Shaving grace

October 22, 2010

Andrew Hicks

In the immediate aftermath of Ankle Break 2010, while I was under heavy, medically supervised sedation at the hospital, I decided to grow a beard. A friend compared it to an NHL athlete’s playoff beard, but I thought of it more as a strike beard.

I identified with Conan and Letterman, who returned to work with faces unshaved to show solidarity while their writers were on strike. These late-night hosts knew they’d be good in the long run, but a major element of their success was fundamentally missing. For them, it was the word-crafters. For me, it was the ability to walk and work.

The wildly growing hair on my face — an unruly swatch-melange of black, brown, red and gray — was there to state boldly, “This is the amount of time it’s been since I was normal.”

The beard came off last Saturday, in a mundane moment of anticlimax. I decided it was time to look semi-presentable again, and I was tired of my new, annoying habit of pinching and tugging at the tuft of beard right under my ear, where jaw meets neck. I found myself executing the pinch-and-tug move several times per minute. Inexplicably, I’d start to move at double speed whenever Nancy Grace* showed up on the TV.

I never got a picture of my bearded self, and I wish I would have. The odds of me going all wooly bully again are zero unless an Asian prison sentence is involved. Which would be all-around bad for more reasons far more profound than loss of shaving privileges. Note to self: No more felonies in The Phillipines or misdemeanors in Malaysia.

(Also, no more arson in Ankara, assault in Armenia, battery in Bahrain, blackmail in Bhutan, burglary in Bangladesh, embezzlement in India, extortion in Iran, jaywalking in Jakarta, kidnapping in Kazahkstan, larceny in Laos, manslaughter in Myanmar, mayhem in Mongolia, murder in Moscow, perjury in Pyongyang, robbery in Riyadh or vehicular homicide in Vietnam**. I don’t know what I’m going to do for fun anymore. I guess shave. Lots of shaving.)

In a half-assed marriage of odd and tacky, I took my battery-powered trimmer outside with me and did most of the heavy face-hair removal there. Instead of a bathroom sink and floor full of beard particles of varying length, the wind blew it out into the grass, like the personal grooming equivalent of scattering urn-ash.In a matter of minutes, I went from being enshrouded in facial tresses to being completely cleanshaven. It was the first time I was sans goatee since I was Meat Loaf for Halloween in 2006***.

Baby Sarah was confused for a minute, like she had a new big brother. Tiffany, my wife, was seeing me without any form of facial hair for the first time. She basically said what everyone else tells me when I shave off my goatee: You’d better grow that thing back ASAP.

Tiffany was nicer about it than everyone who’s not in love with me has ever been. She marveled over how young and innocent I looked. And she said I could groom myself however I wanted to and she’d still think I was hot. But there was noticeable, instant relief when I told her the facial hair would be coming back. What can I say? I’ve got a freaky chin. And this beautiful grown adult woman likes me better when I don’t look like I’m 12.

*Several years ago, I was involved in a tawdry, one-way Love To Hate relationship with Ms. Grace. I haven’t gotten around to seeing Nancy’s new daytime courtroom show, but I imagine she got the idea from watching Judge Judy and thinking, That woman is way too nice and not nearly condescending enough to her plaintiffs and defendants.

**Hopefully, I cannot be prosecuted for run-on sentences in Russia or killing a joke beyond recognition in the Koreas. I think I’m done now.

***Pretty much all my notable Halloween costumes have required the full shave: Meat Loaf, Elwood Blues, Mama Cass (complete with partially eaten ham sandwich), Sam Kinison, Miss Cleo and this year’s upcoming persona, Big Old Justin Bieber.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Baby Silas and his beautiful mommy.

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2 Responses to “Shaving grace”

  1. Kate Hayes Says:

    You definitely should have taken before and after pictures of the beard! Take a lesson from a former TV reporter…words are good, but the pictures to support the story are always even better! (Actually, we were taught to write to the video, and nothing but the video…but you get the point.)

    That Nancy Grace line at the end is really funny. Who doesn’t dislike her?

    Sorry I’ve been such a comment slacker lately. I feel bad. You’re still really funny. 🙂

    • dadsdaytime Says:

      I agree. It was poor journalism. One of the motivations behind growing it in the first place was the thought of, I don’t have to go to work or really be presentable for awhile. Why not grow this crazy beard and get some funny pictures? Then, by the time I finally got my hands on my trimmer, I was just ready to ditch it permanently.

      In some cases, though, the picture is better left unseen. I think my footnote about the various Halloween costumes is better off without accompanying pictures. Really, the only costume in the bunch I feel like I pulled off was Kinison. The rest all had the wrong wigs and not a strong enough wardrobe to really resemble what they were supposed to be.


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