The following “transcript” represents yesterday’s, late afternoon, barbering-before-the-bathroom-mirror-musings; just prior to my unavoidably setting foot into our Covid-19 ravaged world…
When taken at face value, for most coming of age males, facial hair management is little more than a “Hey everybody’s doin’ it.” societal custom. Believe me, from the very moment that ol’ razor makes first contact, a boy really starts to feel manly.
Of course, be we meticulous shavers or low-maintenance follicle sculptors, many of us can relate at least one hair- related (hair-raising?) anecdote.
For instance, my bygone public school system’s totalitarian administrators totally nailed their mandatory shaving manifesto to our schoolhouse front door; that grooming code not stopping at students. Yep, one conservative curmudgeon / bible thumper / school board member (who also just happened to run our town’s barbershop), actually wanted to fire our bearded, affable art instructor, T.J. (who had refused to comply).
I swear to God this IS true! That holy roller / capitalist’s contention had been (words to the effect)…
His amorous female students will fantasize about his facial hair tickling them.Let’s refer to Mr. Conflict of Interest by his initials J.C.
(far, Far, FAR from the bearded one; i.e., Jesus Christ)
Setting aside that above aside, let’s scrutinize the motivation behind shaving, in general. Methinks something far more telling is afoot. But, is this (forgive the wordplay) an outgrowth of Practicality? Inadequacy? Denial? Hygiene? Opportunism? Or, some permutation, thereof?
Fleshing that out…
- Practicality: Hey, few fellas enjoy “filtering” food (especially soup) thru a mustache.
- Inadequacy: Let’s face it, guys feel bummed out when beards look uneven/scraggly.
- Denial: Re this Psych 101 issue, some guys OBSESSIVELY cling to bygone boyhood.
- Hygiene: Pandemic / pubic health concerns oft unearth beard / mask incompatibility.
- Opportunism: Capitalism has manufactured an entire industry around facial follicles.
Personally, I’ve always found my own beard to be a force to be reckoned with. Based upon the late, great stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author George Carlin’s Hair Poem / Beard Poem, I’m sure he’d concur with this man’s Follicle Manifesto when I proclaim, “Live and let live!”, “Let yer Freak Flag fly!” and “Let the damned thing do its own thing!”
Of course, such philosophizing, of late, has not been tenable.
The pandemic (rife with its own end of the world implications) has changed everything. To properly mask up, I’ve had to lose 99% of my end of the world beard, which, way back in February 2020, had dipped far below my sternum. Oh, the irony!
The hair-raising Corona-V disaster, notwithstanding, throughout my entire adult life, I’ve drawn the line at what my mustache does. My being a soup connoisseur demands it!
Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!