Thunder Volcano

Boundless enthusiasm for something stupid


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Every time I grow a beard I get a speech from my mom about how I’m not going to get girls on account of my beardiness.  I’ve tried to explain to her that she’s starting with a faulty premise – the idea that women are attracted to me in the first place – but she never buys it.  You know how moms are.  Nor is she amenable to the idea that some women like beards*.  On the whole she’s probably right, but this time around I’ve taken it far enough that I can’t help but agree (I mentioned this to a female acquaintance who suggested that I seek out unattractive women).  I started getting comments about how big my beard is from people at work whom I seldom/never talk to.  That’s right.  My beard is ridiculous enough that people in a brewery are starting to take notice.  People have started asking if they can pet my beard (some just do it without asking).  Outside of work, I’ve been told by at least four people that I look like a skinny Zach Galifianakis and by two that I look like Joaquin Phoenix.  Several of these people have been strangers.

Prior to my current beardy glory, I had a few people tell me that I didn’t look much/enough like a brewer.  I guess brewers aren’t allowed to be clean shaven?  One of these times was when I was the speaker at a beer dinner.  Enough people commented that the bar manager made a point of asking me if I was even 21 yet (I was 26 at the time).  Conversely, I don’t think I’ve been carded at a bar since I’ve grown this beard.

There are some notable downsides to having this much beard.  The most obvious is all the stuff that gets trapped in it.  I can’t brush my teeth after I take a shower because my beard gets filled with toothpaste.  I tend to carry crumbs around in it a lot.  One day I ate a bacon egg and cheese sandwich that was made with runny eggs and I didn’t realize until a few hours later that I’d taken about half of an egg yolk along for the ride.  Plus now whenever I drink beer I inadvertently dip my mustache into it.  It’s become commonplace enough that I don’t even bother cleaning the beer out since I know it’s about to happen again.  I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s not all that ideal if I’m trying a sip of somebody else’s beer and I accidentally add Mustache Flavor to it.  Every time I try to eat sandwiches I end up biting more of my own facial hair than food.  This is facial hair that’s still attached to my face, mind you.

On a related note, there have been two occasions in my life when I’ve been mistaken for a homeless person.  The first time was when I was in college, and the mistake was made by Duke’s college roommate – somebody I’d known for three or four years at the time.  In his defense, it was early in the morning and I was really hungover so I was probably shuffling/stumbling a bit, plus I hadn’t shaved in at least two months, I was wearing a beat-up, stained flannel jacket, dragging a suitcase with only one wheel, and carrying a six pack with four beers in it.  He said he glanced out the window and thought “that homeless guy looks a lot like Baron” then continued looking for me.  He got pretty weirded out when I started trying to get in his car.

The second time, it was a homeless guy.  I was in DC and I was leaving the bar to go to the metro when a guy came up to me and said “hey do you have any ch- oh wait, are you homeless too?”.  I really had no idea how to react to that – I figured I might piss him off if I acted offended and it hadn’t quite sunk in yet that it was hilarious (to me, anyway).

*There have been a number of times when she’s given me the following advice on women, verbatim: All women are the same.

Written by Baron Volcano

10/26/2010 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Hootenanny

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