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It’s official: I’m now a beard guy. I realized this while I was at work the other day. Another man with a beard commented on my beard, then gave me a compliment for it. I didn’t realize it until after the encounter, but he was expecting some sort of positive reciprocation about his beard. The whole thing just made me feel awkward—like, now me and that guy are in some sort of brotherhood together because we are both too lazy to shave?
It just didn’t feel the same as when I was a kid and there weren’t very many skaters, and if you saw another kid on a skateboard, you were instantly kin. That’s what this guy was going for. It got me thinking about what having a beard actually means these days. Beards seem to have different meanings throughout the course of history. For example, Brigham Young had a magnificent pussy pusher, as evidenced by his many wives. Yet, the campus he’s named after won’t allow its students who are capable of sprouting a fine womb-broom the luxury of doing so. Oh well, not my problem—I dropped out of college a long time ago.
So, please allow me to break down the different types of “beard guys” the best I can. There’s no scientific method to back up any of this shit—just some stupid observations from yours truly, now that I have a beard and beard vision.
The “Skinny Guy Compensating for Being Skinny by Having a Beard” Beard: This style seems to be particularly popular with those pesky hipsters. I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I guess that sometimes, there’s not enough loot in the trust fund to afford a gym membership or a razor. This beard goes well with shitty haircuts, black-rimmed glasses, overly colorful, ironic tattoos and apathy.
The Business Beard: This was an actual category at a beard competition I attended once. I’m not sure what it really entails, since I’m a shitty businessman, other than it’s gotta be well kept to keep Lumbergh off your ass. This beard is also popular with the evil super-villain types and the asshole billionaires of the world.
The “I Care too Much about My Beard” Beard: You know how annoying it is when people try too hard at anything? And you have to be like, “Dude, tone it down a notch,” like your friend who is way too into his shitty band. It’s like that, but for beards. You wanna be all, “Dude, you don’t need that much mustache wax in your beard—it looks like jizz.” This beard goes well with top hats and World of Warcraft aficionados.
The Weird Beard: You ever see a beard on a guy, and it just looks weird? Like a guy with a tiny head and a giant beard? I’ll put the goatee in this category because those always have looked weird to me. Or, this can be the guy that braids his beard. Just give up already on ever getting laid again and dreadlock that shit—less maintenance and the same effect.
The Hippie Beard, aka The Jesus: Speaking of putting dreadlocks where they don’t belong (personally, I don’t think dreadlocks belong on any white person to begin with), the hippie beard speaks for itself. This beard goes well with sandals and not knowing what a rent check or a 401K is. Let this one grow long enough and it’s one step away from the next beard.
The Bum Beard: To me, this is the most honest and noble beard of them all. I seriously won’t believe that you are really a homeless bum unless you have a raging, filthy beard. I’m not saying that you can’t be homeless and clean-shaven, but getting some spare change out of me is much easier if I see that there are pigeons and rats shitting on your face.
The Gimli: Named after my favorite guy in The Lord of the Rings, The Gimli is the unicorn of beards. You don’t see these too often, but these beards are real head-turners for men and women alike. Not just anyone can pull off The Gimli, let alone grow one. They take years and years of not giving a shit, only to blossom into a pristine swan of facial majesticness. Mead and ale spill lavishly upon this face drape. It’s bushy, long and firm, and not too soft—the kind of beard you could take a nap in and sleep for days, as if you were hooked up to an IV full of NyQuil and codeine.
I’m sure that there are many other categories of beards and beard guys out there, like the Ultimate Flavor Saver and the “I’m a Really Shitty Rap Artist” Chin Strap. As for myself, I consider mine the “I Gave Up on Life” Beard. Like, when someone asks me how long I’ve been growing my beard, I either have to think back to the date of my last court appearance, or I just stroke it and say, “I gave up on life this long ago.”