- the beard -

About nine months ago, after twenty-eight years of shaving with a razor blade, I switched to an electric.  And boy are my legs smooth.  Ba-doom-choom.

But seriously folks, all kidding aside, I haven't missed the blade one bit.  The shaving cream was sort of fun, all smooshy and clean-feeling on my face, but the convenience of the Norelco has given me more time for things like picking up my socks, putting down the toilet seat -- those man deals.  And it even matches the bathroom decor upon which Viv toiled so assiduously last year -- the silver gleam of its ergonomic body blending nicely with the porcelain and chrome.

The device holds a charge of about forty-five minutes worth of shaving time, putting me on a recharge schedule of once every couple of weeks or so.  Whenever the readout indicates 3 minutes remain on the battery, however, my life gets busy for some reason, too busy to run it down to zero and then plug the thing in for an hour to fill it up with juice again.  I'll even try to eke out another quick shave or two before the hassle of dragging out the cord and finding an available outlet.  It's so unlike me to live this close to danger, but I do it anyway.  I'm a badboy.  I'm sneering as I write this, I'm so bad.

Anyway, New Year's Day was spent la rustica, flopping about in my new plaid pj's, all lazy and prickly-faced, so when I went to shave the next day, NYD+1, those three floating rotating heads had their work cut out for them.  But then something happened.  In my head.

Given that my remaining power source/time was limited (true, I could plug it in but that's for sissies), I compromised by shaving every whisker on my face except those which could be involved in a goatee-type experiment thing.  I estimate this reduced the target area by approximately 17%, and when one figures in low-battery torque reduction, internal cut-whisker load, and throw weights, what one ends up with is a perfectly executed battery/whisker depletion/groom.  It's a beautiful thing to witness.

So for the first time in about 22 years, I have a beard going.  True, it's a baby beard, with each whisker at about 3mm, but it's a rough-hewn 3mm, a manly 3mm.  Ooh, I just sneered again.

To help in determining whether or not I'll continue this experiment, I spent a few minutes this afternoon on a rendering, a projection of what I'll look like in the days ahead should I decide to keep my new friend.

really... you can trust me...

The Baseline Me.  Note the Wrinkled Brow of Ultimate Sincerity, perfect for web pages and dust jackets.



zobby zooby, zobby zooby, yadda wadda cooool...

The Goatee as it may appear in a week or so.  A touch of the badboy, yes?  Imagine me sneering.  I may even get snippy and trim it into a Van Dyke if I can find my tweed jacket with the elbow patches (antelope suede, unborn, of course).




Viv calls this The Bad Theater Major Look.  When I was 18 I had such a thing on my face, only bushier.  Got me into bars.  Writer types like them because they can store a pencil horizontally through the bottom part -- useful yet show-offy.



rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come

I foresee an Uncle Remus period just beyond the horizon.  Please note the lack of vanity with the inclusion of a receding hairline.


So I dunno.  We'll see.  Right now I'm getting into the tactile discovery.  It's becoming strokable.  And I'm adjusting the rearview mirror in my car just the eensiest bit to sneak sneering peeks at myself.  Yes, yes.  Bad bad boy.


  today's music:

"Next Time You See Me" -- The Jimmy McGriff and Hank Crawford Quartet -- RIGHT TURN ON BLUE


today's wisdom:

"There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it."

- Mark Twain