Maurice Depas & That Leap Year ShaveFriday, February 29, 2008
But then while looking for The Sniffle I found
AND THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX IN LEAP YEAR
Some people shave before bathing.
And about people who bathe before shaving they are scathing.
While those who bathe before shaving,
Well, they imply that those who shave before bathing are misbehaving.
Suppose you shave before bathing, well the advantage is that you don't
have to make a special job of washing the lather afterwards,it
just floats off with the rest of your accumulations in the tub.
But the disadvantage is that before bathing you skin is hard and dry
and your beard confronts the razor like a grizzly bear defending its
Well then, suppose you bathe before shaving, well the advantage is that
after bathing your skin is soft and moist and your beard positively
begs for the blade.
But the disadvantage is that to get the lather off you have to wash your
face all over again at the basin almost immediately after washing
in the tub, which is a duplication of effort that leaves me spotless
The referee reports, gentlemen, that Fate has loaded the dice,
Since your only choice is between walking around all day with a sore
chin or washing your face twice.
So I will now go and get a shave from a smug man in a crisp white coat,
And I will disrupt his smugness by asking him about his private life, does
he bathe before shaving or shave before bathing, and then I will die
either of laughing or of a clean cut throat.
Selected Poems of Ogden Nash - I Wouldn't Have Missed It
I photographed Maurice Depas (Maurice & The Cliches) sometime in the late 70s getting a perfect shave in the basement of the Hotel Vancouver.
It is patently evident that if one takes a bath first then the face becomes soft and supple and ready for that shave. That's what I do. The above poem appeared in the New Yorker on August 29, 1942. Nineteen forty two was not a leap year.