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Consider This

By LC Van Savage

Men and Their Beards

Recently and rather painfully I was forced to discover how rapidly, although reluctantly, I'm closing in on the final tollbooth of my earthly tour. Our sons were visiting and suddenly I was slightly blinded by the shimmer of the grey hair in their beards, which I never wanted them to grow in the first place back when they were 15. Lots of grey. I sat talking with them, staring at that grey stuff and sighed. I had to face facts. There I was, a non-practicing dowager forced to face the harsh reality that my boys, my babies, are pre-geezers.

After I got over the stun of that nasty verity and to keep my mind off the realization, I began to ponder about facial hair. Who needs it? Why do men want it? How come it's still hanging in there, vestiges of cave guy days? Well, there could have been lots of other hairy leftovers from that dark, damp, dirty, spear and bison era, like thick, coarse hair from neck to ankle, growing on palms and soles. Fortunately, all that's left of those days is a wee bit of head, facial, pit, leg and naughty-parts hair residues. Luckily, most of us aren't matted down as our foremothers and fathers were.

How come women don't have facial hair? Well most don't, although WC Fields was once quoted as saying that all the men in his family were bearded, and most of the women. I understand that as hormones course down new paths, many women begin to sprout, but in the main, most folks don't shout "Hey Fidel!" at passing females. But there's help. With a lot of money and pain she can get it all lasered off so her ageing face or whatever can resemble a baby's hairless butt which she always hopes to see when she squints into a mirror.

But men and their beards. Oh my. I guess I can't understand, in a world of lives that are so busy, why men would want to add one more chore to their schedules; trimming the things, shampooing them. And frankly, how many wives are grossed out at the trimmings left clustered thickly around, and in the sink? A lot I suspect, because after all, an awful lot of male's "I promise I wiped it all up" protestations usually translate to, "I wet one square of toilet paper and took a couple of swipes at it."

And some guys, gag me, don't notice that lots of their lunch is reposing in their beards which is hard to not look at, especially when they're proposing. I wish bearded dudes would all carry a tiny mirror in their pockets and just take a quick après meal check at their chin hairs to make sure no strands of spaghetti or bits of kielbasa are woven and nestled amongst the tendrils. Blecchh.

Maybe some guys want to hide their mouths with beards because of bad teeth, or no teeth, and there's no law against that. But when they use that facial hair like baleen to suck their coffee through, the resulting stains circling their mouths are gross. Weed-whack around those cake-holes guys. Please.

Mongo's made a few attempts at beard germination. The last one was about 35 years ago. We were vacationing with our then beardless sons, Mongo had about a 2 week growth when one evening he suddenly leapt from his chair and roared loudly upstairs where I found him with his face deep in a sink of cold water. He announced that the @#!$%! beard was history because he was being driven crackers by the itching. Or was it itching because of crackers? Whatever, off it came and off it's stayed.

Many great and mighty men of history have had beards, so there must be something facially Samson-ish about growing one. Thus, embracing that hypothesis it should follow that our 3 bearded sons…

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Hear LC on "Senior Moment" with Dave Wilkinson,
WBOR, 91.1 FM
Weds. 1-1:30 PM
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Reader Comments

Name: John I. Blair Email:
Comment: LC, you have touched on a major male mystery, one few of us understand ourselves. Yet the temptation is there every morning we look in the mirror and rub our fingers over the stubble. Should we nip it in the bud and stay sleek and kissable, or let it grow and become shaggy and virile (viriler?) I have been working from home for the past year so I have the freedom to succumb regularly and just let my beard go from Sunday to Sunday. Don't know how my wife stands it. And I'm surprised I don't get asked for I.D. by the police, who would be hard put to equate my hirsute self with the trimmed and tailored guy with a tie in the photo on my driver's license. But there is a certain pleasure to be derived after 5 or 6 days, when the stubble starts to look like a baby beard . . . Then I notice how gray it is, and Gillette's stock takes an uptick.



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