I am currently in the process of growing a beard for the purpose of showing my support for Romney’s “shave yer jobs” campaign as well as showing my discontent for Paul Ryan’s intimidating hairline. I have also been growing it for tonight, which is of course Halloween. My costume was to be a deadly CIA agent with a triple black belt in the martial art of Nguni Stick Fighting and working on an MFA in the Canadian Okichitaw fighting style. Of course these CIA agents are always working undercover and I was disguising myself as a bearded man from a small town in Wyoming, but nobody really understood my costume so I decided not to go out tonight.
Okay, now back to the subject of my beard. I am three weeks deep in the growing of this beard and it looks like shit. My mustache grows at five times the rate of all my other facial hair and it makes my upper lip look very over powering, almost as if I have a hairy overbite. Although this current beard looks like shit, it is not the first beard that I have grown. It isn’t even the sixth or eighth beard that I’ve grown. The first beard that I ever grew was the most miraculous beard that has ever planted its roots upon my face. It was a beard that I grew when I was at the tender age of sixteen, and it is a beard that carried a notorious reputation throughout the latter half of my high school career.
When I was sixteen years old I had already gotten into a fair amount of trouble. I began drinking alcohol at a very early age and had already had a run in with the law as well as being caught drunk and vomiting by one of my friend’s parents. So that summer my parents made me work on my uncle Mark’s farm in Ord for the entire summer. My parents dropped me off on my uncle Mark’s farm in early May and they had dropped me off to make sure that I didn’t have a car to go out and cause trouble with. I enjoyed staying at my uncle’s farm and farm work fits me well. Immediately upon my arrival, all of the older and much stronger farm workers gave me a seemingly endless amount of shit for looking like a twelve year old. I weighed about 110 pounds and looked like a little girl with short hair at the time. I made the decision to prove them wrong by growing a beard. I didn’t shave my face once between the months of May and September and the results were spectacular. The top half of my face looked like Hannah Montana’s but the lower half of my face looked like a Kodiak bear’s ball sack. A beautiful round globe of hair that began at my side burns and met at the middle of my chin had sprouted from and covered my lower face. It was at this time that my parents picked me up to take me back to Kearney.
As soon as I got back to Kearney, nobody recognized me. I had heard through the grapevine that Willy Bashore was having a sort of “back to school” bonfire on his parents’ land next to the river. I was a huge nerd at the time and didn’t have many, if any friends. I somehow convinced my parents to let me go out that night and I had stolen a good amount of my parents’ Canadian Spring whiskey beforehand. I spent a couple of hours sipping on it and getting drunk by myself while parked in the Casey’s Gas Station carwash. I have to tell you, the best place to park and pound alcohol while in high school is not on a country road, it is in a relatively unknown carwash stall. After getting fairly sloshed by my lonesome, I chose to take the long drive out to Willy’s land. As soon as I got there I saw that the party was packed. There were cars and big redneck toolin’ trucks parked all along the road. When I stepped out of my new 1985 shit-brown Chevy S10 pickup, everyone gave me a “who the fuck is this guy?” look. For some reason I decided to speak with a German accent and tell everyone that I was a new foreign exchange student from Hamburg Germany. I was doing it for my own shits and giggles.
So portraying myself as a German foreign exchange student turned out to be a good idea. I ended up having a long and stupid conversation with Melissa Stenehjem about what life was like in Germany. Melissa was the hottest and most popular girl in school and she would have never given me the time of day, but she was apparently digging my whole German shtick. After twenty minutes or so of telling her make believe stories about my life in Hamburg, she pulled me into the trees for a long and moist make out session that she must have learned in French class. So after eating Melissa’s face for twenty minutes, we broke apart and walked around the party again.
It was roughly half an hour later when I felt a tap on my shoulder while I was telling a story about my mother’s sauerkraut to some underclassmen. I turned around and saw a male’s waistline. I looked up and saw that it was Jeff Arnold. Jeff was only fifteen and he was already 6’7”. He looked down at me and said, “Somebody told me that you were making out with my girlfriend.” I should have known that Melissa would have been dating some gigantic football superstar that had finished puberty at seven years old. I looked up at him with drunken confidence and said, “Vut are you talking abowt friend?” I was sticking to the German accent.
“Don’t fucking lie to me faggot. And yer not my friend, asshole!” Jeff replied.
I was scared shitless at this point, but I calmly said, “Dat is not vut your girlfriend said about me. She did not sink dat I vus a vaggot.”
As soon as I finished the last word, Jeff took a swing at me. Jeff was just as drunk as me at the time, so our mobility was on the same level. I sidestepped him and his haymaker missed its mark. While he was still recovering from his overpowered whiff, I picked up a log. Before he could turn around I belted him across the back of the head with the log. He fell forward in a dead fall and landed face first on a rock. I stood there, having no idea as to what I should do. Some stupid cheerleader type of girl checked on Jeff and yelled out, “Somebody call 911!”
Without thinking I ran from the party at a speed that I had never ran at before. I walked all the way back to my parents’ house from the river because I didn’t want to risk having Jeff’s friends knock me off the road and try to kill me or kick my ass. I had no idea how I would ever be able to show my face at Kearney High School again. That next morning I shaved off my beard. I walked all the way back to my pickup the next afternoon and staked out the place for an hour to make sure nobody was waiting to beat my ass. All was well and I drove home.
I began my junior year of high school that following Monday. Everyone said “hi” to me and asked me where I had been all summer. I told them that I was at my uncle’s farm and had just gotten back the day before. People told me about the huge bonfire that Willy had thrown and that I had missed the fight between giant Jeff and the little bearded German guy. The entire football team couldn’t stop talking about how they were going to murder the bearded German foreign exchange student as soon as they saw him. I would nod my head and tell them that I would help them kick his ass as soon as he showed up at school. This talk of killing the bearded German guy went on for the rest of my days in high school. Then I saw Jeff. He had a huge cut with over a dozen stitches in it running down the left side of his face and one of his front teeth had been knocked out. I was scared shitless that he would recognize me but he never did. Nobody ever recognized me as the bearded German guy, ever. Jeff and I became very good friends and I have never told him that I was the German guy. We went to several parties together in high school and the following years. I was even a groomsman in his wedding, and I have never revealed to him that I was the bearded German guy that took out his front tooth and gave him that nasty scar on his face. Nobody has ever known that I was the bearded foreign exchange student from Germany that conquered the biggest bad ass in high school. It is the darkest secret that I have ever kept.