It’s true, I’ve experienced it myself!

In life there are things we will know, because we will learn them from others, and then there are things we will know, because we experience them ourselves. So here’s what I’ve experienced myself, which you now will know because you’ve learned them from me.

Gillette Foamy vs. Gillette Series Shaving Gel

Gel vs. Foamy. Expensive vs. Cheap. Good vs. Evil. It’s Star Wars, isn’t it?

In the blue corner, we have Gillette Series Shaving Gel. It’s bigger, its packaging looks better, it’s well marketed, in fact, it’s marketed period, and it appeals to the suave, wannabe-smooth-shaved hunk in every man. By merely using it, you will have a chiseled jaw so smooth you’d even attract lesbians, and you will suddenly associate with drop-dead gorgeous women only!

In the white corner is Foamy who’s like a brother in jail: everyone knows about him, but nobody wants to talk about him. He’s smaller, clearly cheap looking, exceptionally low priced (in comparison), has a cartoon rendition of man shaving on the very standard packaging (in my neck of the woods at least) and appeals to cheepos who have to shave with something other than bath soap and really can’t afford to associate with women at all.

The blatant truth is, and I’ve proved this to myself time and time again, with equal amounts of shaving, I can empty a big expensive, Gillette Series Shaving Gel in 15 days, whilst trusty, cheapskate and small looking Foamy will last me a month and half!

Gillette, I’m sure, knows this, which is why they make it in an almost unbearably strong menthol fragrance, which, if I myself wasn’t such a cheapskate, wouldn’t have been able to stand, causing me to buy the much more soothing and much more expensive gel instead.

But I didn’t, and now I’m used to it and can shave head and face for a month and half off a small can of Foamy and pay a fraction of price of the gel that would only last me 15 days! It’s true, I’ve experienced it myself!

Gillette Shaving System vs. Gillette Shaving Cartridges

Cartridge vs. System.  Sounds like a legal case file.

In the white corner (you should be able to tell by now that the meany is in the blue corner) we have the Gillette Shaving System, comfort on a stick. A cleverly designed handle with rubber grips and other design features, which has nothing to do with shaving, equipped with usually two, long lasting Mach 3 cartridges. One on it’s own will have you glide across the most stubborn stubble for well over a month and impress you greatly. It sells for a mere RM17 (about US$5), and with 2 cartridges included, can give you two months worth of smooth skin.

In the blue corner, the handy Gillette Shaving Cartridges. Designed to replace the blades on your Mach 3 stick when eventually your included cartridges go blunt (or that little blue strip at the top has faded away – like a toothbrush, that means you should replace it). It looks like the ones you got with the system, it fits like the ones you got with the system. Sure, it’s nearly 2.5 times the price of the system, but they last a month each, right? Bargain!

But the truth is stranger than marketing. Where the shaving system’s blade seemingly never blunts and provides a comfortable shave for over a month, the refill cartridges will blunt in 15 days! I suspect Gillette’s budget is planned on a 15 day cycle.

You willing hand over the RM55 – RM60 for the 8-cartridge pack thinking you’d never have to buy blades again until just before Halloween, only to discover that now you have to use 2 a month, if you don’t want to tear the whiskers of your face that is! It’s true, I’ve experienced it myself!

Shell vs. Petronas

Green vs. Yellow.  Secondary Colour vs. Primary Colour. Mixed vs. Pure.

In the blue corner, Malaysia’s national petroleum company, possibly the wealthiest company in the country and well up there with other companies in the rest of the world, sponsoring a team in the exceptionally expensive sport of Formula One. With a petrol station on virtually every corner, featuring clean yards and sparkling convenience stores, there is no reason to doubt their fuel, which you are made to believe is top notch.

In the white corner is global petroleum giant, Shell. With their familiar yellow logo their filling stations are a little older, doesn’t have fancy, sparkling convenience stores, but provides you with the fossil fuels you know and love.

Surely you’d think a tank of the one is the same as the other? After all, Shell works for Petronas so they use exactly the same crude, in fact, I believe they even use the very same distilled petroleum. The difference, they say, is just in the additives, the one is virtually the same as the other.


When I got my car I used Petronas only. I liked the clean station and the very shiny convenience stores, plus they accept my bank card, which enables me to do cashless transactions. However, after a while my car started to spit, spatter and lose power the instant I take my foot off the accelerator, accelerating itself a chore and not as smooth as it was. I thought my car was due for a service and that the spark plugs were shot.

But then I nearly ran my tank dry and was in a neighborhood that only had a Shell, so I filled up. And wouldn’t you know it, my car didn’t sputter any more, the start offs were smooth, it would glide smoothly when I took my foot off the accelerator and it even accelerated with more oomph than before.

I was submerged in incredulous thoughts, as surely fuel couldn’t make such a big difference. But Shell doesn’t accept my bank card (only credit cards, which I don’t have – and remember, I don’t carry around cash that often) , so on my next refill I went back to Petronas – and bam! not 5 kilometers later the symptoms were back. A fluke, I thought, surely it’s not true. Then my next refill was again Shell, and again, my car turned into a sports racer!

I test this theory on an ongoing basis as sometimes I have to use Petronas when I don’t have cash, or am in a neighbourhood without a Shell, and every time it’s the same thing. Petronas = spit, spatter and jerky driving. Shell = smooth, clean burns and acceleration on demand. It’s true, I’ve experienced it myself!


  • JACQ

    20 January 2008 at 19:08

    Huh? Shell accepts cash too lah.. not only credit cards..

  • 1Earth

    20 January 2008 at 19:46

    Ya la, what I meant was they only accept credit cards and not my bank card – because I like to pay for my petrol by card. Of course they take cash 😉

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