Friday, January 21, 2011

Beard Re-Run

I still keep some manner of facial hair. I've got the "Evil Spock" going right now though I've tinkered with going clean shaven. I'm turning 34 in a few weeks, and I've got gray hairs all through my beard. What is that happy crappy all about? And I'm not nearly as smooth as Walt "Clyde" Frazier. I'm afraid if I used that Just for Men junk, I'd end up somehow dying my entire face with the beard dye and I get accused of a month-long publicity stunt that comes in extremely poor taste.

Anyway, this was written five years ago, and much of what I say still stands true. Many of the people I see 3-6 times a week in my job? Wouldn't immediately recognize me if I were to shave my beard.


Last October, I was on vacation. My buddy Steven and I wandered up to New York to see baseball's Hall of Fame, and just, you know, not work for a few days.

Well, I decided that something I didn't want to do if I wasn't working, was shave.

Shaving's a hassle, in my book, and possibly dangerous to me. I'm not coordinated, and I can't think of much that I do more dangerous that wake up, and while still groggy, scrape a razor sharp pieces of metal across my face. I'm lucky I haven't sliced off my nose.

So, while on vacation, I did not shave.

When I returned from vacation, I also did not shave.

Being male, I grew hair on my face and (in an instance not unlike when Pinocchio realizes that he's a real boy) I realized that I had a beard.

So. No shaving. I do groom the thing. I try to trim it, and I manage to pick most of the food that falls from my mouth out of it.

I think I look fairly dapper.

I may be wrong. I probably just look like a guy who hates shaving.

Either way. I think I'm cool with it.

Anyway. There is a fringe benefit I've found.

People who know me solely by appearance (i.e., customers) don't know me. In the past three months, people that I have seen shop in my store on a weekly basis will have to ask a question or get some other sort of assistance (more often than not, it's some short person needing help getting something from a shelf), and after the transaction is complete, they'll say "Are you new here?"

"No," I'll say. I'll explain how long I've been there, and that maybe I've been working night shifts, or something along those lines.

But these are people I see on a weekly basis, and they don't recognize me.

It's the beard, I think. That, and the fact that I've let my hair grow out a bit more than I have in the past few years. Usually, I'll stick with a buzzcut, or something fairly close to it. But I've let my white man's afro grow out a little bit, too.

So, I have longer hair and a beard than a lot of people who have previously seen me remember.

This has convinced me that I could probably embark on a crime spree. I'll shave my beard, shave my head afterward, and nobody would know that it would be me perpetrating the misdeeds. Because they wouldn't be able to recognize me.

"The guy who robbed us had a beard. And an afro. That guy had no beard, and no afro. Completely different guy."

Nobody would ever know. Except me and my sevens of readers.

You guys wouldn't rat me out, would you?

There are a couple of lawyers who read this. Would the "No Beard/Different Guy" defense stand up in court?

What if I could prove that with a beard, I am in fact a complete different person than I am without?

I ask only because I've really been wanting to knock over the Hardee's I pass on my way to work. Out of spite, mostly. And I don't think I'd steal money. Just steak biscuits.

What if I said I'd give the steak biscuits to the poor?

Except for the couple that I'd eat.

Poor people shouldn't eat my steak biscuits.

Anyway. Just something to think about.


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