DAVID CAMP­BELL

on his an­nual tra­di­tion of grow­ing a sum­mer beard.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - David co-hosts 9am week­days, on the Nine Net­work.

Over this hol­i­day pe­riod you may have seen them. They are ap­pear­ing in streets and some homes; they are on the beaches. If you go into an in­ner-city cafe, they frolic and grow and graze. You may now find one has nested in your home. Un­der your very nose. Well, maybe not your nose. Maybe your hus­band’s. The hol­i­day beard. It’s like Santa set the bar with his lux­u­ri­ous face-mane. Taunt­ing us with his laugh and the prom­ise of no more work after De­cem­ber 24. So, ev­ery year, men around Aus­tralia who have a cou­ple of weeks off de­cide, “Well, time to pop the ra­zor away for awhile and see how my beard is go­ing.”

I know, be­cause I am one such man.

My wife knows it’s com­ing. . She says she quite likes it. And that first week is free­ing. Peo­ple look at you with a bit more, “Ooh, look at this bad boy.” As if not shav­ing means you’ve thumbed your stub­ble-sur­rounded nose at The Man. Griz­zly Adams, here I come! This year I could be a fron­tiers­man. Or a bush­man. Wild, un­tamed, like this great coun­try we live in. I walk, nay, I strut down the street with this fab­u­lous three-day growth (I’m al­lowed to use this phrase). Ev­ery year, the same walk lead­ing me on... on to dis­ap­point­ment. For as the New Year ar­rives and the re­turn to work draws closer, so does the re­al­i­sa­tion that, while it starts out well, my beard never re­ally gets there. Ev­ery sum­mer I think it will get thicker after a year of shav­ing – I am 43 years old, you’d think I’d know this is never gonna hap­pen. But it’s not a com­plete fail­ure. It’s fullish, but never the full Hinch. It’s cer­tainly not wispy like I’m in a hip, early 2000s, New York band. It’s got some­thing, but not quite, you know, a full growth. Then the kids start to tire of it. Betty stops kiss­ing me. Billy gets a slight rash on his face when I hug him, and Leo tells me flat out ev­ery night at bed­time, “Dad, you need to shave.” Rude. But I per­sist. It’s go­ing to be bet­ter this year. I eat more crusts (I be­lieve this is for chest hair, but I’ll try any­thing at this point) and start tak­ing my cof­fee black from Rob, who’s crush­ing it with his won­der­ful gin­ger beard. I look in the mir­ror each morn­ing for signs of ex­tra man­li­ness this year. Then I see it.

Grey. Flecks of it. Scat­tered all through it. In the side­burns, down two sides of my chin, on parts of my neck. I look up like Vader at the end of the bad Star Wars tril­ogy which none of us like to re­mem­ber and scream, “NOOO!”

Should I clip­per? Neaten it up? A goa­tee? Ethan Hawke is still cool, right? I mean he was in Re­al­ity Bites and that was mas­sive. My mous­tache makes Movem­ber laugh­able in my house and, un­like Shan­non Noll, the soul patch con­tains only a few strands and three of them are white! At this rate I can only hope for a half-ar­sed at­tempt at Clooney in Syr­i­ana, and no one liked his beard in that movie.

I look back at the shrink­ing man in the mir­ror and re­alise it has de­feated me again. My MACH3 (not spon­sored) starts to laugh on my bath­room counter. It knows the time has ar­rived.

Fine. Beards are out any­way. Nearly all the blogs I choose to read tell me so. Be­sides, if I shave all year it’ll be thicker come De­cem­ber. Right?

To­day Ex­tra,

My beard never re­ally gets there… It’s fullish, but never the full Hinch”

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