Friday, November 1, 2013

Winter Coat

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about it this past week, and I would like to publicly announce that I am giving serious consideration to growing a beard. Now all I have to do is convince my wife.

Many of you probably believe I got the urge from watching the Boston Red Sox defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series this past week. My wife thinks I want some facial hair in hopes I can move to Louisiana, get adopted by the Robertson family and start making duck calls. You would all be right.

Facial hair is a fashionable thing right now due in no small part to “Duck Dynasty,” one of the most popular shows on television these days. The guys on that show have made beards stylish, and I want ... no ... I need to be cool like them. That will be my first justification in trying to convince my wife to let me start going stubbly.

One of the other arguments I’ll make will be that a beard would not only be stylish but practical also. It is said that cats have whiskers to prevent them from sticking their heads in places that they would get stuck. You have absolutely no idea how much easier that would make my life. Have you ever seen ZZ Top stuck in a hole? That’s right. Never. Well, except for maybe the drummer. (Whose name is, by the way, Frank Beard.)

Ironically, after doing some exhaustive online research, I have found out this weekend (November 2, 2013, to be exact) is when the 2013 World Beard and Moustache Championships will be taking place in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany. Yep — 150 contestants from all over the globe will compete in 17 categories for gold, silver and bronze medals. According to the website, “Two-time and current world champ (Full Beard, Styled Moustache) Burke Kenny will be leading a strong squad of beardsmen competing for America. Meanwhile WBMC newcomers Mike Johnson (Imperial Partial Beard) and Al Underwood (Musketeer) are looking to upset the home team in their respective categories, while youngster Jeffrey Moustache looks to podium in Verdi.” That’s right. He goes by the name “Jeffrey Moustache.” Is that cool or what?

I’ve been looking at photos of some the contestants. These guys would put Grizzly Adams to shame. These aren’t just beards and moustaches, they are truly works of art. There are all sorts of lengths, styles and colors of whiskers. Some are curled. Some are twisted or braided. Others, I believe, can only be supported through the use of chicken wire and construction-grade lumber.

I’m afraid that what will ultimately keep me out of the sport of competitive bearding is the element of time. I’m sure that most of these guys can sprout facial follicles in the blink of a hairy eye. Alas, I am what I like to refer to as a “once-a week shaver,” or what some people like to call, “a lazy slob.” I usually get the razor out on Sunday morning right before church and scrape off a week’s worth of fuzz. That usually holds fairly well for a couple of days. By about 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, I’m proud to say that I have a pretty decent five o’clock shadow.

In September of 2014, the World Beard and Moustache Championships, will be held in Portland, Oregon. That means I have around 10 months to grow my beard if I want to compete. I’m sure that it will be an uphill battle all the way. I’ll experience many of the same difficulties that the 1980 United States hockey team had on their journey to Lake Placid. Strenuous workouts. Brutal competitions. Itchy cheeks. And in the end, I’ll have to defeat some hairy Russians and East Germans to take home the gold.

There is no doubt that it will take a supreme sacrifice for me to succeed in this most he-manly of masculine endeavors. I can only do it with the support of the American people … and if my wife will let me.

Do you believe in miracles? USA! USA! USA!


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