Thursday, November 17, 2016

These Old Walkin' Shoes: I Got Stars in My Beard

Well, it’s that time of year again. You guessed it -- it’s No-Shave November. In the spirit of the occasion, I’ve decided to grow my own beard. As my friend, Howie Balaban, says, “You’ve been growing that thing since August, and it’s still not filling in.” It hasn’t been quite that long, but it does take an extraordinarily long time for me to grow a beard -- if you could call it a beard, that is.

When I was a kid growing up, my Dad had the best beard ever. I wanted to grow one just like his. My brother, who is seven and a half years younger, can grow one in no time. I, however, was cursed with the “no-facial-hair gene.” I can grow a mustache and a goatee, but the sides and sideburns simply look moth-eaten. It probably takes me a good three months to grow a beard to be proud of. And it’s still not as cool as my Dad’s.
President Rutherford B. Hayes

Beards seem to be making a comeback these days. Part of that blame falls squarely on the hipsters. By blame, I’m talking about the fact that they all have the same exact beards, the same exact haircuts, the same tattoos, and the same fashion sense. It’s like an army of clones. As Howie says, “None of them know how to swing an ax and most don’t eat meat.” Honestly, we were just joking around while we were at bowling Wednesday night. At any rate, it makes for a very boring beard. I yearn for the beards of the late 19th century.

It used to be that politicians wore beards. President Ulysses S. Grant had a great beard, but Rutherford B. Hayes probably had the greatest Presidential beard of all time. That’s the kind of beard that should make a comeback. It’s been said, however, that people don’t trust politicians with beards. Considering it seems people don’t trust politicians anyway, what difference would the beard make?

The last President to wear facial hair was William Howard Taft, who was President 1909-1913. And he only had the mustache. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) was the last bearded leader in the United States. It’s been nearly 125 years since the last beard graced the Oval Office. I think it’s time to change that. Let’s see if we can get President Obama to grow one in the time he has left, and then ask Donald Trump to grow one for the inauguration. It could be cold out there in January. A beard would help that.

Sidney Crosby's almost-beard.
Today’s column was written as a humorous piece about me trying to grow a beard. Just trying to grow a beard seems to be humorous, so why not write about it? Yes, my Dad had a great beard. He’s since shaved the sides and now keeps a horseshoe mustache. I generally have just the chin part of a goatee, except in the winter when I attempt this half-fuzzy thing I’ve got right now. The info about the Presidents is true, and I would really love to see one of the presidents grow a beard. Maybe some day.

If you have one of those awesome beards, yes, I am jealous of you. Maybe someday when I grow up, I can have a beard. I’m only 43. I have lots of time before I’m fully grown up. There’s always hope. If you’re growing a beard for November, good luck. Unless you’re Sidney Crosby. You’d need more than luck if that’s the case. Like me, he needs Rogaine for beards. Take that, Chuck Norris.

Craig Bacon thinks Katie Holmes might be the most beautiful beard ever.