I have seen guys stroke their stubbly chins on Sunday morning and make growling noises, like that’s what one does when one has a beard. It’s not, and they don’t. I believe my growling is more effective because of my beard but my beard is not why I growl and Sunday stubble is not a beard.
I come across blogs and web sites featuring young men in their twenties, spending five days at a time fishin’, sleepin’ in the dirt and drinking PBR, but those dark shadows on their jowels are not beards, either. They are five days worth of stubble and sometimes when I look at those guys I wonder if they aren’t also stubbly other places, too, after five days.
Humans have struggled to keep their faces (and in these modern times, the rest of their bodies) free from hair for centuries, advancing from sharpened clam shells and dull knives to today’s marvels of stationary blade technology, with as many cutting edges as can be engineered to fit. Shaving today is also safer than it once was, with straight razors giving way to “safety” razors with blades held at the perfect angle in a protected holder on a short handle.
A double blade, in the old days, meant two sharp edges on one blade, not two blades, stacked, as is common today. Those old razors didn’t have gentle, lubricating strips applying moisturizers to protect delicate skin, either. No, sir. Maybe there was no such thing as delicate skin back then or, if there was, men would not admit it, but every man knew it was important to look his best in case he ever rescued the bank manager’s niece from a gang of vicious robbers.
I know as well as anyone what torture it can be to scrape off several days’ worth of chin whiskers, shaving mostly on Fridays during the milder times of year.
Still, it is only stubble, not a beard. A beard is not accidental, or the result of a weekend with the boys; a beard is grown and worn on purpose. It can cover flaws, improve jaw lines and serve other cosmetic purposes. It can have religious significance for some, or make different statements for others. Some people, Quill Gordon included, grow beards to keep their faces warm outdoors during the cold time of year, but now that the sap is running, the first robins have been seen, and the bottom has dropped out beneath the masses of tangled ruts that pass for roads around here, it is time to remove all that hairy growth.
Well, that’s a mighty spiffy cookie duster, Commodore, but I have a feeling your definition of an “outdoor beard” and mine are a bit different. That fancy little razor in a “modern case” might be just the ticket for a quick clean-up before brunch at the yacht club but, in these parts, on days like this, I am am afraid most folks would find it thoroughly inadequate.
From October to today, the first day of spring, Quill Gordon’s face has remained unscraped, resulting in this:
The annual removal of the winter beard used to make a good gag for April Fool’s day, when I lived near people to fool, but living on an impassable road, up in the hills, has severely limited the audience for such springtime jocularity. Mrs. Gordon only cringes a bit when she sees my chin for the first time in half a year and neither the cats nor the chickens seem to notice anything other than the food I provide, so I am reduced to sharing my vernal facial hair removal on the internet.
Happy spring, everyone! Only 40 more days until the season begins, here at Fish in a Barrel Pond!
And me, without the beard? Imagine this:
The cookie duster stays.
(See also A Fox, Some Snow Fleas and a Close Shave and Shaving is for the Birds)
Don’t tease us like that. The entire time I read this, I was looking forward to the last picture…then it never came. BOO
I tried growing a beard once when my kids were in grade school.
Daaad, you look just like Mr. Stranger Danger.
No wonder people avoid me. Well, that and other things.
Clif beat me to it! What a tease! And I know Yosemite Sam and you sir, ain’t no Yosemite Sam! 🙂 LOL
Perhaps Fog Horn Leg Horn, I say, perhaps.
Fun post! Despite safety razors, I still manage to cut myself regularly, a really good one last week.
Fun post, though don’t most men with beards leave them on all year round?
When I saw the pair of tweezers in the last shot, I started getting nervous. Plucking one’s face could be seen as a bit disturbing.
Now I have to go do my daily bloodletting, er, I mean shave.
Shaving is really not one of my favorite things to do either. If I do not have to shave (to look social) I just let it grow for a few days.
Several years ago I had a beard for maybe 6 months but I wasn’t the right thing either. So what’s left is a moustache.
Had fun reading this post Quill but wished you would have posted a picture from you after the “wool” was gone.
Clif and Owl – your whining has been acknowledged by our complaint department (see above). Boys, I say, boys, ya’ just aren’t usin’ yer heads…
Ken – yeah. Why are the bad guys bearded? Kids can be brutal. One year, a week into the growing of the beard, some 3 year old told his mom I had dirt all over my face.
Al – Thanks for stopping by. I gave up the blades after too many cuts. Now I have a rechargeable electric razor, which I don’t always charge, so it more or less rips the whiskers out. Hey, is the spring in the old Manitou Spa still running?
Toemailer – Some men do keep a beard year-round. Mine is seasonal and I know quite a few other guys who only wear a beard for warmth in winter. Thank you for stopping by. I am tickled to get a visit from a blog, featuring toes from around the world! Seriously. Anyone reading this should scroll back up and click the link in toemailer’s name. You will see toes!
Kirk gets a prize (yet to be determined) for noticing the tweezers! We thought about grass-trimming shears, sheep shears and the old pair of rusty scissors out in the work shop but decided they would be too obvious.
Rick wins another, undetermined, prize for spelling “moustache” correctly!
Looks like you’ve harvested some fine hair wing material.