Column: It’s a growing problemI was on vacation for most of a week at the end of September. I went to California, sampled wine and rode my bike in the mountains.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
I was on vacation for most of a week at the end of September. I went to California, sampled wine and rode my bike in the mountains. I was part of an organized ride that counted among its participants a few professional bike racers, the actor who played Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell and the actor Patrick Dempsey -- who most people refer to as McDreamy, his character on Grey’s Anatomy, but who for me will forever be the pizza delivery guy who was also a gigolo from that 80s movie I can’t quite name right now. Admittedly, that’s a lot less catchy as nicknames go.
(The Internet Movie Database informs me the movie is called Loverboy, but to be honest I liked it better when I didn’t actually know.)
The ride also featured an appearance by former Major League Baseball star Barry Bonds, who was introduced at the starting line as baseball’s undisputed home run champion. This was funny for a couple of reasons. One, pretty much everyone who pays attention to baseball or head sizes believes Bonds was using performance-enhancing drugs when he set his home-run records, leaving plenty of room for dispute. And two, everyone is so convinced of Bonds’ guilt that many of the 7,500 or so bikers gathered at the starting line actually booed Bonds in a city less than 100 miles from San Francisco, where he set his records.
You know things are bad when, in the era of endless Lance Armstrong investigations, a bunch of guys in stretchy shorts are shaming you for your use of banned substances.
How bad are things for Lance these days? Consider just last month Barry Bonds himself spoke up in defense of the seven-time Tour de France winner, possibly the least helpful words of support ever.
The trip was great for all of those reasons, but also because it provided me one of the opportunities I get from time to time to demonstrate why I should never, ever attempt to grow a beard.
I almost never bring a razor with me on vacation because, let’s be honest, it’s not really a vacation if you can’t ignore at least one aspect of personal grooming. And people generally take issue when I choose to go without deodorant.
My failure to shave is not generally an issue, because I grow facial hair at about the same rate as the average amphibian. I went razorless for a full week, from Tuesday of last week until Tuesday of this week, when I finally had to return to work. By the time I finally lathered up, I had reached the point where a particularly observant person might have looked at me and asked, uncertainly, “Hey, did you forget to shave today?”
It’s always been like this. I had a friend in high school who accepted money from his friends to grow out giant muttonchop sideburns over the course of several weeks. Nobody ever made me that offer, because any attempt on my part to emulate the facial hair of some of our early presidents almost certainly would have ended in tragedy, or at least a lot of pitying looks.
“Oh, no,” a particularly sensitive observer might have said in an attempt to make me feel better. “In the right light you really do look a little like Chester A. Arthur.
It’s a shame, really, because I’m pretty sure I’d look awesome with a beard.
Maybe Barry Bonds has something that can help.