As I pen these words I can only assume that you are reading them. If you’re not reading them then pay no attention. But if you are (reading them I mean) then follow along. Being that it is the weekend we’ll take a lazy journey and consider some of the things we normally take for granted.
Let me see…how about shaving? Today we can easily pull out an electrical device, push a button and run it over which area we choose to remove unwanted hair. But what would we have done several thousand years ago? Well, I happen to know from a reliable source, flint, clam shells and shark’s teeth were used (whether or not they required electricity, I do not know).
Some would prefer to pluck their hairs from their face with tweezers or scrub the hair off with pumice. Neither of these methods sounds as though they would cultivate a feeling of comfort. When I think about the female of the species and armpit hair removal (not to mention bikini season) I tend to shutter and dismiss any perceived discomfort on my part.
Shaving eventually evolved into the use of sharpened metal objects and I would guess this was around the same time that toilet paper was invented. Little do people know that the first use of toilet paper was to stem the flow of bleeding from the open wounds inflicted by the razor-sharp instruments of woe. In case you haven’t noticed, this paragraph was the very first time the use of the word “razor” came into being. How I did it I do not know, only that I did. For proof positive look back to the third sentence, second word from the end and you’ll see it, just as plain as day.
Enough of these razors, let’s change gears and move to another product–one known as charcoal. Can you see where the two relate? If not, more on that later. Thousands of years ago, man had two choices– (Actually, he had more than two choices so we will just say that he had choices) two of which were to eat meat raw or cooked. The problem being, having never eaten cooked meat how would he know that it could be cooked? I haven’t a clue, so instead we shall skip ahead to the creation of the charcoal briquette.
The briquette was developed in the late 19th century but didn’t take off commercially until Henry Ford using wood from the manufacturing of cars sold this part of the business to his brother-in-law, E G Kingsford. And the rest is history, or at least compressed burnt wood.
Now to make sense of all this nonsense, charcoal has one very useful characteristic–it is able to filter impurities out of other substances. When it comes to writing, this also is a useful technique. Your writing should be filtered, pure, and free from fluff. You can also take a lesson from the dangerous utensil we dubbed as the razor and shave the unnecessary stubble from your manuscript. (I said earlier that I would explain the relationship of charcoal and razors. Razors are perfect for slicing open bags of charcoal. )
I’ve given you the key to the mint. Now get out there, slice open a bag of charred wood, throw a slab of meat on the grill, and grab a clam shell…you’re starting to look a mess.