Here's the scoop: November 27, 2013

It’s a coverup
A few weeks back I wrote about the number of professional baseball players sporting beards this season. Shortly after that column appeared, the Boston Beard Sox, I mean Red Sox, the most bearded of all teams, proceeded to win the World Series. I’d like to think that my column helped inspire the Sox in some small way.
I said at the time that I wouldn’t be growing a beard anytime soon, but I may be changing my mind. I’ve never once had any facial hair. Not even a wispy mustache as a 17-year-old. But, now that some of the Red Sox players have shaved at least some of their trademarks (and the hairballs are being auctioned for charity), there is a beard “void,” as far as I can tell.
I must add that the “controversy” over whether the Red Sox players would shave their beards seemed, well, pretty dumb. Last time I checked, beards grow back. I’m sure any player who had his beard snipped will be in furry midseason form by spring training, if so desired.
My personal inspiration for maybe growing a beard was not the hope of winning a World Series. I haven’t played the game in years, but I doubt that my ability to handle a fastball over 70 mph has improved with age.

More than one source of inspiration
No, my thinking has more to do with keeping warm. And laziness. Most beard-bearers will tell you that the layers of fuzz add a winter coziness that you just can’t duplicate with a scarf. Plus, a beard is much harder to lose. Throw in the fact that beards offer a great place to store (non-perishable) food and what’s not to like?
Well, I guess there’s the “appearance factor.” Face it, some people look totally natural with a beard. Others, umm, they look like dorks. I have always feared falling into the second category.
Plus, I don’t think I’m genetically wired to have a super beard. There are plenty of men who can get a decent head start on beard-growing between bedtime and dawn. Not me.
Because I’ve never really sported anything even close to a beard (a soot-covered face resulting from cleaning the fireplace is probably my best imitation), it’s a unique concept for me. So, I thought it might be a wise idea to run my plan past someone who would have to look at me everyday.
Secretly, I was hoping my wife would say something like, “And cover up your handsome face with a bunch of straggly hair! No way.”
Oddly enough, she shrugged and said, “OK.”
Talk about pressure.
That was about four days ago. My face is starting to itch. The beard is “spotty,” at best. Company’s coming for Thanksgiving and I don’t really want to have to explain my sudden interest in having a beard. Probably, I’ll shave by then — one turkey at the table is enough.
On the other hand, I’m sure a beard would be a great spot for hiding the last piece of pecan pie — too bad I didn’t start my growth spurt a month ago.
— Brian Sweeney