Sunday, October 22, 2006
Sakal keçide de var
I have had a beard moreorless continuously since my twenties. Above is a pre-beard photograph for those who want to see me naked (PS To my children: that really is your mum and dad in the picture, taken on Bournemouth promenade a loooooooooooong time ago. It's called being in love).
For a long time, my beard was a fullset naval beard, and then, in imitation of someone I admired, I reduced it to a sort of imperial, that is, a moustache and chin beard only. A friend then remarked It's like the man whose name was Bossom: it's neither one thing nor the other. He was right. I still have to shave the rest of my face.
So, why do I have a beard, albeit a truncated one? I can give you some good reasons for NOT having a beard, the first of which is, if you are woman........
Another reason for not having a beard is "guilt by association": look at the dweebs, plonkers, anoraks, trotskyists, weirdos and poseurs who have beards. Don't want to be mistaken for one of them, do we? "Guilt by association" is a logical fallacy, of course, but it gives me an excuse to refer you to a favourite website of mine.
OK, I will come clean (erm, not sure if a bearded scrote can use that expression). First, I grew it to celebrate a very great man whom I admired, who taught me a great deal and who had a beard just like the one I have had ever since I last saw him in Paris in the 60's. Coincidentally, he was born on the same day as me: 5 June, 1936. I wonder if he's still alive.....
Secondly, I am told that I am a good kisser (or was), but in repose my lips are rather thin, which tends to make me look like the Gestapo nasty in a WWII B movie who says Ve haff vays of making you talk, englische Schweinhund!
Thirdly, men who have beards, like men who smoke pipes, are generally regarded as knowledgeable and wise: men to be trusted. Useful in the teaching profession, where you have to use every asset you've got.
The title of this piece is a Turkish saying meaning Even goats have beards. That buries reason number three, but I still remember my Parisian guru, and I still like to think of myself as a bit of an old goat. Magari! Ojalà! Keşke! Wenn nur!