’s spelled with a “C” and not with a “K,” so that’s one thing I learned. It’s not “skuttle,” it’s “scuttle.”
Second of all, I learned that Badger and Blade should be renamed “Sissies and Stiffs.” That’s right, Sissies and Stiffs. I’m not going to do it, but somebody out there ought to purchase the domain name, Sissies and Stiffs dot com, and forward all the traffic to Badger and Blade, because at Badger and Blade, there’s a whole lot of Sissies and Stiffs running around.
Third of all, I want to say that although my entire post was soon completely deleted by the forum fascists at Badger and Blade, I did see before it was deleted that there was one man who responded to my post with a very constructive and friendly message, which unfortunately is no longer visible to anybody, not even to me. He actually welcomed me to the Badger and Blade community, pointed out to his fellow members that I had put together a lot of useful information on my Baby Butt Smooth dot com website, that I had written positive things about the Badger and Blade forum, pointed out that I was not selling anything- I mean Jesus Christ if I were trying to sell something, why would I publish a post that essentially says “DO NOT BUY EXPENSIVE SHAVING BOWLS, JUST USE A CHEAP MUG INSTEAD”? Does that sound like someone trying to sell something?
Anyway this one man wrote a truly kind message, and even though I don’t any longer have access to it, I will never in my life forget the general spirit of it- it was kind, friendly, welcoming, thoughtful and informative. The guy had obviously taken a considerable amount of time to write this message- it was much longer and infinitely more articulate than all the vicious and irrational, hideous messages that preceded it. It meant so much to me, his kind and thoughtful and welcoming message, because all along all I really wanted was to be accepted, to be accepted as a respectable member of and participant in the international Badger and Blade DE shaving community.
This one guy, and this one guy alone, was saying, “hey everybody, take it easy, give this guy a chance.” But he was the only one. Everybody else was out for blood, God only knows why, just some angry, uptight and repressed people. I’m not over here building up this Baby Butt Smooth dot com website because I’m trying to hurt anybody, am I?
Anyway- the third lesson here is, even when you encounter a whole gaggle of sissies and stiffs, which my experience this morning tells me there’s lots of over at Badger and Blade- even if a place is just swarming with sissies and stiffs, there’s still bound to be some super cool, friendly, easygoing people. People that’ll give you a chance, people that aren’t out for blood, people that aren’t trying to bitch you out and cut you down like the arrogant self-satisfied mean-spirited close-minded discontented monsters in Paris France, the worldwide energy center for this type of hostile, negative approach to life. At Badger and Blade there is at least one super cool guy, and I know this for a fact because he tried to welcome me into the DE shaving community- but his voice of kindness and reason was drowned out by the petty little creeps. That’s life, but the truth is I expected so much more from my fellow DE shavers, especially after my labor of love, the Baby Butt Smooth dot com website. Instead these jerks succeeded in making me feel like a persona non grata. Good job Badger and Blade, vicious behavior for a Sunday.