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Norelco is a company which makes piles of shit. It was founded by William of Occam in the early 11th century A.D. as part of an exceedingly complicated pyramid scheme, the details of which have mostly been lost but which is known or suspected to have involved assemble-it-yourself furniture, various nonprofit organizations, vast networks of outsourcing companies to handle manufacturing, an international spy network, at least one cult following, its own strictly-organized religion, and large blobs of green jelly (the function of which is still unknown), but did not achieve its present fame until a failed suicide attempt caused Occam to reconsider his plans and accomplishments and develop the simple but stunning industrial design for which he is remembered today.
Norelco's products are famous for both their high degree of versatility and their strikingly minimalist design. While there has been some criticism recently about their decision to remove various unimportant features in their newest models – including the power switch, internal motor, and razor blades – Norelco products are still extremely popular, particularly among mathemeticians, philosophers, and anyone who has just come back with heavy five o'clock shadow after a long, frustrating day at the nearest IKEA.
William of Occam first got the idea for Norelco when he attempted to slit his wrists after his pyramid scheme collapsed. While he had considered developing a small, portable blade of some sort for quite a long period of time before that fateful moment, it was not until he attempted to store his broadsword in his bathroom cabinet that he realized just how truly useful such an invention would be. At that moment he realized that both plans failed for virtually the same reason, and he finally discovered what he had been doing wrong.
Many people claim that his words were similar to "entities ought not to be multiplied beyond necessity," but in fact he did not say this until later in his life when he developed pest control technology to control his rabbit farm. His actual words at the moment of eureka are said to be more along the lines of "dammit, this thing's too fucking big!"
Occam built the first prototype razor himself by painstakingly carving down the blade of his aforementioned sword with a heavy rock, but about halfway through he decided the rock could go fuck itself and snapped a piece of metal off the side of a beer can instead. (Where he got the beer, and what brand he was drinking, is unknown.) In his initial tests it proved highly effective at removing his thick greasy beard, but the success of the product was indeed to outlive him when he tried it on his wrists again, to discover that this time it actually worked.
Occam came up with various slogans for the product, including "Quite bluntly, the sharpest on the planet." and "Simplicity is Divine, just like fucking the alter boys, but probably not quite as fun.", but soon realized he was hopeless at marketing and hired a local advertiser, Osckar the Wild, to come up with a shorter one instead. Of Osckar's 549.3 original slogans, the only one to remain today is Keep It Simple, Stupid, although there is some debate among historians over whether this was intended as an actual ad campaign, or simply blatant exasperation at Occam's apparent inability to pander to the masses.
Regardless of its origin or inspiration, Osckar's memorable saying has become the sole philosophy behind Norelco's product design, as well as an extremely popular "gentle reminder" among graphic designers, computer programmers, and demented wiki administrators. In fact it is so famous that very few people even realize it has anything to do with razors, which has had the unfortunate effect of causing a constant 100% decrease in sales each month, or a profit equal to the right-hand part of the pretentious and entirely irrelevant mathematical formula .
Norelco products have recently become popular outside of their original market. In a recent survey, almost 89 percent of tech-savvy emos interviewed preferred Norelco's electric razors, although the majority of the group reportedly still used a simpler, non-electric model for everything else that doesn't involve facial hair. The remainder either declined comment or insisted loudly that "razors suck worse than life," and that real emos use scissors. Strangely enough, rival manufacturers Gilette and Bic represented less than 0.1 percent of the emo population combined. How many emos were interviewed, let alone how anyone managed to interview them in the first place, has yet to be explained.
Contrary to popular belief, Norelco does not use the popular "razor and blades" business model, better known as selling cheap printers with equally cheap but ridiculously overpriced ink. Instead, and in keeping with their corporate philosophy, they use a simpler structure known as the "click here to give us $5 through PayPal" model. While the concept has been criticized by super-rich CEOs because of its apparent bluntness (no pun intended), it has also been praised by others, including consumers, for precisely the same reason. The only problem is that both groups delete their frequent "cheap
imitation Rolexes razors" e-mails and neither one has given them a single cent, but this is considered to be a mere temporary problem and will somehow spontaneously resolve itself all on its own.
Side Effects and Controversy
When they introduced their original flagship product, simply known as Occam's Razor, Norelco was met with a great deal of criticism as a result of the products unusual functionality. Although it claimed to be a shaving tool, the Razor soon began demonstrating unusual side effects when repeatedly used, including reducing the user to a stick figure. Strangely enough it also had very little effect on the user's beard.
Other unusual phenomenon were soon discovered. Plato, a leading Greek philosopher, discovered that when he practiced rhetoric while shaving, his arguments often came out sounding extremely flat and silly. Historians have suggested that this is best demonstrated in his "Plato's Cave" allegory, where he writes that
- we're all a bunch of hairy apes sitting in a cave staring at the walls, and we still haven't got indoor plumbing.
Noted scientific minds have also staged repeated boycotts of Norelco products for various reasons of their own. Albert Einstein claimed that he nearly gave up on his Theory of Relativity after attempting to remove his moustache, and spent the next several days suffering from hallucinations involving flat planes and Euclidean geometry. Although himself a very happy Norelco customer, Stephen Hawking has been criticized by others in the scientific community for endorsing the Poof, There It Is Theory as a less complicated alternative to the Big Bang after switching from a Gilette. Isaac Newton is reported to have once said that "gravity really sucks" while getting a haircut, but this story is most likely apocryphal.
Later model razors, no longer marketed under the Occam's name, have remained controversial, as would-be English majors worldwide have often used them to slit their wrists after receiving F's on their arguments for the existence of God and the scientific virtues of intelligent design.
Norelco has been heavily criticized by the emo population due to their products' ineffectiveness on human wrists, although the accuracy and quality of such surveys is generally dubious at best. The company purportedly declined all requests to re-introduce a simple mechanical razor, repeatedly insisting that ordinary household scissors are more effective anyway; as one of their spokesmen explained in a recent television broadcast addressing the issue, "you all suck."
Norelco's chief competition is Gilette, the makers of the increasingly popular Lo Pan's Razor. While Norelco and Occam have typically remained the most popular among atheists and many intellectuals, Gilette and their heavily Asian-influenced design are rapidly expanding into this market, along with keeping their traditional hold on customers in the church and Republican politics. Some experts are predicting that Gilette will become the new market leader by 2008, but whether this will be the case is still wildly uncertain.
Because of increasingly high demand for more mobile shaving devices in recent times, Norelco developed the Razor Scooter as part of its efforts to tap into the growing urban market. While newer models no longer contain the purportedly hazardous metal blades, effectively rendering the vehicle useless for removing facial hair, it is nonetheless extremely popular, and the Scooter division was spun off from the parent company in the late 1990s to better cope with the product's popularity.
Norelco was also a leading developer of Motorola's RAZR, considered by many to be the world's edgiest cell phone. Their best known creation is the vast network which powers the device, which uses over five hundred custom blade severs to continuously supply users with the sharpest new technology for a low monthly fee of $249.99 (plus tax). Although criticized for its heavy energy requirements – the phone requires a constant supply of shaving cream and cold water to function properly – it has been widely praised, particularly by the New York Times, for providing the easiest way to ensure a smooth shave every time.