Ya big ape! That’s a derogatory expression that the kinder and gentler among us might use. It’s a little more civil than saying ya f—ing a—hole or things like that. I’m sure that true apes would be horribly offended to learn that their name is being taken in vain.
I have to think that this expression is intended to mean that someone is more ape-man than real ape, but either way, an uncivilized human. After all, evolutionary science says all of us humans are descended from the apes so it makes sense that a less than perfect person, unlike you and I, is less evolved and therefore closer to being an ape. Now I can’t say if Darwin is correct in his theories because I wasn’t there when the final transition was made. But I do believe in science, including climate change, and you gotta admit, some of us are pretty hairy.
Parts of me are hairy. I’m a man so that’s normal to some extent. I don’t have much facial hair though. It’s just not there. In graduate school I sported a horrible little mustache. I tried to convince myself that I looked so cool. But I knew it looked stupid. And eventually I got rid of it
Ten years later I decided to try it again. With a full beard. Dark black hair. And curly too. But spotty. And thin. I always think of an Amish farmer’s beard, but shorter, when I look back on that. Another horrible mess!
And so I shaved. Every day. For years and years and years. Had to be clean cut for work. As a manager I couldn’t come in looking like I’d been on a three day drunk. Or even like I’d overslept. Nope. Clean shaven, smooth as a baby’s behind every day.
My sideburns were another story though. Every once in a while I’d let them go to the bottom of my ear. So daring!
When I quit the rat race I didn’t have any constraints on how I looked. Just my own opinion. And I kept shaving. I knew the beard wouldn’t look good. Again. And I told myself that men wearing those silly little goatees was just a fad. Looks dumb.
And then I remembered a time when I was in college. I let my sideburns grow all the way down my face until they met each other at my chin. Then cleaned my chin with a single swipe of the razor. I have no idea what I was thinking! And I’m glad there are no pictures of that.
But thinking back on that I decided to let the sideburns go again. Not quite that long but down to my jawline. Someone said I looked like a wolverine! Kinda weird looking. Certainly unusual. And then I decided to let the mustache and chin go too. I was just shaving a little stroke on either side between my chin and my cheek. But it was still coming in thin. But now with gray hair.
Now that I had all this hair on my face to work with I figured I could make it into something decent. Good luck. There are so many ways to style a beard. I knew I didn’t want the Duck Dynasty look. Too long. But I did always like the Yosemite Sam bigass handlebar look. Like the cowboys wore. And Wyatt Earp. Or maybe the kind the three musketeers wore with curls and twists in the stache. Need a little more hair for those.
So I settled on what Gillette calls a circle beard. Mustache that meets a chin piece and forms a circle around your mouth.
Turns out a beard and mustache can look good. But not so much on me. And the damn thing needs maintenance. Trim here, touch up there. The hair gets in your mouth and there are always food crumbs, and other unsavory things, getting caught in there.
This beard started out as a Halloween costume. Or so I said. But I had no idea what or who I was supposed to be. Elvis? But I kept it just to see what happened. Now, four months later, I see what it is. I could let it go longer, and wax the crap out of it to look like D’Artagnan, but in truth it makes me look more old than distinguished.
One of these days, in the near future, I’ll take it off. Little by little to see what kind of looks I can get. And I’ll go back to shaving. I don’t mind shaving. But maybe not everyday.
Just another experiment in seeing who lives inside my brain I guess. We all have options…
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?