Whisker Windfall

This Labor Day was the twentieth anniversary since I grew a goatee. Haven’t seen the ugly under those hair follicles in this century!

Several weeks ago Janet and I traveled, and in Keystone, South Dakota, I shaved.

I was shocked! Without hair on my face, everything looked different!

At least my receding hair line, even if it’s in a steady retreat, is a gradual reveal.  It’s like a slow descent plane landing.  But shaving cold turkey and going lickety-split from whiskers to clean shaven after twenty years, well that’s an engine failure crash landing!

I felt like I needed to introduce myself to the guy staring back at me in the mirror! Who is this stranger?

The worst part, however, was somehow, sometime in last twenty years, someone snuck another chin under the original! It doesn’t look like a double chin with facial hair, right?

But now, my face looks pregnant! Nine months. With twins!

That stranger in the mirror looked like Porky Pig! Bada, Bada, bada, that’s right folks! I felt oddly like murals painted on the wall of a restaurant we ate at in Wyoming…


Man, I gotta lose some weight! Ain’t nobody want to see pizza, potato chips and Oreos stored under your chin! 

I’ve seen thanksgiving turkeys with smaller gobblers on their throats!a;slkgjwora;j

Now I’m terrified to turn my head too fast.  That hanging gobbler chin could whip around and hit me upside the head! I could get a concussion for crying out loud!

I’m pretty sure Janet didn’t think I’d actually shave. After shaving, I asked what she thought.

She didn’t really say.  Hmmm.

With a great deal of tact, she just sweetly mumbled something about a “new look”, but she fell in love with me with whiskers, but either way.


So help me out here – does that mean thumbs up or down?  Like, or dislike?

Uh huh.  I thought so.

I looked for support from my four daughters by texting a clean shaven picture.  And support from the daughters?  None! Zilch! Zero!

They texted back individually, and I quote …. “Grow again.”, “PLEASE, grow it back!”, “Grow it again!” and, “Weird!! You look like Blake!” (my oldest son).

I kept asking Janet throughout our trip, and each time I received a carefully worded non answer.

The day I shaved was primarily a driving day.  As we trecked across Montana, I remembered something they did on a Hollywood star show I saw — face exercises!

You hold your jaw all tensed up and try to dig a ditch with your chin as the shovel. Then you open and close your mouth a hundred times, followed by half smiles where you try to touch your cheek to the corner of your eye.

I didn’t do well on the nose wiggles, but I could feel the burn on tongue push ups where you push the tip of your tongue back past your wisdom teeth as far as you can!

While we drove, I was sneaking in face exercises when Janet was reading and enjoying the sights out her window.

But then, then she caught me with my face all contorted.

“What are you doing?!”

I explained the concept of face work outs. The more I talked, the more she laughed.  It was embarrassing!

In Montana though, I came up with an untested theory! Supposedly, it’s impossible to lick your own ear.

But here’s the theory….if you stick out your tongue as far as possible, then jerk your head fast enough, wouldn’t the gobbler chin swing, catch the tongue, and push it over to your ear!?  You may sprain your tongue, but if it works, here I come Guinness Book of World Records!

I could even test the theory at a nursing home where there’s lots of gobblers!

Anyway, the rest of that day I’d glance in the rear view mirror to see if my chin muscles were tightening up, or if my mustache and goatee were growing back.

Nothing. Not even razor stubble.

All I’d see is the lily white skin on my upper lip and chin.  I felt so, I don’t know, vulnerable and exposed.

Felt as naked as a newborn!  And that skin with no tan made my mouth look like a talking baby’s bottom!  I need a Pampers for my mouth, something.

Then a Steven King fear hit me. What if shaving my goatee caused face baldness?! My face would be like my head! Yikes!! It’d be like one of those hairless cats that look like someone used electrolysis all over it!

I don’t need electrolysis.  I just need chin liposuction!

Whisker Wildnerness

Our trip was great! Saw some beautiful territory and thoroughly enjoyed the time!

By the end of the week, at least a few pictures started showing a few bits of stubble, albeit mainly gray.

It’s all motivated me to hit the gym and keep doing face exercises.  I still don’t turn my head too fast though, just in case.

I figured this out too!  If I edit our vacation pictures and crop out my double chin, no one will ever know now!  Wink, wink!



40 thoughts on “Whisker Windfall”

    1. LOL! OK, I’m really glad you clarified that….that most women really like facial hair….on men! Although, I have a friend, whose second cousin’s, next door neighbor’s, brother’s mother-in-law has a pretty hefty beard!! 😉 Peace to you!!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I literally laughed aloud! I remember crying as a ten year old when my dad shaved his mustache. He didn’t look like “dad” anymore. Ultimately, I grew to like his “new look” better. I suppose I might have, then, cried had he grown his mustache back. I think humans tend to prefer to avoid “change.” Great post as always, Jeff! You are a fantastic writer and humorist! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lynn, it does change the way they see it for kids, doesn’t it! I can just see you crying because some stranger was now wearing your daddy’s clothes and using his voice! And you are so right! It does seem natural for us to cling to the familiar and resist change, both good and bad ones!! Peace to you, my friend!!!


  2. Dear Jeff, if the price for crisis shaving is to write this wonderful letter, then it is worth it. ‘Rejoice with them who rejoice’ (Rom 12:15). I rejoice with you! You lost the hair but you did not lose your humor! You gained some weight but you did not gain sluggishness. You are still you and that is all that matters! About the bear… please do not listen to anybody except to your wife. Please her! Make her happy! Thank you! God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I guess I would have to see a before photo to make the comparison..

    Because I see is a really handsome man 👨 with a beautiful lucky 🍀 wife..

    You did hide the globber though…

    Give your daughters time to get used to seeing you without your goatee…

    It’s always so different at first

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved reading this it made me laugh. My husband did the opposite many years ago – when I went away for 8 weeks he grew a beard – and he certainly didn’t look the same man that I had left – he shaved it off the next day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see what you did there, Melissa….”Getting older stinks, no matter HOW YOU FACE IT!” Lol. So thankful we can crop now days as opposed to just getting the 35mm pics back from the one hour photo drop booth! 🙂


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