18 April 2008

A somber realization

This is an announcement that is quite depressing to make, but I have decided that I may be barren.

That's right, you now know my secret that the womb that is my face may never know the pleasures and pain of carrying a bouncing, fluffy beard-baby to term.

Oh sure, I can grow plenty of facial hair-- too much, if anything, as I have for more than half my life now. However, even granted my reliably morbid curiosity, I don't ever want to see the child that would correspond to my sad attempts at beard growth in the metaphor I've begun here-- it would be horrifying. I've never seen anyone with an attempted beard close to mine, so I can't help you out here with a comparison.

What I can tell you is that my beard (it makes me sad inside to even call it that... let's just call it Barry, the aborted beard) is a map to the unfortunate yang to the yin that is the essence of my existence, and I choose not to wear such a thing on my face.

Barry is totally unreliable and not in touch with himself, specifically where the mustache is supposed to meet the cheek hair, which means Barry manages a feat that might be considered impressive in an alternate universe-- he is simultaneously a mustacheless beard and a beardless mustache. This lack of unity despite proximity is reminiscent of the Sunni-Shi'a split, the East-West Catholic Schism, and the Backstreet Boys-N'Sync rivalry, in which there were two groups so undeniably similar in origins and style that there's no logical reason they shouldn't have just worked through their differences and merged (or re-merged) into a single, more powerful entity long ago.

Furthermore, Barry always makes a bold, admirable, and encouraging start in his area of interest, then gets bored or otherwise procrastinates on seeing it through, and he ends up with nothing tangible to show for his efforts other than dated declarations of a promising future, and no alternate ideas on what to do with himself. Picture a bunch of anthropomorphic beard hairs laying on a cheek, bemoaning their inability to accomplish anything, just waiting for the fated arrival of The Razor.

Perhaps if those stuck-up mustache hairs would just grow out long enough to hang down over the gaps at their east and west borders, they could really pull the whole thing together. Selfish bastards.

For those who like hard data, I would summarize Barry's traditional trajectory in the following graph:

I need to get some kind of graphing software if I'm going to do this again
For those of you confused by the decrease in length after the initial burst, that marks the point where Barry gets frustrated with his lack of continued progress of any kind, and he miraculously manages to actually regress, against all medical explanation.

If you doubt this phenomenon, let me refer you back to the graph above, which, like all graphs, represents irrefutable scientific proof of whatever its maker says it does. Think of our political pollsters, compromised global warming scientists, or my more well-known Beard Scientologists, such as Stephen Jay Gould.

I believe I'm entitled to the highs and lows so many others around me have experienced, and to this end, I've often thought of adopting. Of course, the time and expense involved in staying above board and going through the proper channels to be legally matched with a happy, healthy beard of one's choosing is pretty intimidating, and we all know I'm easily intimidated by a long-term challenge. There's always the black market. I've spent my share of time cruising wig shops, street-corner beard salesmen, and even costume aisles in department stores around October, but it's just never felt right.

Perhaps this unfortunately expensive artist's rendering I commissioned of me and an adorable new beard shows why we may all be better off with my permanent five o'clock shadow:

A respected artist's rendering of me with a natural beardAhh... c'est la vie. Or should I say, c'est la barbe.


Mary said...

That looks like a beard of bees. Or raspberries. I can't tell. Stay clean shaven.

LiteralDan said...

I usually split the difference, shaving every couple of days

Mmmmm... raspberries