Friday, January 21, 2011

Beard Psychosis

Tonight we went to see Butch Bradley at the Take Out Comedy Club. This was the fourth time I've seen him, and the best yet. This time round he was fresh and free from jet-lag, and killed for an hour and a half, while still taking the time to berate us all for sitting in a darkened basement.

The only thing that spoiled my enjoyment was the sensation, from about an hour into his set, that my beard was getting bigger. I know it's always growing, but it felt like it was sprouting, bulging out of my face like a hairy hedge of fuzz. All I wanted to do then was scarper home and have at it with a razor, when I know full well I can't possibly do this, as it's January and (insert some made up superstition about never shaving before Chinese New Year).

I don't need to make up superstitious reasons to not shave, of course. Professional racing cyclists have already done so. Apparently as the hair regrows, it saps your energy, so you should never shave before a race. Or shower (it makes your muscles soften) or eat chocolate ice cream (it will give you indigestion). They have few superstitions against injecting greyhound growth formula/steroids/weedkiller and the tears of a virgin, strangely. Although I don't know whether to believe any of that, as according to rumour, in the early days of the Tour de France racers would ride on a piece of beef which, when they finished the stage, they'd hand to the chef to cook.

At least they'd know how well the steak had been marinated, I guess.

Aside from that digression, the increasing beardiness of my face was driving me to distraction. Perhaps I was lucky to be in a darkened room where nobody could see me. But lurking there was the fear that at any moment, the audience would die, choked by the creeping vines of hair, the tendrils of beard that might suddenly strike forwards. That's the thing about beards. It's not the face they're hiding that you need to worry about, it's the beard itself, waxing ever stronger in the light of the moon, readying itself to strike.

At least I don't have hairy palms. There's some hope.


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