LX Commentary #17: Love Is A Razor

“Love is a razor. It’s cold, and it’s sharp. It’s cutting out hearts that glow in the dark. And it’s selling wine…”

This chapter is possibly the only “action shot” of the book being written, sent to a friend who asked if I was currently writing.

The core of this chapter is your basic lyrically inspired play by play: C has a glow in the dark razor and challenges Benji to a shaving contest. Absurd shenanigans the eventually turn more serious. Simple, right? No need to suspend any disbelief whatsoever. 🙂

Allegedly an alternate version of Benji’s afterword playfully cited this song interpretation as being the least realistic. Something to the effect of “There’s a scene where two characters decide to shave together in the dark. That would never happen in real life, but who am I to police art?”

I told Benji that was hilariously awesome. I also pointed out that he gave me a glow in the dark razor. What else was I supposed to do with it? (Upon closer review of the lyrics, now I realize it’s the hearts that glow and not the razor itself. Props for not policing that misinterpretation either.)

Another extreme mondegreen I guess…

Other tidbits:

  • Originally this chapter started with Benji drowning his sorrows in wine on Kitchen Island, but since “The Mummy” needed to work as a standalone television episode the intro/outro segues bled into the chapters around it.
  • “Taped over the mirror was a poster. The poster showed fourteen photos of a man being shaved with a straight razor.”
    With the DJ no longer dead due to something being set right that once went wrong, the name of the hardware store changed from Wilicur’s to Didicur’s.
  • Do you know about the Evil Space Queen and the identity of the mummy like Frank does? (We don’t think you’ll figure out what it’s really all about…)
  • “It works for me. I’m glad it hasn’t caught fire.” — Encore Magazine interview
  • One of my first video sessions with Benji involved a tale of a shaving mishap—before he knew of a similar reference in the book. I reworded to match his phrasing, but also took it as a sign from the universe I was on the right track.
  • The unnamed ZZ Top song (quietly) playing on the jambox is Rough Boy.
  • Overemphasizing the “together” part of the shaving contest is a reference to a song by McClintock G’s, a Benji Hughes side project.
  • If you’re keeping score like C, 9 of the 14 items from fake Halloween trick-or-treating have come in handy so far.
  • Some of this stuff has come in handy! More handiness will occur…
    A random old terrible idea found in my notes: “They need to take down the shower curtain and make it into a divider between the sinks so they can’t see each other shaving.”
  • Topping the charts is a lyric from “Love Is A Razor.” Taking a song to number three comes from “Neverending Party” by the Goldenrods.
  • The killed/kissed bit about the DJ still makes me smile, as does Benji asking for her name only to learn the DJ’s name is literally DJ.
  • Lungman & Clarinetress deserve a spin-off. Perhaps that’s who Heartman & Songstress dress up as for Halloween.
  • Circling back to the intro, I admit this chapter pushes the limits of absurdity. My goal was to blend the various story threads together here—sketch comedy banter, surreal dream-logic, wordplay, callbacks to previous scenes, and a heartfelt exchange between friends as we get closer to the ultimate reveal.
  • C starts to put some pieces together at the end: “If Heartman plus Songstress divided from Jessica equaled L times Benji minus Jessica, then recalculating the proof to include DJ would yield…” The knock at the door exactly when he figures it out isn’t a coincidence.

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