Tearful testimony marked the beginning of the so-called "Razorhook" trial
yesterday in San Francisco. Several disposable razor blades have charged
over thirty Masters swimmers with crimes ranging from overuse to assault
against a utensil, according to Sgt. David Lansing of the San Francisco
police department. The three razor blades attended a shavedown party before
last summer's long course Nationals. (At shavedowns, razors are expected
to remove not only hair but also a layer of skin and they claim they are
ill-equipped for such grueling work).
"When the razors were manufactured," said feminist lawyer Gloria Allred,
reading from a prepared statement, "they were told that they could look
forward to a life of luxury, skimming the surface of a throat or an armpit
every now and again. Some of these Masters Swimmers let their hair grow
for months or years without so much as a pluck from a tweezer. My clients
are disposable razors, not lawn mowers. Why can't these 'Monsters Swimmers'
An early attempt by defense attorneys to slander the razors was thwarted
on Monday when Judge Mary Tubman ruled past shaving history to be inadmissible.
"We have mountains of evidence which suggest that at least two of the
razors have been involved in other shavedowns and another has spent considerable
time in the panty line area," said attorney Johnnie Cochran to an unimpressed
A pink razor, who gave its name only as "Daisy," testified that it was
dragged up and down the backs of four male swimmers. "One of them was
Greek," it cried, before collapsing in a heap of tears. Judge Tubman then
declared a five minute recess for the Daisy to dry off, thus avoiding
A can of Gillette shaving cream was introduced as a surprise defense
witness. The can, sporting a snappy white cap which it removed in court,
testified to shocked onlookers that one of the plaintiffs, an orange-handled
single blade, bragged to a pair of scissors that it had, "sliced the ankle
off a butterflier, and I'd do it again."
Allred demanded the statement be thrown out after the jaunty can admitted
it had been promised a chance to spray its contents on the thighs of supermodel
Cindy Crawford in exchange for the damaging testimony. The orange razor,
or "Bic," as it has been dubbed by the press, has maintained from the
start that it was passed back and forth between two medley relays before
being dumped in the garbage, along with an entry card for the 400 IM.
Doctors for Bic claim that inch-long leg hairs are still stuck in its
head, while the entry card rests at an intensive care ward, recovering
from a severe shred wound.
The prosecution also suffered a setback yesterday as an electric razor
was unable to testify due to a malfunctioning AC adapter. An expensive
wedding gift some twenty years ago, the buzzing blade was expected to
identify the mysterious "Bearded Lady," a female swimmer whose excessive
facial hair caused one disposable to throw itself head first into a tiny
bar of hotel soap. Allred's legal aid growled a disparaging comment about
Radio Shack before throwing the adapter against a wall, prongs first.
The plug immediately consulted with several attorneys.
Monday's proceedings were also not without drama. A green razor with
a clear handle fascinated the jury by swiveling its twin bladed head.
"I am strong enough for a man, but made for a woman," it purred, winking
at the surprised jury foreman. A stick of deodorant was threatened with
contempt when it cried, "that's my slogan! " Another clear antiperspirant
left the galley in protest.
Until recently, razor blades and other lifeless nouns have been unable
to address their grievances in the judicial system. Last month however,
while reviewing Cuisinart vs Chef Paul Prudomme, the Supreme Court overturned
a federal court decision which ruled that appliances and utensils could
not sue their owners for abuse. In the largest class action lawsuit of
its kind, several thousand tin colanders are now suing the Olive Garden
restaurant chain for violent pasta drainage. The razors' legal challenge
is the first to be mounted against swimmers, and Wynona Judd's curling
iron is said to be monitoring the events carefully.