All right, no one has specifically asked about the State of the Beard, but I have received one or two recent comments on it, so I feel I should bring you all up to speed.
Here’s the summary of opinion so far:
“I like your "beard". I'm thinking Russian mobster or Belgian butcher” (from my friend Tim, who’s proficiency with facial hair entitles him to use the sarcasm quotes).
“It's masculine and sexy” from Headbang8, proprietor of the awesomely titled Deutschland über Elvis .
Agreeing with my own assessment that I looked like Evil Spock, my friend and occasional editor Daniel observed “You even have the facial expression of coldly rational Vulcan disdain down pat.” Technically, that wasn’t an opinion on the beard, but I’ll throw it onto the “positive” pile.
My mild-mannered friend Travis, who rarely ventures an opinion on anything, was so awed by my facial ornament that he resorted to prayer: “Holy sweet suffering jesus ...okay, I kinda like the 'stache.” That’s a “pro,” right?
Noted fashion plate Victor felt that “The new facial hair arrangement is just screaming for a beret,” which I will choose to interpret as positive. He was seconded by Julie who also took the time to make a veiled crack at my scrawniness.
My friend Nat picked up the national stereotype theme: “Very French. Where's your musket?” Presumably, this was also referencing Amynah’s opinion that I looked like D’Artagnan, a nickname enthusiastically embraced by the technician in her lab.
On the negative side, my friend Zack, while agreeing that I looked like I should be out buckling some swash, also diplomatically pointed out a certain incoherent quality to the project: “A splendid lack of connectivity.”
My Dad, a man who has been sporting a full beard since before I hit puberty, and a moustache since at least the advent of photography, advise me that with my new look to “keep away from guys named Bush when you’re tying your shoes.”
Battling back through the tide of negativity, my older sister Andrea mentioned I looked like one of my childhood heroes:
My sister-in-law Zahra was the most succinct of all: ”You look mean.”
But what finally made up my mind for me was this: I realized that I looked like Tom Cruise’s character from the movie Tropic Thunder (albeit thinner, and with more shag on top).
This, combined with Amynah’s daily, semi-subtle demands to know how much longer I planned to keep the experiment going, was enough to make up my mind. The beard is gone. Long live the beard!
Now I’m thinking of growing a mullet.