I just made myself a cup of 3:00pm coffee. I drink coffee on a fairly regular schedule. 1-2 cups before work as I read the paper or whatever book I am working through, a cup around 3pm, which is designed to kick start some energy to charge the rest of the work day, and then one last cup right before I leave work for the gym. That final cup is accompanied by 500mg of aspirin and a B-vitamin complex. I think the current cup of coffee may be accompanied by creamer that has gone bad. It's some of that flavored creamer...the kind with a name like "hazelnut," or "french vanilla." The "sell by" date is October 3rd, and today is the 12th. Then again, it's the "sell by" date and not the "don't drink after" date. It's also fake food, full of the chemicals and ingredients that will preserve it a generation longer than real milk. I'm pretty sure that this stuff would survive a nuclear winter. In any case, I'm going to finish the cup, regardless of what you think about it.
What prompted this reverie was my musing on an age-old question that I will soon have to answer. As my departure date for Thailand draws near, I need to decide whether or not to grow the vacation beard. I know. Serious business. Before tackling such weighty matters, I felt the need for coffee to kick-start my snoozing brain synapses. That's what led to my introductory paragraph.
Yes, beards are itchy and they tend to accumulate dirt, debris and food crumbs. Worth it. Beards speak to freedom. They come from a time when the workplace required such trappings. You know, back in the day when all men were lumberjacks. Obviously, beards were necessary as protection when engaged in such activities. Now we're all stuck behind our computer screens, sending e-mail and cold-calling prospects. Clearly, no protection is needed in such an environment, and cheek-whiskers would be overkill.
My departure date is late November, and clearly, with a schedule packed full of such goodies as kickboxing, canoeing, backpacking, the drinking of cheap whiskey, the consumption of fried street food, and debauchery on a never-before-seen scale, a beard will be needed for protection.
Besides, when adventuring in the exotic pearl that is South-East Asia, would you rather look like:
I rest my case.