The Beards' Tour Diary Part Two

10 October 2012 | 10:52 am | The Beards

A story about The Lonely Wife, The Dedicated Beard Grower and The Beardless Youth.

For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of being in a professional touring beard band is meeting people and hearing their stories, which are hopefully about beards. This week, I'll be providing a glimpse into some of the characters I met over the weekend.

The Lonely Wife
Spotted Cow Hotel, Toowoomba

As soon as I step off stage I notice her at the bar, drinking a plastic cup of beer. It's been a great night at Toowoomba's Spotted Cow Hotel, and after an extended set of beard-related songs, the band and crowd alike are drunk on a combination of beard love and alcohol. But she looks sad. Sweat still pouring from my beard and saturating what few clothes I still wear, I approach her and introduce myself. We talk for a fair while – mostly about beards – and then I ask her what is wrong.

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            “It's my husband.” She says.

            “Does he have a beard?” I automatically ask.

            “No. He... won't grow a beard.” She takes a long drink.

            “He sounds like a loser.” I tell her.

            “He says he can't grow one... but I know he could.”

            “He must be a real piece of work.” I say.

            “What do you think I should do?”

            “There's only one thing you can do, and that's divorce your husband.”

She nods, as if she had already known that this was the only solution. We talk some more and then she takes my hand and tries to kiss me on the mouth. I stop her.

            “I'm sorry,” I explain, “You're very beautiful. But I am a bearded man, and a bearded man has a noble duty to be a shining example of morality and virtue. I will not dishonour your husband, even though he is clearly a pathetic beardless coward.” I give her my number though, and tell her to call me if the divorce I encouraged her to get ever comes through.


The Dedicated Beard Grower
The Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has long been regarded as one of the least-bearded parts of Australia. We've certainly found that to be true in the past. But things have changed. Looking out at the crowd from behind the drums, I struggle to spot a single beardless male face. Afterwards, I meet a bearded young man named Dion who tells me how his determination to be bearded had cost him his job. Dion worked in finance, and had decided to grow a beard so that when he attended our concert, he would not be the subject of mass community humiliation. As his beard grew, his employers became concerned, requesting that he shave immediately. He refused, and was promptly fired. Dion's story is indicative of a recent surge in beard-dedication on the Gold Coast, and it gives us faith that Queensland as a whole may be approaching unprecedented levels of beard dedication.


The Beardless Youth
The Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane

I meet him before we play. Michael has just turned 18, and our gig at Brisbane's The Hi-Fi Bar is his first over-18s show. Michael is beardless. He wants a beard, he explains to me. He's tried to grow one – but his facial follicles still lay dormant. There was a time when I would have felt an uncontrollable hatred towards Michael. Indeed, I once detested everyone that was beardless. I used to think there were only two types of people in the world – bearded and beardless. But with experience comes wisdom and you end up realising that of course life is more complicated than that. I now know that there are three types of people in the world: Bearded people, people who will not grow a beard, and people who cannot grow a beard. The latter includes women, children, and this Michael guy. I've learned not to despise somebody who fits into this category, someone who is physically incapable of growing a beard. Don't get me wrong – I still find it hard to look into their despicable, beardless faces, but I don't hate them. Instead, I pity them. I pity them for having to live in the presence of glorious beards and be incapable of growing one themselves. Michael tells me he feels ashamed and I assure him that this is perfectly natural and that he should feel ashamed – deeply ashamed. But I also tell him that it is not too late – I hadn't been able to grow a beard until I was twenty. I urge him to abstain from shaving and to wait for his first beard which will come in time. I want to encourage him further, so later that night, in the middle of our set, I get Michael on stage and present him with the award for Worst Overall Beard and he is booed by more than a thousand people. I've got a feeling I'll be seeing Michael again some day, and I've got a feeling that when I do, he's going to have a beard.