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Getting some lost time back
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     Do we really still have four months left in the Presidential election process?
    Oy vey.
    I just can’t stand it anymore. After all, what does wearing the coolest American flag lapel pin have to do with being president? So, over the past couple of weeks I decided to do something more productive with my time than follow this ridiculous process.
    I’m growing back my goatee.
    I had one in Texas for a while but when I moved to Statesboro last August, I shaved it off. New town, new look, I suppose.
     Circumstances have changed for me, so I decided to grow it back. Frankly, I was kind of sick of shaving my chin.
    I’m justifying it based on a story I once heard about opera phenomenon Luciano Pavarotti. Apparently, the reason he wore a beard is that early in his career he realized shaving five minutes every day for 40 years added up to over three years in front of the mirror. Not shaving was a way to get that time back.
    Good enough for me.
    On a side note, it’s kind of hard to see, even when looking at me in person, but there is a small bald spot in my goatee — just under the chin — as a result of a childhood altercation with my brother. I was 12 or 13 at the time.
    Here’s how it all went down:
    I was working in my parents’ garage one Saturday afternoon on some project or another. It’s a little fuzzy, but I was either finishing mowing the grass (maybe), cleaning the garage (unlikely) or burning something with my father’s butane torch (almost certainly). Actually, I was trying to re-feed the chain onto the gears of my bike.
    Just then, my brother rides up the driveway on his own bike, puts down the kickstand right outside the garage and sets off into the house.   
    As he’s about to go through the door, I yelled, “I’m going over to Steve’s on your bike. Be back later.” Then, while he’s screaming “No!” like Captain Kirk in The Wrath of Khan, I hop on the bike and take off down the driveway.
    For the record, I fully intended to just ride down to the end of the driveway and give him his bike back, but then he starts chasing me down the driveway and into the street while wielding (and wildly swinging) a rather large broom handle.
    Needless to say, I not only kept going but put the pedal to the metal and tried to get some distance between us.
    At the time, we lived two or three houses down from a corner. As I increased the distance, I turned the corner. My brother, in a counter move, cut across the corner house’s yard and got very close to cracking me in the head with the handle as I came around the other side of the house.
    Fortunately, I had just enough speed to avoid taking one in the temple.
    At that point, I probably would have been fine if I hadn’t let out the stereotypical evil villain, maniacal laugh as I rode away.
    Oh, foolish boy.
    That laugh was the last straw for my brother. As I laughed, I caught him out of the corner of my eye throwing the broom handle toward me, like he was Bruce Jenner in the decathlon.
    I can still remember the sound of the broom handle’s metal end scraping across the ground just before it imbedded itself in the spokes of the back wheel.
    Comedy gone wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
    As I was doing my low-budget impersonation of Superman, I had this incredibly lucid moment where time stood still and I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe this won’t hurt that much.”
    I was so wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
    Without going into too much graphic detail, I had a few (hundreds of) lacerations on my hands, knees, chin and stomach. Now that I think about, even though I was sliding forward on asphalt, somehow my t-shirt was pushed up to my chest — exposing my tender preteen belly to the unyielding harshness of road gravel.
    Ever try to tie your shoes with palm-sized scabs on your palms?
    As I was lying there — groaning — my brother runs up to me. With all the worry and concern a family member can muster, he kneels down next to my side and caringly asks, “You’re not going to tell Mom and Dad, are you?”
    Feel the love.
    Anyway, there is one more influence for keeping my goated chin — a Herald contributing writer who swears women hate facial hair. The reason they hate it, however, is that facial hair is so irresistible only shaving it will curb their animalistic urges.
    Good enough for me.
    Phil Boyum needs every minute in the morning, especially when trying to get his son off to school by email at pboyum@statesboroherald.com.


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