Posts Tagged ‘dress code paris’

The beard I feared

October 19, 2010


I'm missing some hair on my neck


The need to keep my beard permanently positioned at 3’o-clock in the shade meant a trip to the local electronics store was in order.

Keeping a beard is relatively new to me. When I was 12 I used to keep a rabbit. He ended up dead and buried in the backyard. Then the neighbour’s dog came and dug him up. A few days later he was still dead but now reburied, with a large stone on top.

The point is that I’m not always good at keeping and maintaining things.

When it comes to growing and removing beards, I’ve had my fair share of facial hair, but always accidentally kill it off just when it starts to mature. Days later I usually end up resurrecting it as a questionable moustache.

Last year, shortly after I came to understand that integrating with locals would necessitate growing some stubble, I went to the store and bought a beard trimmer.

It was Vidal Sassoon brand, a name I recognised from the shampoo. I soon realised why Vidal Sassoon is more known for shampoo than beard trimmers.

The device had about 3 different length attachments, starting at about 2 centimetres. It would have useful had I been a werewolf wanting to keep my body trim for summer. But for my purposes, maintaining a snazzy beard, I was going to need to something that allowed me to go shorter.

I palmed it off to an Australian friend who at that stage in his life was quite comfortable with having a 2cm beard.

Dad now stepped in with some fatherly advice. “It’s always worth buying good quality tools, son,” he said, handing me his beard trimmer that, since he was now clean shaven, he would no longer need.

I presume his advice came from experience: the tool he gave me was missing half of the blade comb and used perennially dying AA batteries. While it trimmed at a decently short length, unless you held it at the right angle it left large holes in the beard. Many friends asked me at that time whether I had facial alopecia.

Finally, last week I returned to the store to invest in a new, fancy, expensive beard trimmer.

Faced with a substantial selection, I told the store lady, “I will take any beard trimmer, so long as it is not that Vidal Sassoon one.”

“Well, that’s not a beard trimmer, sir,” she replied.

Then she added, in a didn’t-you-know tone, “That’s for trimming body hair.”

At least that partly explained why I’d never heard of the Vidal Sasoon beard trimmer. “Why did you sell that model to me last time then?” I asked.

She now made a gesture at the ample chest hair spilling over from the v-neck of my t-shirt and said, “Maybe the lady thought what you really wanted was a body hair trimmer.”

She then informed me that there had been a rush on beard trimmers that weekend and there was only one or two models left anyway.

I took a large and expensive model, being sure to ask that it was fully adjustable. “Not a problem, this one does everything,” she assured me.

The sales woman was right. Taking it home, I applied it to my face. With the speed of an 8-cyclinder lawnmower, the trimmer literally did everything. Charging all over my face, it removed all virtually but the barest trace of a beard.

With a soft downy transparent hair shadow, memories of high school pretending I’d hit puberty came flooding back. If those memories weren’t the stone on the grave of growing beards, they should have been.

PS, Jay, if you haven’t already gathered, you can do your body hair with that beard trimmer I gave you in summer.


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