This is gonna hurt but I have to write about a painful experience (other than the $158 for groceries) at Wal-Mart the other day. As I was walking out I stopped to look at the red box video dispenser to see if any movies looked appealing when the girl greeter/cop came up behind me and asked to see my receipt. I’ve got about a dozen bags of groceries, no large screen TV’s, no cases of beer, no firearms or fishing poles, no Bulldawg paraphernalia, just groceries. She actually perused the receipt long enough to verify that I had indeed bought Eight O’Clock coffee, Horizon organic milk and (I am shamed to admit it) Oreo’s.
I stood there wondering what was going on, this had never happened before. Then I saw the look in her eye. It was the beard. I was being follicley profiled! Can a hirsute man not go to the store without suffering this injustice? I was never stopped when wearing a moustache, even a shaggy one. Rise up my bearded brothers (and even a few sisters truth be told) and demand to be treated the same as all the other men afraid to let it all hang out, the same as those pour souls still enslaved by Gillette. Clean cut and respectable do not have to be joined at the proverbial hip. What’s next? Mandatory little white beard booties? Beard burning? Beards to the back of the bus?
I definitely get very different looks with my fine beard, especially from the womens. Unfortunately it’s either, “That poor man.” Or more commonly, “His poor wife.” I can handle the looks of pity and disdain but to actually be stopped on suspicion of stealing deliciously addictive cookies is just too close a trim. The hairy man in me says I should call Arkansas and protest of this injustice, and then go berate the store manager.
Or maybe I should just shave.
At least the folks at church understand.