Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

I bristle at the thought of shaving

Hirsutes you: George Clooney

I've been under pressure from the fair sex again to shave off my beard. They become obsessed with seeing one's bare chin, which ain't going to happen, as I've a dimple like the Grand Canyon.

This is at a time when beards have become trendy, with Hollywood stars like George Clooney, and even footer players, giving birth to new life on their chins.

Now bandy-legged Scotophobe and BBC Newsnight sneerer Jeremy Paxman has joined in, causing a storm on Twitter.

The Twits are divided. Some say he looks "distinguished". Others compare him to Santa Claus. Everyone with a beard has been compared to Santa. When you've a beard, you're likened to every other beardie.

So whither Jeremy's fuzz? Now that he's bearded, older photos of his bare face look absurd. That's how it goes with beards.

Like Flann O'Brien's policemen and bicycles, you become your beard and your beard becomes you.

Jeremy is undecided about continuing the experiment. But he must decide soon. Once you've had a beard for any length of time, the skin underneath mutates and you look absurd when the fungus comes off.

Billy Connolly tried repeatedly to go bare-faced but looked such a chinless berk, he finally gave up and will now have a beard all his days. As will I.

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