I’m one of those people greatly concerned about time. Time is a precious, fleeting resource; so it’s safe to say I’m even more concerned about wasting it. Seven billion billion billion atoms decided to coagulate into me and, frankly, I have no idea how long they’ll stick together.
I’m not alone. Our species has been generally obsessed with the measuring and tracking of time since we first invented the clock. About thirty-five thousand years ago, a Cro-Magnon man named Grog assembled the very first one. He hung it on the communal cave wall and then asked the clan if anyone had any ideas what it might do (because he had no clear idea himself). “Track aurochs?” one man suggested. “Predict stars?” offered another. “Count times Thorg leave dirty dishes in sink?” offered Thorg’s wife, to everyone’s nodding and murmuring agreement.
Sadly, it would be another thirty-one thousand years before they figured out what the clock was really for. Up until that point, people measured time using silly things, such as daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
Me? I measure time in productivity and if something is preventing me from being productive I become irritated and agitated. We had a busy year with the whole house move and every minute had to be poured into the task. That meant there was no time to cook, no time to start a new blog and write twenty new posts, and there was definitely no time to shave.
I’ve never been able to grow what I would consider a real beard. But as the weeks and months of move preparations ticked on, I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder.” So I let it go. Half voluntarily, half against my better judgment. Before I knew it, this happened.
That’s long. I mean, I know it’s not ZZ Top long or anything. But it’s long for me. Here it is all poofed out. (I normally tried to keep it as flat as possible.)
It was equal parts fun, interesting, and annoying. As it grew, it increasingly went from “just facial hair” to “conversation piece.” It was at the point, though, where people would point and whisper and the little children would run away in fright that I knew it was time to go.
But how to get rid of it? I mean, here’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something fun with it. After all, I’m not planning on going six-plus months without shaving again. Sadly, I let the opportunity go by. This is about the only interesting thing I tried:
And when it was all over, I was back to my normal self:
We had a good run, beard: you and me. A little longer and maybe we could’ve taken this show on the road. I can see it now: pressing my face into wet cement on Hollywood’s walk of stars.
Before I wrap up, one last picture. In a nod to the old Incredible Hulk television show, here’s my classic man-versus-monster split screen image. Enjoy.