The wearer bites down on the plastic mouthpiece, using adjustable turnbuckles to control the gizmo's measurements in three areas--top, middle, and bottom. Shaving around the gadget is supposed to provide a neat and symmetrical shave (think of it as a stencil for the face).
A couple of my male colleagues here at CNET did crawl under their desks and assume the fetal position upon seeing this thing. But even they'd probably have to admit that it seems like a useful little doodad that could help keep goateed gadget guys (sorry, I like alliteration) well kempt.
Little Rock, Ark., inventor Scott Bonge created the Goatee Saver because he was sick of trying to get his own beard even on both sides. "If it ended up crooked, I would just shave it off," he said. "One day I thought, if I've got this issue, other guys have to have the same problem."
So he set his inventive mind on creating a contraption that would achieve the perfect shave. His wife, Christy, got in on the innovation, as well. "At first, we started with Play-Doh. She would literally mold it over my face," Bonge said. "Then we graduated to plaster. There were times I would literally have only a small hole to breathe through." (Once again, Hannibal Lecter comes to mind.)
Ten molds and an engineer later, Bonge has a workable product (it's available online for $19.99) and is currently on a cross-country tour to introduce his gadget to America. (Note to goateed men of Colorado: Bonge's schedule says he's in Denver Wednesday.) Also on his tour, he's seeking the "nation's ugliest goatee." Upon finding it, he will presumably attach his device to the poor man's face stat.
Our friends over at CNET's Gadgette podcast discussed the Goatee Saver in depth last week on a segment titled "The Good Luck (with that) Episode." Have a listen.