Tuesday, February 07, 2006

BEARDS: The measure of a man

Recently, I had a three day weekend to tackle my television memoirs. I woke up on my first day off, drank 12 ounces of water (one must be hydrated), jumped in the shower when an otherwise unimportant mental manifestation surfaced with the ferocity of a nuclear blast:

I didn't need to shave!

Forget the morning coffee or a homemade country breakfast to stimulate your groggy senses. The realization that you can display a days growth of facial hair without having the cataclysmic repercussions you would normally encounter at work is one of the most exhilarating epiphanies one can experience early in the morning on a day off.

Throughout the day, the scruffiness of my days growth became empowering. I felt like changing the oil on the car. I wanted to build an addition on my workbench along with finding random uses for my cordless drill. I felt like challenging people at the grocery store to feats of strength. My facial hair was even brainwashing me into thinking that I could hold up the front end of my car up with my bare hands WHILE changing the oil! In essence, my facial hair increased my adrenaline output and my level of stupidity. If it weren't for my wife strongly suggesting that I refrain from these activities or my day would revolve around cleaning our bathrooms, my adrenaline overdrive would have caused serious injury. This, keep in mind, is all due to facial hair.

Since my overzealous, adrenaline laced body was checked at the door by my lovely wife always looking out for my well-being, I never tackled the projects that I set out to do that day while on my facial hair high. But I did have a chance to reminisce about facial hair days gone by. One specific instance was back in 1995 during my last year of college.

Several friends along with myself were studying for a calculus test (how dorky is that) and--for reasons still unknown--the conversation shifted from integrals and complex equations to beards within a few minutes. Actually, it was more of a switch to topics that were only partially related to manly activities but within those minutes, the focus evolved to straight up, manly things. Eventually, as all manly conversations go, the topic drove headstrong right into beard territory. Once your there, you cannot back out. The friendly discussion morphed into a heated exchange and then to a challenge. We all agreed to grow beards for a period of weeks after which we would have an impartial party judge to see who has the best beard. Needless to say, I won!

After the two weeks elapsed and the contest was over, I realized that each man's beard was distinctly different not because of color but in thickness or density.
This, in my opinion, is directly correlated to his manliness. Since I won the contest, I figured I was more manly than the others ( I was biased) so it was up to me to explore this relationship further. After all, I owed my results to all manly men who won beard growing contests.

But first, I needed a scientific term.

Also, how could beard density be quantified?

Since my background is in meteorology, I took a weather-type term and changed a bit to describe what I needed. In weather, an isobar is a line of equal pressure. So, I thought, the lines showing equal beard density should be appropriately named: ISOBEARD

So I drew a picture of a face (circa 1995) illustrating where the beard is the thickest using these brandnew ISOBEARD lines.

Notice that the facial hair in this example is the thickness or the most dense around the chin and near the ear. The beard is the least dense in the mustache region and near the cheek bone. Also, NEGATIVE ZONES or areas where the beard doesn't occur (below the lower lip and to the left and right of the mouth) become very visible using this technique. While these negative zones make the beard look trim, it is a detriment to possess too many NEGATIVE ZONES as it dilutes ones manliness

What does this map tell us? Simple really. If a person's ISOBEARD MAP has lines that are far apart then, by definition, he is not as manly because he doesn't have a thick beard. If, however, a person's ISOBEARD MAP has lines that are concentrated throughout then his manliness is much greater because he has a thick beard.

Since then, I have created ISOBEARD MAPS for many people (with their permissiion) using this technique as a tool to determine the person's manliness. Of course, God created all of us to be unique in our own way. However, if God created us with the same level of manliness then I wouldn't be here determining a way to quantify it because we'd all be the same. Basically, some of us have more manly uniquenesses than others. That's what the ISOBEARD MAP TECHNIQUE shown in the picture above was designed to find out.

So draw an ISOBEARD MAP of your own beard using the picture above as a template and see where you come out. Don't give up if the outcome isn't what you hoped for. If at all possible over a few days off, try to let your beard go for a bit longer and see if the results get more precise.

If you think this technique is faulty, remember this: Does Clint Eastwood have a thick beard when he chooses to grow one? Does Arnold Schwarzenegger have a weak beard why he's sported facial hair? Does Chuck Norris have a beard that's spotty? Exactly.

Guess What? La Nina is Back!

Remember back in 1997 when everyone blamed EL NINO for everything weather-related? Well, its cousin--LA NINA-- is showing signs of returning albeit in a very weak capacity.