b Papa Dog's Blog: Like All Right-Thinking People, I Hate Shaving, and What You Will

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Like All Right-Thinking People, I Hate Shaving, and What You Will

The thing with shaving is, you do it, you're done, and then before you know it, you have to do it again. It's worse than laundry because, theoretically at least, you don't really have to do laundry all that often. You could either buy enough clothes to make it an annual event or wear the same clothes over and over until they disintegrate. Like Gilligan and the Skipper. And the Professor, come to think of it. They always wore the same clothes, week in and week out, and somehow were never filth-encrusted and tattered. How is that? It always comes back to Gilligan, and it's always an enigma. But I guess I'm straying.

How is it that most guys make themselves shave each and every morning (or evening, or both) of their lives? Is it because they have to look good for their jobs? Are most guys news anchors or marines? I've never been able to remember to shave more than once every three days, but I've always had the kind of job where I could go a few days - or maybe week or so - without shaving, and nobody would care enough to give me any shit about it. Midway through the second week comes the point where you have to either shave it off or decide that it’s a beard and pretend it’s always been there. After that, there's no going back.

What happened lately was, I accidentally grew a beard back in April or May or so (using the mid-second-week method). It's coming out whiter and whiter these days, so now and then Mama Dog would make a reproving comment about the hoary whiskers. "I'll shave when we bring the baby home," I'd say, thinking that a commitment to a particular date (or, in this case, event) would buy me some breathing space. No, though. It turned out that the issue was in fact the anticipated birth-day photos. She didn't want me looking like Nick Nolte on a bender* in our first set of baby pictures. Understandable, I suppose, but by then my arbitrary beard-shaving date had become an established goal, and I refused to budge. Baby was born, we brought her home, and that afternoon I went out in the back yard with the shears and the clippers and the half-ton tonsorial backhoe ready to give myself a shave worthy of Mr. Todd of Fleet Street (whom I assume must have been a pretty good barber or they wouldn’t have made a musical about him). Off came the beard and, to hear Mama Dog's mama tell it, a good ten years of noticeable mileage.

That was June 28. I was pretty good through most of July, but this morning I happened to catch a glance of myself in a passing mirror and noticed that at some point the beard had apparently returned. Damn if I know how that happened. I’d been making mental notes to shave for weeks, but apparently nobody was giving them to me. I don't know what to do if I'm ever going to be clean shaven and make it stick. Rub my face with salt? Quicklime, maybe? I welcome all suggestions for home remedies.

In other matters...we developed the photo I mentioned two posts ago, and perhaps predictably the picture doesn't look exactly as I described it. For one thing, Baby Dog didn't have her fist up anymore by the time I snapped the shot. I'll probably get around to posting it and some other shots on Shutterfly eventually. If anybody wants to see them, email me.

Still at it with the papers. Just barely started August 1, so again I'm exactly two weeks behind. La lucha continúa!

*Granted, he's not bearded in that photo, but he still makes a fine cheap visual punchline.


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