Blog: My Shave-Free Summer, Day 62

(originally written 7/30/17)

As anyone who's had any contact with me since April knows, my kid was in Samoa with her other family from May 7 until the glorious night of July 25. My facial growth didn't begin until she'd already been gone three weeks.


As you might imagine, stepping off the plane and seeing her dad so wild caught her off-guard. 
And then it intrigued her. 
And then it captivated her. 


After the customary hour-long airport embrace among loved ones, Josie peppered me with one question after another about the beard, not really listening to the answers as she was too busy playing with said beard. 


First she gripped it, seeming to test its authenticity. Then she stroked it, like a villain plotting his next move. Finally she just ran her fingers through it over and over again, as if picking all the green M&M's out of an otherwise good pack.


You don't think about things like that when undertaking a shave-free summer. You also don't consider the implications of eating certain substances. Take, for example, the A's game I attended two weeks ago. The song says you eat peanuts and Cracker Jack at the ballgame. I prefer hot dogs and nachos, however.


Surprisingly, stretching my mouth to its maximum couldn't prevent 10% of the nacho cheese from ending up in my thickened, lip-drowning mustache. Naturally, I’d forgotten napkins. Cue mad dash back to concession stand for said napkins, complete with covered mouth. Cue nervous fellow fans fearing imminent barf.


Even when you get nacho cheese out of your ‘stache, you haven't gotten it out because nacho cheese ‘stache stank is potent. We are not using the most powerful weapons at our disposal, President Trump. Forget guns, forget bombs—visit your local barbershop, coat the trimmings on the floor with Velveeta, and hit them terrorists with THAT.


That's not even close to the worst food to consume during a shave-free summer.


I recently resumed patroning Costco after a 12-year interruption. (The interruption was brought on by a very stupid, sorely misguided cashier who got her job duties confused with those of an FBI agent. But I'm not here to talk about the past.)


Costco sells maybe the only ribs that rival my own in terms of quality. They were served at my buddy Juan's house this spring—prior to my razor strike—and MAN, were they yum. I bought more a few weeks later.


But now, because of this cursed shave-free summer, it could be a long time before I dare indulge again.
You see, unlike most restaurant ribs, Costco ribs are fairly massive. There are no such things as small bites. Fully aware of this beforehand, I went light on the sauce. Didn't matter. When dinner was over, my at-the-time 37-day-old growth reeked of rib juice, barbecue sauce, several different unidentified spices, and the butter from the baked potato which completed the meal.


What you're probably thinking: Why not just rinse it out, Skillz? It can't be that bad!


It's not that easy. 


I can't speak for others, but I know the traditional soap-and-water attack has little effect on THIS mustache when so much gunk has penetrated it. Nothing short of shampoo, time and prayer resolves this issue. And asking a host to borrow some shampoo while you kneel indefinitely doesn't seem socially sound.


Other items I've been forced to either limit, tilt awkwardly while consuming, or eat so slowly that I appear challenged in some way: sour cream, mustard (as a Subway topping), ice cream, Starbucks frappucinos, spaghetti, chocolate milk, syrup, etc. Most of those items have no business passing my lips anyway, so maybe the unbearable facial stink they create might subliminally lead to some long-term good.


My shave-free summer continues...