What’s In A Beard? by Unattributed

August 26, 2018

What’s In A Beard? Unattributed

The Volunteer for Liberty, V. 1, No. 28, December 27, 1937

Dr. Randall Sollenberger who sported the "hirsute" look

Dr. Randall Sollenberger who sported the “hirsute” look

Beards were introduced by Sampson an ingenious Easterner who put over the slogan “Hair for Strength” and made big money. Like other speculators he wrecked his career on a woman and ended his life in an orgy of sordid suicide.

The superstition still survives. There has been a recent outbreak of it among the International Brigades, and many volunteers are now suffering from a rush of hair to the chin. This is due to lack of proper precautions in the early stages. It would not have happened if they had carried razors in their packs for application as soon as the first symptoms appeared.

The epidemic has already got a strong hold, and the results are to be deplored. When the chin is attacked by a beard, it gradually disappears and is followed by the upper lip and cheekbones. In time the victim becomes unrecognizable.

As the disease advances it becomes increasingly difficult to insert food into the mouth owing to the invisibility of the orifice. It is a pathetic sight to see men struggling through hair follicles with food in their spoons, unable to maintain their sense of direction. Much of the food is lost on the way, and tends to attract hyenas and other animals that eat what is left behind by larger beasts of prey.

A rumor has been put about that the Ministry of Fortifications is encouraging the growth of beards. This rumoring is the work of provocateurs. If it were possible to grow metal on the chin, there might be some advantage in every man carrying his own barbed wire entanglement into action. As it is, it can be of no service, and is liable to trip him up.

By the time he has a much hair on the bottom of his head as on the top, a few bombardments are enough to make him forget which end is which. Some volunteers even reach the stage when they carry as heavy a load on their chests as over their shoulders, with the result that they lose their sense of back and front, and advance backwards instead of forwards. Nor can they grumble if a fit of the blues goes to the beard and make them unpopular with the women.

The fight to exterminate this disease is likely to be long and arduous. Since the days of Sampson, the beard complex has sunk deep in the human psyche. The human psyche is a dreadful thing. It is pronounced “pizitch” and lies somewhere between reality and delirium tremens. Once the beard reaches the bottom of that, the case is hopeless.