Young men go through all sorts of crazy phases in their lives. Being capricious, whimsical creatures overburdened with energy and lacking in productive ways to expel that energy, they often find themselves engaged in all sorts of "learning experiences" that verge on the lethal.
What man in his twenties hasn't looked at a 40 oz. bottle of jack daniels and said "yeah, I could drink that"? Or looked at a one hundred foot cliff ending in a twenty foot deep pool and said "meh, I should be fine"?
I have done both of those things. I have also said such wonderful "manisms" as "guys, I'm not that drunk" and "come on, hit me with your best shot".
We young men find ourselves on all sorts of crazy adventures, often for absolutely stupid reasons. And I can't find a better example than the playoff beard.
For those not in Canada, here's the tradition: during the NHL Playoffs, you do not shave until your hockey team of choice has either won the Stanley Cup or been eliminated. Because this can mean sometimes more than a month of no shaving, it can often get very, very ugly. And yet, it's a national past time, and every year in april and may, you see all sorts of idiots completely unshaven, absently scratching at unfamiliar growth and apologizing for it every chance they get.
"Sorry about my face... it's, um, playoff season" they say, while avoiding the judge's gaze as they try to argue their way out of that DUI or fine for public urination.
I've tried to grow a playoff beard every year for the past four or so. Unfortunately, my team is the San Jose Sharks, so they've never been around in the playoffs long enough for it to matter. I usually get to the five o'clock shadow stage, and then loudly announce "how the hell did my team lose to the Anaheim ducks? Damn you, Emilio Estevez!"
But I think I know why they never made it very far. You see, I trimmed the beard. And I refused to allow the growth of neckbeard. Because who likes neck beard?
Communists and homeless people, that's who.
I didn't realize it, but I was cursing my team. So this year, I went full bore, and vowed to not shave - at all - until the Sharks either have the cup, or have died trying. And it's been brutal. Three weeks in, and I look like a homeless russkie begging for vodka. I am so fuzzy-faced, with a ginger beard, that Happy Apple has frequently referred to it as a "mane", and has recently dubbed me "Dandy Lion"
This is very unfortunate, and I've debated smothering Happy Apple with a pillow of some sort.
But it's too late for me to turn back. I have to ride this out, and hope for the best. Because sometimes, young men do stupid things. For no justifiable reason.
Besides, I could totally drink that.