I have nothing against beards. I have, after all just shaved mine off, after living with it for nine months. Not that anyone has noticed that I have shaved it off. Well of course my nearest and dearest noticed, eventually. It was Alex my youngest that spotted that it gone first.
“You’ve shaved off your beard dad!”
I put my hand to my face and pretended to be shocked.
“ Oh my god, its gone”
"Yeah, right dad, I knew you had shaved it off because the bathroom sink was full of hair."
I protested. I am most careful to make sure that I don’t leave beard debris in the sink, okay small amounts of barely detectable shavings may occasionally over a period of time accumulate in cracks, but full on in the sink no way!
My protests fell on deaf ears. He had gone, and as he went he called out to anyone who was listening, and to anyone who wasn’t, “Dad’s shaved his beard off!”
And I only grew it for a bet with my mate Malcolm, and he chickened out after a few weeks. (His wife gave him an ultimatum though, so I guess discretion was the better part of valour on his part.) Come to think about it though, he still owes me a beer!
As beards go it was quite a good one. It was a talking point. People said it gave me gravitas. I have never had gravitas, unless you count the smoked salmon thing. It did give me a certain confidence. But if I am honest, I never felt totally clean, and as my lovely children pointed out, it used to act as a collecting point, a sort of hairy bib for stray bits of food. And my parents on the only occasion that they were forced to come into contact with it live, as it were, could only think in terms of terrorist metaphors.
I don’t miss it. But who knows, if I suffer another crisis of confidence, I can always grow another one. And at least the sink is free from any accumulations, however small, of facial hair.