The Critical Mass

The homo-erotic nature of facial hair

Cyanotype PhotoA previously unknown photo of the Russian “Mad Monk” Rasputin has just been uncovered, apparently depicting the corrupt spiritual adviser to the Romanovs in the Czar’s hunting lodge….

Oh, wait. I am mistaken. That is actually a photo of me, apparently examining a vinyl record album at Java’s at the Market, as suggested by the moose head in the background. It’s a cyanotype done by my friend Margaret, who spent the summer in Maine learning how to master this photo-printing technique that dates back to 1842. She has heard of the digital revolution, for sure, but what kid wouldn’t want to spend the summer up to her elbows in potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate?

It gives me some reason to believe that the future of mankind is secure. When one of the Apocalyptic predictions turns true – and it will take only one – the humans

who retain  primitive skills will ultimately survive. Boy Scouts, mostly, who know how to start fires by rubbing together two sticks. Your local high school track team’s javelin throwers. Sushi chefs. And young people like Margaret, who still mess with chemicals.

The real Rasputin.

The real Rasputin.

But the cyanotype did alert me to an issue: I’ve looking pretty scary. Have been for a few years. It was time to clean up, just a little.

The long hair, that stays. I worked too long on that. And the mustache, too. But the beard? I had it for years. I first grew it because I thought I looked too young. Immature. Now I was looking too old. Real scruffy, like a chewed-up dog toy. Gray. Time for a makeover.

The beard came off easily. It was too tired to fight. That left me with a full goatee. I believe it’s called a Van Dyke. Johnny Depp favors that look, but it seemed too… contrived. I cleaned off my chin. Better. Not great, but better. So I still have the mustache. And that little hunk of hair below the lower lip.

I remember an unnecessarily long conversation a few years back with friends over what to call that hunk of hair beneath a man’s lower lip. Thumbpatch was one. Soul patch. Flavor saver. Sax player’s mustache.

Chin pubes. Oh, I’m not liking this at all. Douch tag. Ball brush? Absolutely not.  What’s that? A Dick Van Dyke? Grow up. Your undeveloped sense of humor will be of no help as this week’s asteroid closes in on Planet Earth.

%d bloggers like this: