Fuck It, It’s Time To Talk About My Beard

Splatter Portraits

I didn’t always have a beard, you know.

Once, I was a baby-faced lad, as clumsy and innocent as a newly-birthed fawn using her afterbirth as a pillow. I’d wake up in the morning, the sun shining on my bare and rosy cheeks (the cheeks on my face, dirty bird, my face), and I’d get up and stumble around, and everything was newly-minted, everything was untouched and untarnished.

Then I grew up a little bit. I went to college. I went to college to bathe in lofty, adult-minded topics like art history or politics or drinking Yukon Jack and taking a nap on the concrete outside my dorm.

And so, I grew what is often mislabeled a “goatee.”

But that was not what lived on my face. A goatee — named so because it is a facial style handed down by Pan, the Randy Goat Lord — is merely the tuft of hair on one’s chin. Ah, but a Van Dyke beard — named after Dick Van Dyke, also a Randy Goat Lord — features a mustache and a goatee, often connected by what one might term “connectigazoinks.” They are bound by those fur bridges, bridges that link the nascent power of the mustache with the secret wisdom of the goatee. Tom Selleck plus Dobie Gillis Maynard G. Krebs. Those threads of hair are like the flux capicator of one’s face. Thrumming with energy.

And then, I left college, my Van Dyke beard full of new knowledge (and smelling still of Irish whiskey), and I entered the world.

The beard — the full beard — took me by surprise.

It just happened. I fell asleep, and when I awoke I found it had begun. A slow-growing garden. It was all Rip Van Winkle and shit. Time had passed. I felt the shoots and leaves of man-wool nesting upon my cheeks and jaw and neck, and I felt that familiar tingle in my hands and fingers. So I went ahead and took my anti-psychotic medication, and the tingling (which eventually tells me to strangle people in a Red Ryder wagon) went away, but I still felt the ancient power of the beard growing upon the soil and dirt of my soulface.

Now, I am bearded.

Now, I have power.

I want to pass this knowledge along to you.

The Many Flavors Of Beard

You’re thinking — “Oh! He’s going to tell us now about the many types of facial hair you can grow, from the Balbo to the Hulihee, from the two-pronged French Fork or the easily-gripped a la Souvarov.”

What? No. That’s not what I’m going to tell you. Shut up. I’m here to pass along secret shit. Imagine that I’m whispering. Imagine that I want to tell you something that only I know — do you think I’d just ramble off stuff you can already find on the goddamn Internet? That’s not rewarding. “Psst, hey! Hey, c’mere. Hunker down. Put your ear close to my mouth. Now let me whisper to you the ancient wisdom of the starting line-up of the 2008 Minnesota Twins.”

No, the sublime truth I’m about to fire into your eyes is that every beard has its own power.

You have to find yours.

Mine actually has three powers, and these three powers have been labeled by the gods as:

The Boon Of Language Stolen From The Heavens, a mystic power that allows me to communicate to you, the syphilitic rabble, with the uttermost precision. Many writers, professors, and cult leaders have this beard for just such a reason.

The Mighty Fires of Rage Burn Bright On One’s Fulgent Face, wherein I am provided a deep well of swollen rage that I can draw up into the threads of my beard and direct at foes with berserker-type effects. Vikings had that shit. It allowed them to… I dunno, punch bears to death and throw boats across oceans.

And finally, +3 Against Goblins.

Which explains itself, if you ask me. I haven’t had much cause for this one. I’ve only been attacked by goblins twice, but the beard really helped. The goblin war-axes fell against my beard like paper planes crashing into a hurricane fan — the beard tore that shit up. I guess the goblins have a rich oral history, and now my beard has entered into their mythic cycle (The Three Journeys of Cockblister The Bard is one such tale, but that’s a blog post for another day). So, the goblins don’t come after me anymore, though one day I suspect they’ll rally some new goblin hero to come get up in my grill, but my beard will just rape that poor goblin to death. I know it, you know it, and the goblins know it. But goblins are basically fucking idiots. They’re always eating mud and putting their pants on backward and sticking rocks and other debris up their asses.

My point is, nobody’s going to tell you what your beard’s secret power is. You have to discover that for yourself. You must commune with the beard. You just have to try shit out, see what works. Y’know, it’s like — jump in front of a truck. Did your beard stop the truck? Then that’s one of your new occult powers.

Oh, and the more beard you have, the more your power grows. You got mutton chops? Maybe you have +1 Against Unicorns or something. But you get a full-bore beard that hangs a few inches down, and you might be able to incinerate unicorns just by looking at ‘em. That’s some shit, right there.

And yes, this means that I will one day be an Old Man With Huge White Beard. That’s my dream. I want a beard that will hold up my pants like suspenders, that I can braid into my pubes. That’s some ancient barbarian gris-gris, dude. That’s like, pshoo. Huge.

Beards Are Like Swiss Army Knives For Your Face

Beards all have a generic power-set, too. Yes, each beard has its own voodoo, but beards are awesome in other ways.

For instance, every beard is a flavor savor. Right? You know what I’m saying. You’re eating some pea soup, and that soup is all up in your ‘stache and goat. You’re not done with that until you’re done with it — you can keep sucking those facial hairs for flavor. In fact, you find yourself in the wilderness, you can use that for sustenance.

What’s really great is, you can actually make whole new recipes. You eat like, pea soup, some mashed potatoes, you drink some beer — that’s all in your beard. It’s mixing together, stirred around by the sentient cilia that comprise your face-coat. Ooh, even better, you don’t eat it right away. You let it sit. You let it hang there, glommed up in your beard for like, two, three weeks. You add new food to it periodically — lobster bisque, Cheeto dust, bacon fat, broccoli tips, hot chocolate, whatever. Then it ferments. The bacteria that lives in your beard (don’t worry, it’s helpful bacteria, like the stuff that colonized your gutty-works) will break all that down.

Basically, it makes a whole new food. I call it “beard cheese,” though the fruitier amongst us might refer to it as “facial Camembert.”

Let’s see. What else is a beard good for?

Oh! Temperature control. You might think, “Shit, a beard’s gotta be great in the winter to insulate your face from Jack Frost trying to sodomize your mouth, but I bet it’s a bitch in the summer.” Okay, first, yes. Yes, it is very good at keeping your face warm. But by some mystical scientific property, it also keeps your face cool in the summer. The beard maybe vents cool air? I don’t really know how it works and I don’t much care. I just categorize it as “another awesome beard-driven miracle.”

Finally, your beard can serve as a third hand. If the beard is long enough — and dirty enough — you can manipulate its many threads the way you might kink up a pipe cleaner or framing wire. You can shape the beard, which means you can use it like an additional hand. You can stick your keys there; the beard will hold them. Coffee mug in one hand, revolver in the other, and in the beard, a piece of pizza or a paperback romance novel. Actually, if you get a really good beard going, you can hold all kinds of shit in there — keys, cell phone, multi-tool, digital camera, loose change, a trained groomer squirrel.

Your Beard Must Be Maintained, Dummy

Don’t think you can get away with not grooming that beard, though. You have to treat the beard like you would treat a respected elder or a new lover — gently and with respect.

So, you need some grooming tips. I gotcher grooming tips right here.

First, the beard will resist trimming. All beards do. Beards don’t want to be cut down. These are independent creatures that have claimed your face. You have a relationship with this ancient being, and so trimming the beard runs the risk of you angering the facial symbiote. Obviously, the easy answer is, don’t trim your beard. But I get it. You live in society just like me. You wander into a bank and try to get a loan with some squirming facial nest that goes down to your knees and tries to choke the loan officer — well, c’mon. You’re going to be escorted from the building, and then your build will tear the head off that security guard, and next thing you know you and the beard have taken hostages and someone’s asking you about your demands.

So, to properly engage your beard for trimming, you must pray to the beard. There’s no “one prayer” that does it. Make up your own. It’s like wedding vows (but let’s be serious, this is way more important than any foolish human marriage). You don’t need to be all loud about it. Just whisper. The beard can hear you. It’s right there. Be cool about it. Offer it things. Give it glory and honor. Sing paeans of praise to its ancient heritage. Stroke it. Place yourself as subservient to it. Give it powerful names, like, “My Facial Father,” or maybe “El Beardo The Magnanimous.” Once in a while, sacrifice something to it. Nothing big — just a goldfish or a whistle pig or whatever, and then let the beard play in the blood for a little while (you can even nap while this happens, just dip the chin-hairs into the sacrifice and snooze for fifteen minutes; for the beard, that’s like playground meets Chinese buffet).

Now, when it comes time to consider the tools of the trimming, don’t be fucking dumb. Okay? A razor? Really? Might as well hack at your face with a pair of rusty garden shears. Stop that. You’re a grown-up. Put the razor down, you clumsy jackape.

No, instead you might choose the proper tools. Fire is good. Fire is pure. It’s the great consumer. The eldritch beard-gods respect fire. Lasers, too. They respect lasers, because lasers are basically space fire. You could also use a beard-eating creature to graze on your face like sheep? I don’t know what creatures eat beards, though. Do dogs eat beards? Maybe. Maybe if you got a really tiny dog — like, a toy breed of a toy breed of a toy breed — and you let him graze on your face, that might work.

Finally, you have to entertain your beard. This is pretty easy most times. Beards just like to chill out. A chilled-out beard is a smooth, happy beard. None of that kinked-up dry-skin shit. Smooth, like soul butter.

My beard likes to watch TV. Gilmore Girls, actually. Pro-tip from me to you.

Beards Are Awesome, And So Awesome People Have Beards

You know who have beards?

God and the Devil (the Devil is pictured at left).

Hell, all the really awesome gods and goddesses had beards. Zeus? Yep. Jesus? Bingo. Quetzlcoatl? You bet. Hell, even Athena had a beard. (And that’s a significant point: women can have beards, as I’ve noted in the past. They’re free to engage in intense hormonal treatments, but really, they can cut off some other person’s beard and wear it as their own, or they can just have their Male Slave — aka “husband” or “boyfriend” — grow one, which allows them to tap into the beard power. JR Blackwell knows the score about women and beards.)

Really, truly awesome beards are not hard to come by. Abe Lincoln? Santa Claus? Chuck Norris? Confucius? Grizzly Adams? The list goes on and on and on. And on.

I’m not saying that people without beards are not awesome.

Wait, y’know what? Yes. Yes I am. I’m willing to draw that line. Don’t have a beard? Are you one of those poor bastards who can grow naught but a velvety patch like the pelt of a fuzzy peach? Is your beard like the arm-hair on a prepubescent boy? Then you’re just not awesome. You may never be awesome. That’s okay. The world needs janitors.

Now, that does lead us to what I call the Osama Bin Laden problem.

Osama rocks a beard.

And Osama is a dick.

Well, duh. Beards can be used for evil. I already mentioned “the Devil” (pictured). You can’t deny that Osama has power, though, and that power is in part due to his crazy cave beard. In fact, let me offer a tip to Special Forces: you kill the beard, you kill the man. This is Samson-shit. You cut that beard off, and you won’t even have to kill Bin Laden. His people will do it for you. They’ll stone him to death. They’ll pee in his mouth, for his mouth will be unprotected by the beard.

Get that on a t-shirt: you kill the beard, you kill the man.

Word.

And In Conclusion

The Curious Spider Repeat after me:

Beards are fucking cool as shit.

So — now what?

Get yourself a bad-ass beard. That’s what. Durrr.

I didn’t even crack the ice on all the awesome things a beard can do — this was just a primer. Can your beard store magical spells? Can it be used to summon mythical creatures to fight by your side? Can it store data, like a facial hard drive? I don’t know. But I bet it can. A beard can do anything, and those who have beards can by proxy also do anything. That’s the way of the world.

That’s universal law, hombre.

Beards.

Fuck yeah.

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