“So what I want to know is this. How often do all these hairy-faced men wash their faces? Is it only once a week, like us, on Sunday nights? And do they shampoo it? Do they use a hairdryer? Do they rub hair-tonic in to stop their faces from going bald? Do they go to a barber to have their hairy faces cut and trimmed or do they do it themselves in front of the bathroom mirror with nail-scissors? I don’t know. But next time you see a man with a hairy face (which will probably be soon as you step out on to the street) maybe you will look at him more closely and start wondering about some of these things.”
— Roald Dahl, The Twits
The Yankees don’t have a lot of hair. The official policy, since the dawn of the Steinbrenner era, has been that only neatly trimmed mustaches are permitted. And while this is not the only reason for my conversion to Yankees super-fandom in the past few months, I’m not counting it out as a factor.
These last few months have seen the onset of autumn and with it an onslaught of poor facial hair decisions, and I won’t stand for it. By which I mean I have absolutely no control over it, except in the decision I apparently made a while back to exclusively befriend boys with faces that grow less hair than James Carville’s head.
But I, like Roald Dahl, can’t help but be somewhat intrigued by that tangle of man pelt that grows out of some facial regions. Roald Dahl could have answered his own questions by growing some face fur (probably), but I have as much of a chance of cultivating a luxurious Van Dyke (let alone a French Fork!) as I do of playing for the Yankees. So my investigation began.
I couldn’t go to DKE’s Mustachio Bashio, because DKE scares me. And I’m not touching this whole grow-a-moustache-for-cancer-research thing with a ten foot Schick Quattro. Finally, I will not hassle Provost Salovey about his decision to go nudey-faced because it’s time we left that man’s grooming habits alone. I will not require a Chief Perrotti e-mail the next time Peter trims his underarm hair, thank you very much.
So I turned to those Yale men who have seen both sides of puberty and emerged with one hand in a can of Skoal and the other gripping an ax. (OK, most of them had one hand holding their place in the complete works of Plato and the other stirring more sugar into their skim hazelnut lattes, but they all had really hairy faces, I swear.)
Discovery number one: Beards keep your face warm! Leg hair never kept me warm. (This is also injustice number one.) Discovery number two: Upper lip hair “keeps your nose from running,” which I take to mean, catches snot. Ew. Discovery number three: You cannot go to a consulting or banking interview with hair on your face. I assume this is because the recruiters want to train their successors to pick up high school girls in lower east side bars, which, we all know, relies on a deceptively babyish face. Discovery number four: All men think that other men with facial hair are MANLY. All women think that men with facial hair are SCRATCHY.
So where does this leave me? Uh, exactly where I started. As in, still intrigued by how much prominent brow ridge/primitive man face there is on Johnny Damon once you machete your way through his pre-Yankee hair mask. As in, still convinced that my grandpa and Clark Gable are the only men who should be allowed mustaches. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Dov Charney). And that Shel Silverstein and artistic renderings of Moses should be allowed beards. So to Moses: Happy Novembeard, or Beardvember, or whatever.