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One for the boys February 17, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Or something for the weekend, perhaps I could call this. No, I’m not going to stuff condoms in your pocket or sate your lust with pictures of a scantily-clad Barbara Windsor. But it is barberish. I am going to give you the first in a one-item range of BiB grooming tips just in time to impress that someone special over the weekend.

I am also fortunate to have a someone special both for weekends and every other day of the week. (Actually, why haven’t I got a single gay reader? Aren’t I catering enough for the gay blog-reader? I might have to accuse myself of discrimination and take myself to court and win a huge settlement – either in or out of court will do – from, erm, myself.) I think what unites homos and heteros, in the relationship stakes, is that your significant other demands presents, especially if your latest bout of leaving the house has involved the showing of passports and gravity-defiance in a large, iron bird. I do sometimes stretch out my hands – I too am guilty of this Geschenkslust (as it might easily not be called in German) – in hope when I know the Russian has been no further than Humboldt. My hopes are rarely rewarded, except perhaps by a letter, usually a bill, collected from the box downstairs, for which I then have to dance. (Do folk know this Russian tradition? It’s up there with no-empty-bottles-on-tables and sitting-in-silence-before-you-go-on-a-journey on the guaranteedtoputyouinabadmoodonceinawhile-o-meter.)

The attentive reader will have noticed that I have recently undertaken a journey to the other end of the world. The much-discussed and much-researched Bodyshop-Tierack present-distance-ratio study proves beyond doubt that it is tantamount to treason to return from such a long journey without a substantial, at least in size if not in any sort of value, moral or financial, present. Now as hols go, mine to NZ was a fairly busy one and certainly didn’t contain any shopping windows, and I don’t leisure-shop anyway. Not because I’m against shopping, per se. I’m just always too skint. Or, rather, don’t have money to that much splash around on unnecessaries and when there is spare cash, I’d much rather spend it on practicalities than a dishcloth with New Zealand written on it, say. (Although that dishcloth has come in very handy.) But my last day did see me dashing up and down Queen St. in Auckland, frantically looking for something appropriate according to the aforementioned Bodyshop-Tierack scale. “Hm. I could spend rather a lot of money, which would do very nicely for an electricity bill,” I thought, unromantically, “on that carving in a fairly ugly dark brown wood with bits of mother-of-pearl for eyes. That would be just the inconveniently wrong size to fit between any Billy-sized – yes, sorry – shelf-gaps and then have to sit on the floor somewhere, like the wrong-sized chess set (also in a quite ugly dark brown wood, actually) (but this isn’t part of what I thought in the shop) (keep up!) we have.” But I failed to have my lovely plastic dollars lured away from me and thought I’d risk it and go on a last-minute, whirlwind, airport-based, present-finding mission. “Buggery fuck, only more carvings, only twice as expensive. Buggery flipping fuck. That’d cover my medical insurance as well. Flip. No, I can’t just give him a tube of sweets, even if they are doused in unbelievably healthy NZ manuka honey. That’s too piddling.” I flipped and buggered on, internally, dismissing anything with a fern-leaf or flightless-bird motif. It was beginning to be a bit of a nail-biter. I might have to turn up at home with a couple of bottles of Weissbier and say I’d bought them at an underpublicised yet awfully interesting German colony on a remote part of the Middle Island called… Germany. I went into another shop, grazing my limbs on carved wood as I went. And there it was. A Body-Shop-gift-set-sized gift-set of black – natch – men’s grooming products. The black wasn’t just a gimmick, though, and there wasn’t a fern leaf or haka-performing rugby-player in sight. No, these items were black because they were made out of Rotorua mud. Indeed, the shaving “foam” item is called, simply, Mud, which is nothing if not honest. It and the other two items are all as thick and gloopy as you’d expect muddy wares to be and actually aren’t strictly black. They’re more, say, elephant. Or tanned elephant. And, thankfully, don’t stink of poo, as Rotorua does.

But boys, what a brilliant, accidental, last-minute-panic-present buy they were. Firstly, the Russian was suitably impressed by the packaging and the exotic-looking-ness of the purchased wares for me to have passed the present-test with flying colours. I’d forgotten about them since, only occasionally having a fond reminisce when I see the tanned-elephant soap sitting nicely (and, indeed, wash my hands with it). But the non-foam shaving foam is marvellous. Get ye all to New Zealand immediately to buy shaving mud. I’ve never had a better shave and feel like I’ve drunken a bulgakovian elixir that has made me young and gorgeous once more. (Not that I wasn’t that much it already, you understand.) But boys, honestly, we are being hoodwinked. I know all those Gillette boys have got perfect bodies and ideal bathrooms and are sometimes even David Beckham, but fling out those products immediately and go mud. It’s where the future’s at.

Have a good weekend, sirs.



1. Bren - February 17, 2006

In a recent series of very good posts, that one was brilliant.

Kudos to you, sir.

And, yes, I’m home, alone, and drunk on a Friday night.

2. lukeski - February 17, 2006

But how frequently do you shave, dear boy? Our common Celtic roots mean that after 2-3 days without shaving, even Gillette (I’m not convinced that it is th best a man can get) feels like bliss. I usually go for 7-10 days without feeling the touch of steel, so by then motor oil would pass muster.

3. Wyndham the Triffid - February 18, 2006

A quick dip in the boiling hot waters of Rotorua would open up the pores a bit. I’d imagine one wouldn’t have to shave ever again. But then one wouldn’t be able to use one’s hands ever again.

4. leon - February 20, 2006

I spent an hour or so this weekend assembling a Billy bookcase. I’m pleased to report that in the age-old struggle between Man and Flat-Pack Furniture, Man won (this time). It looks well.

I am currently bearded (in the most fashionable, scrubby sort of way, of course; no neatly trimmed IT-consultant-style facial hair for me) so the idea of a good shave is a remote memory. Rest assured that when it comes off I’ll be using the mud…

5. BerlinBear - February 20, 2006

“Actually, why haven’t I got a single gay reader? Aren’t I catering enough for the gay blog-reader?”

Mate, you want to try calling yourself Berlin Bear and see the kind of hits you get from curious gay gentlemen looking for a bit of big and cuddly.

Sadly for you, that’s been done. :-)

6. daggi - February 23, 2006

Berlinbear: I can imagine… and the name, well I assumed the same as the “curious gay gentlemen” (not that I was looking, mind you).

And the mud: sounds well worth a try. I’m generally too lazy to shave, which means, when it gets done properly, it should be a pleasure…

7. daggi - February 23, 2006

And Leon: I observe that you’re now a “Billy Boy”, as they say in Germany.

8. BiB - February 23, 2006

Lukeski, I shave as rarely as possible, and as I rarely have to look respectable, that is pretty rare, although I do worry about the in-between-y tramp look which I’m currently sporting and which I cringe about whenever I pass one of our respectable neighbours guffawing with joie de vivre on the stairs. I didn’t understand about the Celtic thing. Does that mean we should shave more or less? I envy the (northern) Slavs on this front. They are virtually hairless.

I frantically looked up Billy Boy on the German internet to get a mental image and only came up with pictures of smiling condoms. I can’t imagine, Leon, that you are the type to pull condoms over your head for a laugh. Congrats on the flat-pack success, by the way. My worst battle was with a computer table called Carlos or Stefano, which I must only have bought because it looked extra complicated to assemble. Having won the battle, with blood shed and much effing and blinding, I realised the bastard was as ugly as hell and had barely enough room for a thimble. Piece of shit. Computer tables are a bad invention. Tables will do.

9. BiB - February 27, 2006

Yes, BB, I must admit I did wonder if your site was a site for rotund, hairy homosexuals. Never judge a book, eh?

10. Geoff - February 27, 2006

..and who said you haven’t got any gay readers? Although seeing as I’ve yet to post anything in my blog (still) there’s no way you’d know I was. Great post by the way, and the mud sounds like it was a great gift. And far more sensible than the purchase I made in Tokyo at the weekend to bring home for my other half, which I may save for the first post on my blog If I ever get round tp starting it

11. BiB - March 1, 2006

Hm, I’m trying to think what an inappropriate gift from Japan could be… I’ll check the blog frantically till you reveal your secret. Chuffed to have a poof on board, by the way! Got any good Berlin gay hints that I might have missed? When were you here?

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