A beard isn’t all it’s whacked up to be

by Ken Carpenter

For years now I have been trimming my beard with a 1960’s-vintage electric clipper that sounds like a 500-pound mosquito and has so much torque it tries to jump out of my hand every time I crank it up. It makes up for having twice as much noise and vibration as other clippers by weighing four times more than the heaviest competitor. By the time I have my beard trimmed my hand is trembling and my whole arm is growing weary.
A timely question right now might be, “So why do you use them if they are such a pain?”
I don’t have a good answer for that. It could be because I am a miser, for hateful or not the nasty thing still works, albeit grudgingly.
On the other hand, they may have put me under a spell of some kind. They remind me of the demonic clippers my Mom wielded to cut our family’s hair when I was a kid. The only difference is that the new version doesn’t yank hairs out by the roots or get hot enough to brand a steer. They still kinda scare me though.
Suspiciously enough, Mom gave me my present beard trimmer when my old rechargeable one came to an untimely demise. They could be an offspring of that devil’s spawn we used to fear, but Mom swears she paid a buck for them at a yard sale. As far as I know Lucifer hasn’t had any sales in the county in the last few years, so maybe I am being paranoid.
I used the Whacker, as I call it, just last week and a couple of days later I happened to walk by the beard trimmer section at Wally World. That is where I saw it, the Groomsman XL2, the beard trimmer my hand, and whiskers, had been waiting for.
It had an ergonomic shape, which is another way of saying that it looks uncomfortably like a, uhhh, certain human appendage called a dick. I looked past that, because it also had two blade heads on it and the narrow one would serve well to trim my furry baboon ears, and the trimmer itself was skinny enough for my tiny mitts to get a good grip on it.
It was rechargeable, so I could quit battling the Whacker’s infernally knotty cord. There were 11 settings, so I wouldn’t have to use a comb with it to prevent unsightly bald spots. It was a manly chrome machine, even if it did look like something you might find in the lady’s section in an erotic bookstore.
I bought it, and I was sorry that I would have to wait for my beard to grow out before I could use it. It had such a pleasantly subdued humming sound.
I put the fearsome Whacker in hibernation at the back of the closet. I don’t want to throw it away for fear that it will show up on my front porch some morning, growling menacingly. Besides, I may be tempted to shear a buffalo some day.
Anyway, as my face yearned to break in the new high tech Groomsman, I started noticing another part of my anatomy developing a painful irritation. Within three days I could barely sit, and rather than go to the doctor I sheepishly asked my wife if she would investigate my bottom.
She quickly declared that I had a swollen, enflamed bump on my rump that appeared painful.
“Duh!” I mumbled, my face in the pillow. “Is it a boil?” I asked.
“I think it is an ingrown hair, but it may turn into a boil,” she replied in a professional manner, barely stifling a giggle at my undignified position.
“Do you mean to say that there is no such thing as a baby boil, that any old thing will just turn into one?” I questioned her, confused. I always thought a boil would start out as a baby boil, then mature into an adult as it swelled up.
“I don’t know, I am not a proctologist,” she proclaimed.
“Huh, coulda fooled me,” I muttered deeper into the pillow. People with their asses in the air should usually restrain from making smart remarks.
It was soon decided that some drawing salve and a band-aid should be put on the offending affliction, which created another problem. The area surrounding the spot needing treatment, according to the attending physician, resembled the downhill end of an uphill bound goat.
In other words, if a band-aid were going to stay put, some shaving would be required.
And that, much to my dismay and the delight of the Whacker, is how my fancy new trimmer kicked off its career in the Carpenter household.