Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beard

As we attended our final antenatal class yesterday, I noticed a distinct increase in the average facial hair growth amongst the Birthing Partners.

One chap in particular, a laid-back cheeky loudmouth in jeans and trendy sandals who gets as close as is humanly possible to lying down on a rigid schoolchair (his back dead straight to form the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle with the seat’s L-shape) has, over the five weeks, developed an unsightly splat of stubble into a full-grown manly beard.

Beards are creeping back in, have you noticed? Even Elberry is growing one. Two of my oldest friends have gained them in recent years, both with marked success. One has a devilish little goatee which certainly spices up an otherwise unthreatening visage, while the other’s curly chin-froth positively screams ‘hip Eng Lit professor’. Caliban and Taliban, in other words. Well done, lads.

I’m still scraping mine off with a Gillette MegaFusion Wallet-Breaker or whatever it’s called (I tried the Azor but for some reason it kept cutting me to ribbons). I’ve also been having exactly the same haircut for 13 years. These patterns are hard to break. Perhaps you need a complete lifestyle upheaval to make the change, which would explain why they might appear amongst fathers-to-be: the beard as statement of maturation.

Possibly. I chatted to the cheeky loud-mouth chair-recliner after the class while our wives exchanged mobile numbers. We got on to What Do You Do For A Living and he explained that he trained as a solicitor but now works full-time for his local church. Instantly I saw the beard and sandals in a whole new light. First impressions are nearly always wrong, yet we persist with them. Blink, my arse.

17 comments:

worm said...

do you think they are growing the beards as some form of subliminal testosterone rebellion against the huge clouds of oestrogen wafting around their house, or do you think they do it because if their wife is 'allowed to let themself go' then they should get lazy about their appearance too?

Brit said...

Both theories sound very plausible, Worm.

worm said...

...or they could just be forming a Bee Gees tribute act. Maybe they're going to approach you and ask you if you want to be Robin.

Brit said...

Screw that, it's Barry or nothing for me. I already have the chest wig and the helium.

Gaw said...

I've only ever met one woman who liked beards. Dried Oxtail Soup Syndrome (or 'DOSS') appears to be the main objection.

jonathan law said...

Like the British Empire, a beard is often acquired in a fit of absentmindedness and then proves
(1) troublesome to maintain but
(2) embarrassing to get rid of.

Mine – a rather low-key, unobtrusive affair – snuck up on me during a bout of flu some 20 years ago and has stuck around ever since. Any thought of getting shot of it is usually stopped dead by imagining the hilarity this would cause my wife, children, and work colleagues, who have never seen me without.

More worryingly, several older blokes have warned me of the deep trauma that comes with shaving off a beard worn for decades. The expectation that your face will somehow look the way it did before you grew it. The reality.

Blink? Read the title, saw the cover, knew at once it was bollocks

malty said...

Back in the dear old seventies it was considered very in to grow a mustache, everyone had 'em, including some of the wimmen.
Looking at the photo's now we look like a crowd of utter tits.

Don't do it gentlemen, you really will regret it and in any case they would clash with the shiny napper.

Brit said...

Heh heh, nice one Jonathan re: Blink. Did you come up with that yourself? (be honest)

Sophie King said...

The beard and sandal combo is not unknown in these parts - we are surrounded by a seething nest of Liberal Democrats. However, one of my neighbours has a beard WITH NO MOUSTACHE. What does this mean?

Brit said...

That he runs a large music festival, Sophie?

worm said...

ooh sophie, the fabled 'neckbeard' or 'neard' - that is high level odd,

not sure if I've ever seen one in the wild

jonathan law said...

Re Blink: since you ask, I did come up with it myself but can't believe for a moment I got there first. A flip response, certainly, but Mr Gladwell could hardly do more to invite it.

Sophie King said...

I somehow think I'd notice if I was living next door to Michael Eavis, Brit. I'm somewhat deaf, but I think I'd notice the bands all the same. And yes, Worm, it is a genuine neard. I've seen pictures of them - decorating the Mujahedeen, mostly. Perhaps I should be worried?

Brit said...

Then I salute you, Jonathan, indeed I do.

Gaw said...

Sophie, I happen to have done some research in this area here. It's actually quite a vexed issue, taxonomically speaking.

Nige said...

Ha! Love that 'splat of stubble'... Wodehouse hated beards, and that's good enough for me. Oddly enough, my Azor's developed the habit of cutting my face to ribbons too - I'm going to give up on it. A razor too far (and a letter too few).

Nige said...

Ha! Love that 'splat of stubble'... Wodehouse hated beards, and that's good enough for me. Oddly enough, my Azor's developed the habit of cutting my face to ribbons too - I'm going to give up on it. A razor too far (and a letter too few).