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Originally published Friday, September 14, 2018 at 05:59a.m.

“Stubble” is my middle name.

No, not really. But I do find myself occupying that No Man’s Land…er, LOTS of Men’s Land… of not wanting a beard but not enjoying the whisker-removal process, either.

Yes, I’m venting about the drudgery known as “shaving.”

Shaving is mind-numbingly boring, and you can’t even employ the coping mechanisms you use elsewhere in life. You can’t exactly tell your chin, “Yes, dear. No, dear. Is that right? Only seven more shades of mauve to try on?”

Most men can make only rough estimates of how many thousands of hours they waste in front of the bathroom sink. I have the calculations down to a science, because my whole life flashes in front of my eyes every time that sharp piece of metal comes at me.

Even on a good day and armed with my time-tested Barbasol shaving cream, razor burn is a problem. I know how Helen of Troy felt; my face feels like it launched a thousand ships.

Yes, my skin is sensitive. Don’t blame the victim. (“Your honor, that pouty ‘come hither’ face was just begging me to scrape it.”)

Gillette Venus razors for women used the slogan “Reveal the goddess in you.” My razors typically cajole, “Reveal the Type A-Positive in you.”

At least I don’t have to worry about the SPF of my sunscreen, as long as there are enough plies to the squares of toilet paper on my face.

After all the fuss, the benefits of shaving are so fleeting. You’d think you could enjoy going out in public for a prolonged time if you just kept five o’clock shadow in the back of your mind. But beards are big Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett fans. (“It’s five o’clock somewhere!”)

You know that one-tenth of one percent of germs that disinfectants don’t kill? Hair follicles try to be just as macho. Even if you use more blades than the Seventh Cavalry, even if you go over your entire face six times, from every angle…once you get out in public, that little Hitler ‘stache suddenly becomes obvious. You go from expecting flirtatious winks to receiving neo-Nazi salutes.

I hope you realize this column is an invitation to a pity party and not a plea for some elitist know-it-all to ride to the rescue with a jovial exhortation of “I guarantee you’d come to love the shaving experience If you’d just invest in the proper instrument and…”. These are the bozos who promise you, “If you’d just listen to TOP-OF-THE-LINE bagpipes while devouring your premium sheep’s intestines…”

Sorry, but newfangled razors are not a viable part of my budget. Ocean cruises are in the same category. But at least while I’m shaving, I can dream about little chunks of me getting to go down to the river and eventually out to sea.

Not so long ago, I was a teenager wielding a styptic pencil. Now my 14-year-old son Gideon has started having to deal with “peach fuzz.” He is not enamored of the hassle, which shows a rising level of maturity.

Yes, naïve little boys 10 years Gideon’s junior can’t wait to grow up and shave just like daddy. Just imagine their other childish notions.

(“Daddy, if I’m really good, will the Easter Bunny bring me a colonoscopy? When I’m grown up, should I leave Santa Claus milk and cookies and an alimony check?”)