Somewhat Sophisticated.

Officer, I’ve told you exactly what happened. I’ve been here all day and, frankly, I don’t appreciate being treated like a criminal. Now, I’ve answered all your questions, filled out a report, and signed my statement. What more could you possibly want from me?

Again?

You want me to go over what we’ve already been over numerous times?

Fine.

Where would you like me to start?

I don’t need your attitude, sir. It all started six months ago. At that point, I had a modest beard of modest thickness. It wasn’t my intention to select the path that led to the events of the last 36 hours, but I couldn’t help it. I saw that flyer and I couldn’t help myself. I mean, I already had 6 weeks of growth in. It wasn’t like I’d have to start all over! I saw that flyer, and I knew I had to do it.

You know which flyer I’m talking about. I’ve told you three times!

Ugh. The 2013 National Bearded Men Bearing Beards-A-Palooza.

So, from that point on I didn’t shave. I found a beard guru, and he taught he everything I needed to know about proper growth and maintenance. I conditioned it every day. Avoided salty food.  Ate my body weight in avocados. A syrup wrap. A honey wrap. A full body tomato sauce bath. It wasn’t easy, alright? It took dedication. For a while it was itchy. It was itchy, and I had to convince myself every morning not to hack it all off. And my co-workers never let a day go by without making a disparaging comment. I even filed a hostile work environment complaint because they were harassing my beard. They covered my car in shaving cream one afternoon.  One time I came back to my desk and found a bottle of Nair. Nair! But the worst, by far, was when I came into the office one morning, and there was a homeless man sitting at my desk. My co-workers paid him $20 to come and sit in my cubicle with his ratty, unkempt, unprofessional face-locks. Obviously, they were attempting to draw a comparison between my luscious, maintained, gentle-beard and his absurd face hair. Well they didn’t succeed! Not all beards are created equal, officer. You have to love and care for it. You can’t just not shave for a while and be a bearer of a true beard.

Laugh it up.

I know your type. You probably would’ve joined in on the fun with your obvious lack of any beard growing ability.

I am calm!

Fine.

Well the competition was approaching.

Really?  You’re that immature?

Well, the 2013 National Bearded Men Bearing Beards-A-Palooza was approaching, and I was in the home stretch. In just 24 hours, I would be walking across that stage with my perfectly sculpted follicles. All I had to do was avoid damage to my precious. No spills, no drips, no wind, no cold, no heat. I was ready to call it a night. She and I ordered in and I ate with a sanitary garbage bag covering my face, with only a small hole poked for my food. I was ready to call it a night. We didn’t need to go for a walk! She begged and begged. I knew I’d been neglecting her a little with the competition approaching.

No.

I’m not going to do it.

(clears throat)

I knew I’d been neglecting her a little, with the 2013 National Bearded Men Bearing Beards-A-Palooza approaching. She threatened to come at me with scissors if I didn’t go on a walk with her. I checked the wind, the temperature, and the precipitation. It was 71 degrees outside, 1 mph wind, and 0% chance of rain. I could survive maybe 30 minutes outside without damaging my face. So, she grabbed her purse, I grabbed the bottom of my beard so it wouldn’t drag the floor, and we walked outside.

That was our first mistake.

The second was when she demanded we extend our walk to the little river near our building. She was adamant that we walk across that bridge. I mean, I understand it, that’s where we got engaged. But just because it was our anniversary didn’t mean we had to do something romantic!

So we got to the bridge. We were half way across, and then it all happened. She wanted a kiss. I tried to tell her I could not risk any sort of germ contact, but she was so persistent. As she was leaning in, I just stood there imagining all the bacteria that could get into my follicles and cause my beard to wilt, and I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye. A white flash. A white flash that was headed straight for us. God, why did we have to be on that bridge? The bird of prey swooped in and nearly came close to flying directly into my face-nest. Obviously, I reacted. It was involuntary! I’d known that beard through ingrown hairs, thousands of dollars spent on upkeep…we were blood. We shared the same DNA, for Christ’s sake!

What happened next?

Well, I reacted. I quickly moved my head backwards and pivoted my entire left side to shield me from the animal. And, during the course of that, I knocked her over the bridge. But she didn’t fall in the river. As she was falling, she grabbed on to the only thing she could reach.

My beard.

I screamed at her to cease and desist. To let go of my most prized possession. I could feel individual follicles tearing out, and I was filled with rage and sadness and hate. She tried to tell me to just reach my arm down and grab her. Reach my arm down? I’m supposed to help you? You who are currently tugging on my beard on the eve of the competition?

I leaned over the ledge, looked that harlot right in the face, and punched her right between the eyes. Ha, she sure did let go after that. Apparently my extended beard growth had given me some Samson-esque strength and my Joe Frazier right jab knocked her out. I mean cold. She was limp before she hit the water.

Of course I didn’t jump in! Lord knows what sort of beard pollutants were floating in that God-forsaken river. I just couldn’t risk it. I tried to call out for help, but no one was around.

Look, I called 9-1-1. I reported it. I told all y’all what happened. I’m sure the ambulance got there within minutes.

Why would I have stuck around? Sleep is the number one key to beard growth. I couldn’t spend all evening with the ambulance or sitting at the hospital with her! I went directly home and got a full twelve hours in.

I honestly don’t see why you’re asking me all these things. I didn’t realize it was a crime to not wait around for the ambulance after reporting a crime.

No, I haven’t spoken to her since the incident.

Like I said, I was busy.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What? I’m being charged with what?! You’re kidding me. It wasn’t even that far of a drop! And it was into water. And she is a fine swimmer.

Look, wait. Just wait. No. Stop. Don’t. Yes, yes, I know all that. Don’t worry, I won’t be saying a word. I want my attorney immediately. Just take it easy. I’m sure there’s another explanation.

 Look, I want my phone call. I know I get a phone call! And do I really have to be locked in here with these animals? After all, I am the 2013 NATIONAL BEARDED MEN BEARING BEARDS-A-PALOOZA CHAMPION!

 I want that phone call!