I permitted my facial hair to grow unfettered for a little over a month. Though it received generally favorable reviews and probably made me look eight to twelve times more thoughtful than usual, there were some concerns.

First, it constantly felt like there was something on my face. Granted, that was because there actually was something on my face, which I suppose goes with the territory, but it was a mildly unpleasant sensation I’d prefer to go without.

Second, I constantly had to check and re-check my face for spaghetti sauce and ice cream and salad dressing. And cake frosting. And bread crumbs. And ketchup and mustard and balsamic mayonnaise and salt and compound butter and basically any sort of remnant of anything I ate. It was mildly amusing the first few times, less so afterwards.

Third, I had aesthetic concerns about the proto-beard. True, the bulk of humanity gazed upon my glorious befurred visage with a reverent awe oft-reserved for perceived miracles and other transcendent phenomena, but all I saw were the flaws. For instance, there was less-than-ideal growth between the “soul patch” and my chinny-chin-chin that, to me, made the beard look incomplete. Furthermore, under decent lighting, the moustache was much redder than the rest of the beard, which was dark brown.

Actually, that’s not entirely accurate, because apparently somebody had been sneaking into my room at night and attaching a bunch of white whiskers next to my real whiskers. So as time went on, I saw a red moustache, brown-black muttonchops, and a white chin. After hours of deliberation, the Council decided that while the white added an acceptable degree of gravitas to the beard, the red was unacceptable, and might even necessitate genetic re-sequencing. Unless, of course, something unfortunate were to happen to the beard.

So after yesterday’s hair shortening, I used the clippers to trim it back a good bit, and will continue to keep it either short or off. A month’s experiment was long enough. The important thing is now I have a good sense of what Alternate Universe Me looks like, in case we must ever do battle.

7 thoughts on “Unbewhiskered.

  1. Isn’t it casual for a man to go through extreme struggles with their beard, making the journey all the better? I mean, who doesn’t want to be like Zach Galifianakis or like the glorious Spartan men of 300? Thank you for your time.


  2. Have you considered growing facial hair in the style of the president of the period you are teaching? You would be fairly clean shaven at first, but by the gilded age you would sport impressive mutton chops, only to return to a clean shave with Wilson.
    I will if you will.


    1. I’ll consider it, but there’d be a big problem in the Gilded Age. In a single class period, I’d have to shave just my chin for Chester Arthur, then shave everything except the moustache for Grover Cleveland, then grow a full beard for Benjamin Harrison, then shave it off except for the moustache for Cleveland’s second term, then go clean shaven for William McKinley… and then grow it back in time for the next section of APUSH, and start all over again. Six iterations in a two day A/B cycle.


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