Tomorrow is the first day of September, and as well as studiously avoiding a pinch/punch for your troubles, you should be celebrating the bearded – for it is World Beard Day.
Last year, I celebrated the occasion, dedicated to “promoting and elevating the global status of the the beard” by sharing a collection of favourite beards of men I’m fortunate enough to know.
This year, it’s time for a sequel! And we all love those (especially Friday the 13th part 2, where the sexy jock in a wheelchair gets a machete in the face and pushed down a flight of stairs – masterful).
Often mistaken for a bikie/tattooed thug at best, or a general troublemaker at worst, Preston has sometimes found himself quizzed at pharmacies when picking up prescriptions for regulation painkillers because it’s automatically assumed he’s a drug addict.
In fact, he’s a sharply intelligent, mild-mannered and politically astute IT guru and blogger, with a wonderful partner of 15 years, Daz, who has an equally cool beard.
Special power: Has been known to confront bogan homophobes at liquor stores.
Like most Irishmen, Mark is ginger, pallid in tone, and has a penchant for using the word “bastard” a lot.
He also sports an award-winning, single-scene tattoo that covers all of his back, shoulders, arms, and the top of his chest. Bald by choice, he commits himself to a daily routine of head-shaving with a razor, but that’s as elaborate as his personal grooming goes.
One of his best mates is a heterosexual male who he flats with. In the stereotypical world we live in, this man, who is pretty in the traditional sense, has nice hair and is a snappy dresser, is often mistaken for the gay one of the pair.
Blessed with the ability to grow what I call the “God beard”, Tolkien fans have been known to fall at Drew’s feet in the street and beg him for pearls of wisdom – or at least directions to the nearest geek store.
A lover of animals, Drew is pictured above featured in his local Bacchus Marsh newspaper in search of a lost dog, who is sadly yet to be found. Luckily, he has four dog children of his own, including a rescued pedigree Chihuahua from Sydney (no-one told them it’s not just for Christmas).
His music tastes are eclectic, from disco to classical. He’s currently learning piano and sporting a very cool new pair of specs.
I first met Ash when he competed in Mr Australasia Bear 2011, having come all the way from Perth. He nearly didn’t arrive because, ironically, a volcanic ash cloud had cancelled flights across the country.
A comedian, performer, and meticulous barista, he won Mr Congeniality that year, despite being in pain from a piercing mishap that often seen him inserting a nipple into a glass of salt water on the morning of the competition.
These days, he’s a Melbourne resident, and sporting a magnificently bushy and full beard (not pictured) that has caused much comment from friends and strangers alike.
Just recently, someone pulled up next to him at the lights and yelled out, “Nice beard, c**t!” He wasn’t sure whether it was a compliment or an insult.
Grant is like MacGuyver, only without the mullet. He does have an elaborately tricked out 1990s van, though, and a classic Mini that he recently bought with his husband Brian (another favourite beard) which they’re restoring in their Auckland garage.
He adapted an old dishwasher to be used for washing parts as they literally took the entire car to bits and started from scratch. Often seen behind the bar at Urge, no-one knows how Grant manages to keep his beard so perfect – perhaps he has cans of odourless hairspray left over from Dynasty somewhere.
Can always be relied on in a crisis, be it personal, existential or because your entire bookshelf has collapsed and you don’t know how to put it back together.