Every young man is guilty of doing a certain thing that will upset his mother no end when she finds out what it is he’s up to. Well, it’s a male rite of passage: growing a beard.
Most lads will let their beards sprout to see how it comes out, and quite often the end result is a mixture between hilarious and scary. As a young fella I grew a beard for about a year and when I shaved it off, it gave our dog a nasty shock. It was only when he recognised my yells for help that he stopped tearing into my leg.
Anyway, last weekend while watching the footy finals, I was struck by how many young players were sporting facial fungus, and was reminded of those particularly hairy days of the 1970’s when nearly every man sported mug shrubbery.
The handle bar moustache was made fashionable by sporting legends like Dennis Lillee, Rod Marsh, Max Walker, and just about every Aussie Rules player. Beards were also trendy, and even Emperor Wally wore a beard for a while; and hair on top of his head.
Todays’ actors are also taking a leaf, or the entire bush, from the stars of yesteryear like Jack Thompson, Grizzly Adams, Magnum PI, Charles Bronson, and possibly Rolf Harris. Big stars like Russel Crowe, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hanks and George Clooney have made wearing chin mufflers popular again.
So the trend is back, and our young men’s chops are being caringly, and creatively, carpeted again. Although for some reason, while they are happy to let their facial fluff frolic, they seem to be waxing and shaving all the other hair off their bodies like they have some sort of compulsive disorder. I don’t know why, but as long as they’re not using my razor, I don’t particularly care.
Sadly, my latest attempt to grow a beard has not gone well. I’ve got more grey hair on my face than a silverback gorilla has on its, well, back. Plus it’s itchy, makes me look old, and my shirt sleeves are working overtime to mop up the food and drink spills. But on the bright side it’s annoying my Mum and Long Suffering Wife, so I’ll keep it for a little while longer.