A Few Good Men: Tweezerman

An introduction to Tweezerman marked the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Published October 24, 1997 7:00PM (EDT)

Apparently, in the middle of the night, a cabal of my facial hairs met in secret. Their evil mission: to conquer the last remaining bare territory on my face. And so, on my once smooth chin, Birnam Wood now marched toward Dunsinane. Where there had been two eyebrows there now was one -- a uni-brow. I looked like Frida Kahlo on steroids. I stared into the mirror and my grandmother stared back. "It's not so bad," she said, "have some soup." "No time for soup!" I howled back, staring at my hands, waiting for lupine claws to emerge. Donning gloves and a hat, I slunk down to my corner beauty supply store.

"Oh my," said the sympathetic saleswoman. "This is a job for Tweezerman."

Tweezer who? I stared blankly.

"Tweezerman," she said, smiling sweetly, "the best tweezer in the world." Yeah, right. Not only did she want to make a sale, but she looked like the Bride of Frankenstein, with McDonald's-arch eyebrows. But then again, I looked liked Lon Chaney with a hangover, so I had nothing to lose.

She pulled out a set from behind the counter -- they looked like any other tweezers, maybe a bit heavier, more sturdy. Eyes gleaming, she leaned toward me and said, "Now, let's see what we can do with your eyebrow."

"Eyebrows!" I snapped back -- but she had already started in.

Pluck, pluck, pluck. Her hands worked deftly over my brows. Barely a pinch. "Now remember," she said, "always pluck in the direction of hair growth. Never pluck against the grain." Pluck, pluck, pluck. The Frida condition began to subside.

It was love at first pluck, and I was sold. I plunked down $15 and took Tweezerman home. Finally, we were alone. It was the start of a beautiful relationship. Now he's more than just my beauty slave -- he's my stocky, squat, silent four-inch hero. A better man would be hard to find.

So what makes Tweezerman so special? I had to find out. While all tweezers, I learned, have four parts -- legs, a spot weld to join them, tips and a gripping platform -- Tweezerman has tips that are hand-filed, not machine-filed. This makes his grip strong and precise.

I started checking out Tweezerman's background. He was born in Glen Cove, Long Island, and, as it turns out, has many relatives. There are Teen Tweeze (priced for a teen's budget), Needletweeze (for ingrown hairs), Splintertweeze (for adult-size splinters), Mommy Tweezer (for wee-one's splinters) and Tick Tweezer (to remove disease-carrying ticks). There's also a nose tweeze that looks like the Hubble telescope, but that's another story. Tweezerman Corporation's motto is "We aim to tweeze," and they do -- to the tune of 1 million tweezers a year, representing 30 percent of the company's $15 million annual revenue.

OK, OK -- I'd met the Tweezer clan, but where was my new beau's dad?

"It's Dal," the voice on the other end of the phone booms in a thick Scorsesean grunt. I'm on the phone with Dal Lamagna, Tweezerman's CEO. I ask him the usual questions, like how'd you get the idea for this product, how many do you sell, what new products are you planning. In return, he tells me how much he loves being in the bathrooms of beautiful women all over the country.

I do not ask for more detail. Instead, I throw him a hardball.

"Why Tweezerman?" I ask. "I mean, why not Tweezerlady? Tweezerbabe? Tweezergal?"

"OK -- you want the true story? The really true story?"

I was getting excited. Maybe I had stumbled on a conspiracy -- Tweezergate!

Lamagna's voice dropped. "I thought I'd be cool and call my line of tweezers Dal Lamagna -- you know, like Yves St. Laurent or Pierre Cardin. So I put 'DL' on my tweezers and was going around to beauty salons, trying to sell them. Well, one day, I overheard the hair dresser yelling in the back -- 'Hey, here comes the tweezerman.'" So Tweezerman it was.

Once Tweezerman moved in, our relationship deepened. In the last few months, he has cleaned dustballs the size of Kansas out of the rollers in my computer mouse, retrieved my cat's favorite catnip toy from the air intake vent and rescued my earring from the bathroom drain.

But in the end, I've learned Tweezerman has an even higher calling; he's the perfect partner in procrastination. Can't think of that next clever turn of phrase? Can't figure out a brilliant ending to a piece? It doesn't matter -- Tweezerman gives you the perfect escape.

In fact, I hear him calling right now.

By Dayna Macy

Dayna Macy, former publicity director of Salon.com, is a writer living in Berkeley, Calif.

MORE FROM Dayna Macy

Related Topics ------------------------------------------