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Beards

Beards that can be grasped by the hand are gross. Yes, I have a beard, but that’s how I know. I’m on the other side of the razor. Nobody knows the stubble I’ve seen So trust me: long beards are gross. They’re like nature’s petri dishes. The only way for junior high boys’ locker room to get nastier would be for those unwashed man-cubs to have long, grimy beards.

Beards. Are. Gross.

“What about Santa?” you ask. He’s the holly jolly exception to this rule. If your beard is long but not rendered pure white due to exposure to the frigid air of the North Pole, trim it. Don’t trim it like a Christmas tree. Go straight up Scrooge on your facial flora and get those whiskers under control. Santa’s beard is magic; the Duck Dynasty beards are tragic. Seriously, as nice as those Duck guys probably are, I’m not taking a mysterious gift out of a bag their carrying around. With beards like that, there’s no way that gift doesn’t also include influenza.

I grew my first beard thirteen years ago during Christmas break as I prepared for student teaching. When I returned from break, my fellow student teachers were shocked by my grizzled appearance.

“What happened to you?” one asked.

“I grew a beard.”

“I see that, but why?”

“Oh, well, this is the demarcation of authority in the classroom. Respect the beard.”

Yes, I grew a beard solely for the purpose of looking older. It worked. These scraggly whiskers aged my baby face, and I easily appeared five to ten years older. Thirteen years and one hundred pounds later, my beard has become increasingly white making me look another five to tex years older. But now, I cannot shave because I need the beard to give my face some desperately needed contour. Basically, I have a fat head with no neck. My beard is here to stay.

I feel like my beard is my prison, and I’ve been Shawshank-ed into keeping it.

That might be the most over-hyped sentence I’ve ever written, but the sentiment is true. I grew a beard when I needed it, and now, I’m trapped within it’s prickly confines. There’s no chance of escape.

“Couldn’t you just lose some weight? Then, you wouldn’t need the beard,” you might suggest.

“Couldn’t you just shut up?” I might respond.

Now, to be clear, I don’t want to beard shame anyone. This is America. If you want to have a long and frizzy germ incubator hanging from your face, I support your right to do so. I respect the beard. I’m just very suspicious of any gifts I get from bearded dues.

Santa excepted.

[Featured image from Public Domain Review]

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