Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What is it with them? Coming up the hill to the High Village yesterday afternoon I saw the second badly dressed, swivel eyed, pullover sporting, elderly hairy chinned man of the day.

Once a sign of divinity (-2000), then sagacity (-500), then liberality (-50), the beard is now virtually proof of a dissipated life. Academics, once the curliest of all professions, shun them. So do political candidates, PRs, pundits and priests.

Best (true) beard story: GB Shaw, perhaps the most famous bearded modern, as a child used to watch his father shave. Once he asked him why he did it. His father took the razor from his face, considered the question and asked himself 'Yes. Why do I shave?' Then he threw the razor out of the open window and never shaved again.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Have taken this from another blogger. You must admit the story would lose some pithiness without the facial hair:

If you put my grandfather in a room with God and gave him one question, he would not ask for the meaning of life. He would not inquire as to the existence of poverty or the vagaries of human nature. No, he would ask, and I quoth: Do you use Firefox? My grandfather, an avid watcher of our SpreadFirefox counter, claims to have personally converted the 4 million people in his “inner circle,” or what we call “Florida.” God would make 4 million and one.

So when I returned from the airport bathroom two weeks ago, I was hardly surprised to find him (my grandfather, not God) engaging the head Rabbi of Israel in a delightful conversation about Firefox. We knew it was the head Rabbi because moments earlier the man had been shepherded into the Admirals Club by six (6) police officers, and my grandfather asked one of the cops…if he used Firefox. Then he asked the cop who the man was.

I returned from the bathroom just in time to hear my grandfather say: “I use Firefox religiously. Have you heard of it?”

Religiously. To the head Rabbi of Israel. Wince. Wince. Wince. Cut to me stuffing my head between my knees, wondering if my grandfather and a Rabbi were going to get in a fistfight, pondering whose side the six cops were going to take, then wondering if my grandfather would evangelize Firefox to his fellow prisoners.

“Firefox?” The Rabbi stops and thinks for a minute, rubbing his beard. “Ah yes! The one that blocks all the schmutz.”