I'm not a hippie

I'm not a hippie. Sure, I listen to jam bands, and I feel a certain angst about "the system", but my hair is short, Patchouli makes me want to gag, and Dial and I get along splendidly. Let's just say I want to be a little more concious about my impact on the environment (and if it wasn't for Penn and Teller's "Bulls***" program on recycling, I think I'd probably still take community recycling seriously). So, when my cordless razor was decomissioned, I decided the only environmentally responsible way to fully decommission it was to have the batteries recycled. (After all, Nickel and Cadmium aren't part of one's daily vitamin requirement). Being the dutiful consumer, I went with the first obvious choice for finding a place to deal with this refuse: Norelco. I sent off a little missive asking them how I should go about recycling the batteries for the razor. They replied (in 1-2 business days) with a link to the Call2Recycle site. Hey, look! It's Al from Tool-Time! Now I know I'm in business! I tell them I'm a consumer (I'm putting that on a T-Shirt someday) and, after giving them my location, am presented with all of the places that will take my batteries. I have to hand it to these guys; they've got a lot of places to take back batteries.

Now the hard part: liberating the batteries.

Norelco sent along a link to some instructions for removing the batteries from the device. If you take a quick glance at the instructions, you'll see that it's pretty straight-forward: open the device, snap out the batteries, and Bob's your uncle. Feeling like I can handle this task, I clear off my workspace and put the patient on the table.

2. Unscrew the four recessed screws in the back of the razor (Fig. 1).

I look at the recessed screws in their tiny holes, but I have to find more light because they're REALLY recessed. Not only are they recessed, but they're also painted black (obviously to show who has been tampering with the innards of this highly technical device). Did I mention that the razor itself is black? Sorry... let me take a quick break to give an inventory of the players involved thus far:

  • Black screws
  • Black razor
  • Tiny recessed opening

After a few seconds of this eye-chart, I noticed the screws didn't look like Phillips-head screws at all. (Figures Philips/Norelco wouldn't use Phillips. Must be that extra 'L'). Nope, they were Torx screws (or 'God-Damnit' screws, so named because just about everyone I know has uttered these words when faced with a project fastened with Torx screws). No problem, though, because I have a set of Torx screwdrivers for just such an occasion. Now, lemme see here... (shuffle shuffle... nope, that's a Phillips... wait... nope, that's a scratch awl... Ow! I should really put those wire snips somewhere else... flat head... TORX!) I pull out the first Torx screwdriver I find, and set to extracting the batteries.

The screwdriver is too big. I can't even get the collar of the screwdriver into the hole.

I shuffle around for the other Torx screwdrivers, and try them in turn. None of them fit.

Now, I refer you back to the instructions. Nowhere on those instructions is there any mention that you will need a Torx driver, nor is there any mention that you may need a special set of drivers to pull out the screws. Nope, they've extracted the batteries, and are happily on their way to recycling them, possibly stopping for a cappuchino on the way back.

So here I am stuck at:

2. Unscrew the four recessed screws in the back of the razor (Fig. 1).

which is by far the most unassuming task, next to "unplug razor" and "find recycling place". Heck, I already did step #8, and Al from Tool-Time showed me where to go. That should be the hard part of this whole exercise, but instead I'm sitting here at 2. Unscrew the four recessed screws in the back of the razor (Fig. 1).

So, I'm down to a few options:

  1. Toss the razor, and apologize to the kids and grand-kids that they're going to have to deal with poisons leaching from my razor because I can't seem to get the damn screws out of the razor.
  2. Keep the razor, which only delays the poison-leaching process (and adds to the oozing clutter mess that is already in progress)
  3. Take the razor to one of these recycling centers, toss it in to the bin when nobody is looking, and make the four screws their problem.

I think there's a certain tranquility in option #3. My conscience will be clear, and I won't have to explain to the next generations why Torx screws are poisioning the environment. Perfect!

And if anyone asks, I'll just say that the razor is a stylish carrying case for the batteries. I only hope Al will approve.

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