I distrust people who claim to foretell the future, but sometimes one can extrapolate from the data and predict likely events. If either of these predictions come true, well, just remember you heard it here first.
Prediction #1a. Razors will have so many blades in them that electric shavers will look skinny by comparison. Remember when razors had only one blade? Sure, they had two edges, but there was only one blade. You bought a nice metal handle, and then replaced the blades. Usually the blades were alike enough that you did not have to stick with the same manufacturer.
Then the razor manufacturers had the novel idea of putting the two edges on the same side of a removable cartridge that would only fit their own (plastic) handle. They also created disposable razors, so you would be obliged to buy more stuff from them.
Then the razor product designers added three blades, then four. Now there are five- and six-edge heads. Your old handles are now obsolete. I lost the only double-edged Gillette handle I owned somehow, but I still had a supply of the blades that fit that handle. No way was I going to find that handle in the store. I had to upgrade to a five-blade razor.
Prediction #1b: Conversely, razor designers will go retro and razor ads will try to convince us that single-edge razors are the shiznit. Clearly, the razor manufacturers have realized that there is a limit to the number of blades they can put into one head. Pretty soon, the heads will be an inch wide. Might as well switch to an electric shaver … So, let’s go back to the single-edge razor, though I doubt the handles will ever be gold-plated again.
Or just not shave. I gave that habit up 30 years ago. I just need to touch up the edges once in a while.
Prediction #2: Clear tea will be the latest health drink fad. First there was black tea. The English drank it. Americans dumped it in Boston Harbor and largely switched to coffee. Then coffee got a bad health rap. People switched to black tea, then to a staggering array of herbal teas. Celestial Seasonings became the Starbucks of the 1970s. Tea developers were soon running into the same marketing problems as the razor dudes. I mean, there are only so many varieties of black teas and only so many flowers and herbs that make palatable teas. But wait! The Chinese and Japanese drink green tea, and seem to be in better health than we are. So green tea went from that funny tea you got at Chinese restaurants to a full shelf in the supermarket. Suddenly Americans were drinking green tea, because black tea somewhere along the line got a bad health rap. (It’s recovered since then, as has coffee.) You can even buy green tea capsules, if you can’t stand the taste of the stuff.
Now the latest tea fad is white tea. That’s tea leaves that are so young and tender that they barely color the water when steeped. On the supposed scale of healthiness, white > green > black. Sooner or later, white tea’s popularity will run its course and tea marketers will have to find a new, even better antioxidant wonder beverage. I predict it will be called clear tea, which will be bottled in the middle of tea fields. The aromatic essences of the tea leaves will infuse the water, removing all possibilities of tannins spoiling the tea-drinking experience. As in homeopathic remedies, the efficacies of tea-drinking will be in inverse proportion to the concentration of “tea chemicals” in the water. So the relativity of healthiness will now be clear >> white > green > black.
Clear tea will look remarkably like bottled water, but will cost two to three times as much. And people will still buy it and swear by it. It’ll come in capsules, too. Mark my words.
And by the way, I claim intellectual property rights, in case any of you decide to actually develop and market single-edge razors or clear tea. I have witnesses. We can discuss terms.