Yes gentle readers, the beard and 'tache have GONE !
I can't remember when I first had a 'full set' but I'm sure it was not long after I was physically able to do so. That would mean when I was in my late 30's !!
Slow developer, me.
I can remember lads at boarding school growing some sort of facial hair long before I was even growing it in other places. By the time we all left school at 18, they had full Brian Blesseds and I had just played Yum-Yum again in our Christmas rendition of The Mikado ! Nuff said.
Last weekend I put on a bet with myself that if The Packers lost the Superb Owl, I would shave off my beard. I wasn't fully committed to either result and so I told no one about my bet. I think that's called a safe bet in gambling circles although maybe it's just in coward circles. Whatever.
So with The Packers winning, my beard was saved from destruction but already a seed had been sown. A clean faced Silverback ? Would the world be ready for such a sight ? Hell, would I be ready for such a sight ?
I thought it over during the week and decided...yes...off with the beard. I mean if I scare young children and animals (more than usual), I can always grow it back in about 5 months !
And so today was THE day. I lined up the unfamiliar items next to the wash basin; shaving foam, razor, lots of tissues, bandages, hot towels, smelling salts, medical insurance policy. First up though, I trimmed my hair, what there was to trim. I used a No.2 guide which to the uninitiated, meant I ended up more Bruce Willis than Fabio. Sorted.
Then with razor in shaking hand, I looked at my bearded face in the mirror for the last time and started shaving.....
Now one of the reasons for me growing a beard in the first place was that I had always been a pimply yute and shaving usually left me looking like a Freddie Krueger body double. So, as I started revealing the skin beneath the beard, I wasn't really sure what I, and the razor blade, would find.
I was more than pleasantly surprised to find.....clear skin. Soft clear pimple free skin. Skin like the butt cheeks of a baby with such very smooth butt cheeks that it just came first in a world's smoothest butt cheeks competition. Hurrah !!
Mind you, I still managed to nick myself once......or twice.....ok a few times but not many. It's not easy this shaving lark. I'm not sure I fancy bothering with it on a daily basis but we'll see. Maybe I'll cultivate a Nick Tilsley stubble look (sorry non Corrie watchers but did you like the nick/Nick link there ?) which in my case, would mean only having to shave once a month !
With hair trimmed and beard gone, the sink looked like Bigfoot had just been given a wax job. It was time for a shower and what a strange experience THAT was. As I soaped my head and face, it felt like I was cleaning a bowling bowl. Yes, yes so I have very flared nostrils.....leave me alone.
After drying off, I was finally able to use my after shave for something other than just making my body smell half decent. But as Macaulay Culkin could've told me, this was a big mistake as my newly exposed skin was as sensitive as that of a 10 yr old - although I've never been too sure why he screamed like a little girl when all he'd done was have a shower !
I mean I'd shaved and everything and I only screamed a little bit. He was a wimp !
Speaking of mistakes, I'm still not sure if I've made a dreadful one by shaving and no, there will be ZERO photographic evidence of this until I have come to terms with my new look myself. There may be some PTSD (Post Traumatic Shaving Disorder) to deal with and I may need the support of friends and even a bit of therapy.
Right now I can't stop rubbing my chin like some thoughtful politician who has been asked to explain broken manifesto promises. I have no beard to twiddle with. No moustache to curl at the edges. If I start to get teenage acne again, I'm defenceless.
I'M NAKED. Well facially anyway.
I'll let you know if it lasts.