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Bob Hurt


In this photo you might notice that I have grown a beard.  I thought I’d write briefly about it.

First of all, I call your attention to Ogden Nash’s 1942 answer (below) to the age-old conundrum of whether a man should

•Shave before bathing, or

•Bathe before shaving.

I believe I have put that question to rest, for I haven’t shaved at all for at least a year.  But, I have bathed at least every few days all my adult life, and every day for most of it.

I write about a puzzlement.  Some of my whiskers seem to obey some growth limit like my eyebrows and nose hairs do.  Others seem to grow longer and longer while the days, weeks, and months roll by, as the hair on my head (except for the balding spot) does.   Also, my beard has turned gray, but the hair on my head above the sideburns has stayed light brown.

As to the differing lengths of facial hair, I have discovered the following state of growth:

•Moustache above center of lips – 1 ½ inches

•Moustache above corners of lips – 3 inches

•Cheek whiskers – 6 inches

•Zappa (whiskers in the center under the lower lip) – 2 inches

•Upper chin whiskers – 3 inches

•Whiskers under front of chin – 6 inches

•Whiskers under back of chin and on neck – 8 inches

I didn’t measure with a ruler.  I approximated the lengths by holding my right thumb against my skin and pulling the whisker with my left hand and stretching my right forefinger out to the end of the whiskers.  My hand spans 9 ¾ inches from tip of thumb to tip of little finger, so I eyeball it pretty well against that grand standard.

These measurements suggest that my cheek and neck whiskers will keep growing longer and longer till I cut it or die, but my moustache never will get so long that I can twirl it at the ends to hold it back and out of my food and milk.

Before noticing this, I imagined that my moustache might grow to 6 or 8 inches.  Now I doubt it.  And I had dreamed of having a longish Zappa, maybe 4 to 6 inches.  I guess I can forget that dream.

Of course, http://www.latisse.com/ promotes LATISSE® ophthalmic solution as a treatment for hypotrichosis.   They claim it will make eyelashes grow longer, thicker and darker. So, maybe I can use it on my moustache and zappa.  What do you think?  Should I go for it?

While you’re contemplating that, enjoy the Ogden Nash poem below.


by Ogden Nash

First published in The New Yorker, 8/29/1942

Some people shave before bathing.
And about people who bathe before shaving they are scathing.
While those who bathe before shaving,
Well, they imply that those who shave before bathing are misbehaving.
Suppose you shave before bathing, well the advantage is that you don’t
    have to make a special job of washing the lather afterwards, it
    just floats off with the rest of your accumulations in the tub.
But the disadvantage is that before bathing your skin is hard and dry
    and your beard confronts the razor like a grizzly bear defending its cub.
Well then, suppose you bathe before shaving, well the advantage is that
    after bathing your skin is soft and moist and your beard positively
    begs for the blade.
But the disadvantage is that to get the lather off you have to wash your
    face all over again at the basin almost immediately after washing
    in the tub, which is a duplication of effort that leaves me spotless
    but dismayed.
The referee reports, gentlemen, that Fate has loaded the dice,
Since your only choice is between walking around all day with a sore
    chin or washing your face twice.
So I will now go and get a shave from a smug man in a crisp white coat,
And I will disrupt his smugness by asking him about his private life, does
    he bathe before shaving or shave before bathing, and then I will die
    either of laughing or of a clean cut throat.