Diary of a Beard, by @pgal10
This is one week in the life of one man’s beard and it’s battle to survive in the world against all odds.
Wednesday April 3. The bathroom.
He’s acting really weird. Weirder than normal, that is. Normally he’s just walking around stroking me or sucking on me, thinking about his next move. But not lately. Lately he’s been looking in the mirror. A lot. Lately he’s been staring at me blankly like he’s trying to imagine what he’d look like without me.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 28, 2013
I heard him on about that tweet Paddy Power sent him too. I thought last week was the longest week of my life. Seriously, everyone was talking about how long I was for the Cork game last week and now I’m genuinely worried as to what he might do to me this week.
The guy is impulsive enough at the best of times. But now, Paddy Power was offering short odds, long odds and in be-f**king-tween odds for him to shave me off.
Basically Paddy was putting a price on my head by putting a price on Paul’s head. He’s offering people money for him to make short work of me for the Tyrone game. Nice. Real nice. And I heard that ride Louise on the phone jabbering on the other day – she’s in the right job that one. Radio?? She’s a walking, talking radio, has a mouth like the River Shannon.
God knows I see enough of it – telling him “to imagine all the nice things we could do with all that money just for shaving!!!” And I wouldn’t mind but he never would have pulled her without me.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the bonehead wasn’t actually considering it. Seriously have you seen what he looks like without me? Google Image him circa 04. He looks like a tadpole without my sex appeal.
A broad like Louise would laugh at him if he tried pulling her without me. And what Paddy Power doesn’t realise is Paul is red useless without me. I am his power not Paddy. “Fear The Beard?” Fear beard loss, more like it. Samson and Delilah was no children’s fairytale. It was real-life loss and this is real-life shit. Hair loss is not to be trifled with and those two would do well to remember that.
Shaving me off might be a bit of fun for the punters and a few quid for some ne’er do well with an on-line account and too much time on his hands. Shave me off away and bank your money just don’t bank on me coming back. Then see where you get. He’ll be online dating by Christmas, I promise. Still it wouldn’t be all bad. In fact he’d be doing me a favour. I wouldn’t have to deal with getting smeared in Louise’s Juicy Tubes. And I’m so sick of him sucking on me when he’s in one of his deep, thoughtful moods. This is a nice way to be treated. Eight years I’ve spent transforming the minger into a sex-god. That is the power I hold. Gratitude? That’s something you pay in a restaurant right? He literally doesn’t know the meaning of the word.
Anyway it’s his loss. I already know how this story will end. Like Samson’s. Badly. He ll have no beard, no bird and Division 2 football to look forward to next year. And I’m not hanging around for that shit. He can have it.
Thursday April 4. The bedroom.
“I’m gonna cut your beard off.” That’s what she just said. She actually said those exact words. What the f**k like?? Does she think I can’t hear her??!!…. Paul’s ears are right there beside me like, I’m not deaf. If she wasn’t so ridey I’d hate her. We’re lying in bed talking, the three of us (I’d be all over her like beard rash if I got half a chance but it’s tricky, for obvious reasons.) Anyway we’re just lying there, Louise is stroking me gently when all of a sudden she just starts hacking away at me with a scissors. I’m there like “AAAAAAAAARGH” screaming at her to stop. I’m like “PAUL, YOU PRICK, DO SOMETHING SHE’S ATTACKING ME WITH A SCISSORS!!!” He just lies there and lets her do it. He’s laughing. He’s actually laughing. Prick. I’m basically sweating, being sheared into tiny pieces thinking the end has come, he’s fallen for Paddy Power’s charms!! I’ll be a pencil moustache by Sunday. A pencil moustache, like. How emasculating.
That’s when Paul starts tugging at me and I realise I’m actually still fully intact. Louise was using her fingers as imaginary scissors. Jesus Christ. That shit is not funny. I hear things but I can’t see things. How was I to know? Everyone knows beards are blind.
Friday, April 5. The car.
“Kerry have made three changes to their team for Sunday’s trip to Omagh. Captain Eoin Brosnan, Paul Galvin and Colm Cooper return to starting line-up for the do-or-die relegation battle…”
I’d recognise the voice anywhere. It’s Paul Collins on Today Fm. I’m always wary when we get in the car (an Audi A5 Quattro if you’re wondering. Stylish and sophisticated, suits me.) It’s where he does all his thinking. And for a beard like me thinking only means one thing. Beard-stroking. He’s a devil for beard-stroking. And beard-sucking sometimes.
He gets a hold of my soul-patch (it’s actually called an Attilio) and sucks away. Plus he sometimes hears stuff on the radio that winds him up and he tugs on me even harder sometimes, even plucking me!! Usually, he puts on some music and visualises things he wants to happen and that’s when I can relax.
We’re driving downtown to find a charity store. He’s throwing out all his old clothes. Thank you, God. I am a beard and as such I’m very particular about my clothes. I find shirts (with the top button always fastened) show me off to my best effect. I hate v-neck tees and don’t start me on vests. Make me look like trailer-trash. His mother will be pleased all the same. That said, she’d be happy if he got rid of me along with the clothes. She never liked me from the start. Thinks I’m bad for his public image and reputation. Ha, that’s a laugh. I feel like reminding her I was a mere goatee when he GBH’d the notebook that time. She’s worse than Colm O’Rourke. He’s always telling Paul to shave me off.
I’ll give Paul one thing though, he’s a stubborn bastard. Hates being told what to do. Anyway I’m nervous. He’s back in the team. That can only mean one thing. He’ll trim me up like a turkey tomorrow night. He always does. It’s a ritual. That’s if he doesn’t get rid himself of me altogether. I can’t wait until he retires from football. I keep telling him he should be in TV by now. Where we will both be appreciated more. Bomber Liston didn’t have to put up with this shit. His beard never got death threats.
Saturday April 6. The team bus.
70% of Irishmen have ginger in their beards. That is factual. It’s a Celtic thing. I heard it on the Discovery Channel. Himself accounts for some of that 70%. It’s the reason why Darran O’Sullivan won’t grow a full beard. He’s afraid it will be ginger. I can see in the mirror I have acquired a ginger hue in certain places around my chin. Mirrors are to beards what guide dogs are to humans. They are our eyes. Well, for a short time anyway. Then we go back to being blind again depending so much on our ears for information. We’re on our way to Armagh at the moment. Big game tomorrow. Tomas O Sé and Paul get on so well. Always laughing. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t trim me tonight. He’ll probably hide my remains in Tomas’ bed again.
Louise hides the scissors on him now but there’s nothing she can do to save me when he’s away with the team. She really is stuck on me though that much is obvious. Hates to see me getting cut up. Hell, there are times when she plays with me and strokes me until I stand on end. I swear she must know what it does to me.
He’s been in really funny form this week. I’m waiting for him to reach for the scissors any second now. To trim me up or remove me altogether. Instead he just smiles to himself like he knows something. I’ve seen that smile before. That one he does when he knows the next move already. If I didn’t know any better I’d say Paddy Power and himself are in cahoots.
Sunday, April 7. 8am Armagh City Hotel.
We slept well. He trimmed me ever so slightly before bed, clean below ears to mid-jaw, a little tidy-up around the upper lip and a small trim around the jaw-line. Very little beard loss. And he didn’t bury my remains in Tomás’ bed this time. A good night’s work. Speaking of work it’s Tyrone today. Always tough work. Although I wasn’t around in 05 or 08 I know from the last few encounters how difficult it is to play them. Mind you the game itself is the least of my worries. I overheard Paul talking to Kieran Donaghy. Apparently there are a few beards on the Tyrone team too. Other beards really rub me up the wrong way. I just hope I look my best come throw in. I’m up for this one.
Sunday, April 7. 5pm Omagh. Kerry 1-16 Tyrone 2-12.
Well, that was a hairy one. I’m covered in f**king sand. Never seen a pitch like it. The result was hairy too. One point. Those Tyrone boys are tough as old boots. But it looks like we both survived the chop. Kerry and myself. It’s been a difficult week for me, full of conflicting emotions. I didn’t want to go and I didn’t want Kerry to go obviously, but at the same time the thought of Division 2 really wasn’t appealing. I’d rather be gone than go down there thats for sure. The bus is quiet on the way home. Between the Fu Manchus, the pencil moustaches and the mutton-chops I could murder a pint. Himself doesn’t go out much anymore though. Prefers listening to music. Downloaded Mirrors by Justin only yesterday in fact. Been on repeat since. He’s humming away to himself on the bus.
His mate Eddie says he’s the only man alive who sings the very same way as he talks. He sounds like distant traffic the poor man. We eventually reach the Bracken in Balbriggan for dinner. It’s been a long day and a long week. Paul gets off the bus, walks straight to the toilets with his gearbag and makes for the sink. He bends down for his washbag and picks out the scissors. Jesus Christ on a bicycle what’s happening here I’m thinking? He staring blankly at me. Beardyman is gonna do it. He’s gonna shear me. Paddy Power got the better of him. He holding the scissors close to his face in his right hand.
Suddenly he tilts his head towards the floor and clenches his left fist, his eyes turned up looking at the mirror. I’m like “what the f**k has gotten into this man? What’s he gonna do here?” And that’s when it happens. The words come pouring out that tell me we’ll never be parted and that Paul has most likely lost all connection with his sanity……
“Cause I don’t wanna lose you now,
I’m lookin right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold,
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you baby, it was easy
Comin’ back into you once I figured it out,
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside me…..”
The mad f**ker is only singing into the scissors….. in front of the mirror….. in a hotel in Dublin….. Mirrors by JT. Jesus Christ, if anyone walked in? Ginger?? Id be gone full red!! I’m beginning to wish he had taken Paddy Powers odds and shaved me off. Odds?? You couldn’t get odder this fella. That’s the long and the short of it.