It's like the story of rise and fall of American hubris itself: once upon a time, in the heady days of 2005, Procter & Gamble decided that consumers would not be satisfied with a mere four-blade razor. So they launched Fusion, which boasted five blades and an embedded mini-vibrator, so that American men could enjoy the closest shave in the free world and then pleasure their wives, secure in the knowledge that Osama bin Laden is a hairy bastard shivering in a cave with no sex toys or women, so there. But our shaving pride came before the fall! Now that the US economy has collapsed, all these terribly expensive five-bladed razors are, like Hummers and Steve Schwarzman's birthday party, sad symbols of a nation gone astray. But they still need to sell all these god damn $25 packs of Fusion razors! [WSJ]

An eight-pack of manual Fusion cartridges costs about $25.03, compared with about $17.95 for the same number of Mach3 cartridges. P&G maintains shavers will perceive a difference in the new razor, and, more importantly, will be willing to pay for it. "During economic slowdowns men will make choices with their wallet, but we don't see them wanting to compromise their shaving," says Chip Bergh, group president of global personal care at P&G. "Instead, maybe they trade from a large count [of cartridges] to a small count, or they may extend their shave."

Or maybe they buy the 12-pack of 2-blade disposables like sane people? P&G can't say nobody saw this day coming:

The first broadcast of Saturday Night Live in 1975 included a mock commercial of a three-blade razor, with the tagline, "Because you'll believe anything." And the introduction of Fusion — kept under wraps until its introduction in September 2005, was eerily predicted by the satirical newspaper the Onion, which ran a mock memo from Gillette's former CEO Jim Kilts on how to top competitor Schick's four-blade razor by making one with five.