And that's it. As of this writing (which, admittedly, is a bit past midnight), we're at $3,977.76. Quite respectable. Our winner again this year is Pete DiLillo, who not only rallied nearly $1,000 in sponsorship himself, but took us on a trippy, photoshoppy ride all month long. Thanks and well done to Pete. I'll have to see if he wants another winner's shirt for 2012, or perhaps we'll work something else out.
Thanks also to all of our sponsors and to each of our contributors, who once again made November more entertaining and more cancer-killing than it might otherwise have been.
Me, I'm glad to have this forum and this beard, if only for a few more hours. It's good to see old faces and new, growing hair for the sake of our lady folks' health.
"Hey! You with the beard! What's going on?"
"Well, I'm afraid, Daniel, that you've died. Welcome to the Pearly Gates."
"What? How? I was just driving home from work, then poof."
"That's how it happens sometimes. Of course, if you hadn't been texting, you might have seen the large truck crossing the divider."
"Would that have helped?"
St. Peter turned to a massive book on his podium and licked a thumb. He turned a few pages and then scanned down with his forefinger. "Ah," he said at last, tapping the book, "Nope. Not one bit."
"Oh. Well, it's probably just as well, then. So, uh, you're really here, huh?"
"What do you mean?"
"You. Heaven. Hell. The whole thing. I was pretty sure until a few moments ago you were the figment of someone's imagination."
"Not a believer, eh?" said St. Peter as he turned back to his book. After a few moments, he turned back. "Crossed signals. We get them from time to time. Hmm. Yes, you were bound for eternal nothingness. I can transfer you if you'd like."
"To the afterlife of your choosing. This is a bit embarrassing. Most people don't get the choice, you know. When they cross over, their souls get directed to the proper place and the system runs smoothly enough. But every now and then, as with you, we have a glitch."
"So I can just choose?"
"Yes, well the Jig, as they say, is Up. If I sent you to eternal nothingness now that you know there are other possibilities, that wouldn't be very sporting, would it? Although, I hear it's quite nice. Peaceful in weird sort of way. So what'll it be? Heaven, Hell, Valhalla, Samsara, Elysium? Haven't had an Elysium in a while. Couple of Hades last month, but no Elysium."
"Samsara, that's like reincarnation, right? I think I'd like that."
"Careful, now. Messy business, reincarnation. Don't know what you're going to get when you get back down there. Could be Bill Gates, could be a deformed cockroach. But I repeat myself."
Daniel didn't laugh.
St. Peter did, though. He tried to suppress his mirth, but a chuckle spilled out nonetheless. He continued a moment later, "A little reincarnation humor. Anyway, the point is it's a crap shoot. Plus, you can't have anything you learned this go around go back with you. Has a lot in common with eternal nothingness, now that I think about it. This you just kinda goes poof and a new you pops up on Earth."
"Hmm. Yeah, I guess I'd kind of like to keep my consciousness. What options let me do that?"
"Well, most of the pit or paradise options you people have dreamed up over the millennia work that way. Trouble is, the paradises are full of righteous busybodies, and the pits are, well the pits."
"Alright, fine. How about Elysium?"
"How's your Greek?"
I very nearly failed to post tonight. If memory serves, that would have been the first in 5 years. Fortunately, my wife reminded me and my record remains intact.
Ordinarily, I'd probably be rallying the troops in this space, but with one day left we're not even 1/3 of the way to the goal. It was ambitious and with hindsight clearly too much so. However, we've done good works here again this year and our four year total will be over $15,000, no matter how well tomorrow goes.
The beard itself has settled into a state of just being there. It's no longer this separate thing invading my face, it's part of me again. Part I'll be glad to see excised Saturday nonetheless.
Lola and Bill rode the J train together as they had done most weekdays in their fourteen-year marriage. Bill was on his way to the office and Lola to the museum. Bill had been growing a beard all month. He claimed it was for some sort of charity, but Lola was sure he was just goofing off. Nonetheless, it had come in surprisingly long in that short amount of time.
Bill's stop came first and with a peck on Lola's cheek, he got up and headed for the door.
"Hey!" exclaimed Lola as she got up to follow him.
"Oh, right!" he said, turning back from the platform. "Happy anniversary!" He leaned in to give her a proper kiss, ignoring the warning of imminent door closure. After the kiss, he said, "I'll see you tonight."
The subway doors closed, and while Bill had pulled his face just clear, he'd forgotten about his beard. The train began to move but Bill couldn't do anything but trot along, his chin being pulled with it. Lola pounded the door frantically from the inside, a look of horror on her face as she watched helplessly as her husband was dragged along by the massive train. In her panic, she didn't think about the STOP button easily within her reach.
As the train began to pick up speed, Bill could no longer keep up. He braced himself, reached for a column and stopped his momentum with his right arm. He then suffered instantaneous, traumatic depilation as his beard was ripped clean off by the train.
I endure the neckbeard. I do it to fight and to spite cancer. But I will admit that I'm increasingly looking forward to shaving the thing off.
"My friend, I'm sorry, I simply have no idea what you're talking about."
"Oh, my mistake. The beard. I just assumed you were the professor."
"Ah, yes. No worries. It happens all the time."
For a brief and glorious moment, I had the lead in this thing. I think, possibly, for the first time since its inception. But alas, my donation was matched by one of Wesley's sponsors and he leapt back ahead.
That's alright, though. The point is to crush cancer and I don't care whose beard wins the day, so long as we raise a significant chunk of change for the BCRF.
The Book of Bob
As the canonical Torah/Old Testament was being edited, a number of books had to be omitted. Some for length, some for apocrypha, some because they just didn't bring anything new to the table. This tale had all three. Legend has it that it was found on Joseph Smith's laptop.
There was a man named Bob. Well, it's very likely he wasn't named Bob, but imagine the ancient Hebrew equivalent of Bob. Since I can't spell it and you can't pronounce it, we'll just call him Bob.
Anyway, Bob was known in his village for his vanity. He had an epic beard, a "you've got to live for five or six hundred years to grow such a beard" beard. He would brush his beard for hours after each day in the fields. He was not a man of means, but whenever he found himself with a few extra coins, he'd spend them on exotic oils for the aforementioned beard. The beard was lustrous, black, long, and perfectly groomed. And he had nice eyes. Also, a chiseled physique, you know, from the long hours of manual labor. And a strong jaw.
A woman in the village, who had been widowed in a goating accident, became enamored with Bob. Try as she might, however, she could scarcely take his attention away from his magnificent beard. She prayed to the Lord for guidance.
The Lord heard her prayer and checked in on Bob. The Lord grew concerned at what He saw. Bob spent so much time and money on his beard that he had none left over for the Lord, let alone the widow, or the poor.
The next day, the Lord appeared to Bob in the fields, taking the form of a burning bush. Bob, taken somewhat by surprise, urinated on the bush in an attempt to put out the fire. This is why the Lord didn't do the bush thing again until Exodus.
The Lord spoke and Bob stopped mid-stream, which is an extremely hard thing to do. "Bob," said the Lord, "I did not give you this — admittedly magnificent — beard so that you could primp and preen and ignore your social and religious responsibilities. Find better balance in your life or suffer My wrath."
Bob, chastened, nodded and bowed his head respectfully. "Yes, Lord," he said.
The Lord went back to running the rest of the universe while Bob did as the Lord commanded. For a few weeks, anyway.
Gradually, old habits reasserted themselves, and Bob was once again overly concerned with the maintenance of his totally sweet beard.
So the Lord turned it a mottled gray and made it all wiry, and this is why your beard is that way.
Day 26 already? November is flying by. Fortunately, the thick blanket of hair upon my face and neck keeps the late November chill from biting me too strongly.
"John, it's really a simple procedure, it's nothing to be worried about. ... What? Yes I'll have to shave your neck. ... I understand that you've been working on that beard all of your life. ... No, I can't just amputate your head."
Today saw the end of the 2012 Formula One world championship, which is the professional sport I have the most interest in. I just got done watching the final race from Brazil and on the off chance another fan is reading this and hasn't seen the result, I won't spoil anything, but to say that it was a particularly thrilling and chaotic race in changeable weather conditions. I was pleased with the final result, as well.
Having done that, though, it is now extremely late on a work night and I must get to bed ASAP. So what should I write today?
"And what are this?" asked Sarjovo in the best English he could manage while pointing at an item on the shelf of this amazing American "supermarket".
"That's an electric beard trimmer," said Andrea, the eldest daughter of his host family.
"Why am any person needing such a thing?"
I've become the family pie maker and I'm pretty okay with it. A last minute second Thanksgiving invite meant another day of making delicious pies. This time, we've got pumpkin (from fresh roasted pumpkin), apple (if you're gonna use a single type of apple, I recommend gala), and dairy-free chocolate (don't tell my family there's tofu in it).
For Thanksgiving Prime, we made pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple. On that occasion, we spent the morning and early afternoon cooking with our friends Jeffrey and his lovely wife after they generously offered us use of their state-of-the-art kitchen. If you, like I, think that deserves an extra bit of sponsorship, click here to donate.
The Cheap One
"Wow, that's some beard."
"Why thank you, good sir."
"It's so long and full!"
"That's what she said."
Today was back to work for me, and then a late night of gaming with some friends. We added a few new cards of our own device into Cards Against Humanity and the results were pretty epic.
The beards just keeps doing its thing. I haven't managed to lure enough sponsorship to really accelerate the growth, but what my generous sponsors have provided has certainly helped. Thank you again.
The Guy Before Alan Shepard
"We can't be sure that the helmet will seal properly if there are stray beard hairs. You're going to have to shave it off."
"I thought you wanted to put a man in space? I'm not going up there without my beard."
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow countrymen. I'm thankful for our contributors and sponsors. Together, we're doin' good works.
I think I'm finally growing accustomed to the beard. The Itch is infrequent and not widespread when it appears. The sharp edges have begun to soften and the length affords me a pretty even coverage of the beard area.
It took 23 New York City policemen to stop a brawl today at the conclusion of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As Santa Claus was descending from his float, an onlooker is reported to have shouted, "Your beard looks stupid!"
As this was Mr. Claus's actual beard, he took some offense and tackled the spectator. The spectator's friends fought back and then Santa's court came to the old elf's defense. In all, 41 were arrested and 2 hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
First, a very happy birthday to my little brother.
Second, it was a good day, full of mirth, merriment, good food, good drink, and great friends. An excellent way to kick off the holiday, and if I have anything to do with it, the beginning of a new tradition.
Third, I've got all kinds of beard up in this mess.
It's well known that dogs are frightened by — or threatened by — men with beards. What's less well known is that this is related to an ancestral memory of the breeding of the first members of canis familiaris from its close relative, the grey wolf, canis lupus. This involved a bearded man and some very dubious techniques.