Taking Stock - April 28, 2014

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Don’t get alarmed, but the academics of the nation have come up with the shocking news that, as a country, we’ve reached ‘peak beard’.

Before you get to thinking I’ve gone stark raving bonkers, hear me out.

There’s no denying that in recent years Britain has been getting increasingly fuzzy.

I’m not averse to a good bit of facial hair myself – 
although that’s got more to do with laziness, the cost of razor blades and the need to cover up my ever increasing number of extra chins.

There’s one chap at Gazette Towers who’s taken it a little too far (in my opinion at least) and is wandering the streets of upmarket Lytham looking like an auditionee for Castaway 2 – we’re all waiting for him to start talking to volleyballs.

But the boys at Gillette (other male grooming products are available) can rest easy because, according to those clever science types, the craze may soon be coming to an end.

Apparently there’s a tipping point to all fashion phases when so many people get involved it ceases to be, in layman’s terms, cool.

That’s what has now happened with the good old fashioned beard

As a football writer, I can only take that as a blessed relief.

It’s hard enough to tell two blokes apart when they’re 70 yards away – without them both hiding behind a hedge-like facial mass of hair.

Maybe we could end it all in one day – a national shave during which men can 
jointly incur the wrath of their wives, girlfriends and mothers by clogging the sink.

I don’t know what happens when the razor blades appear – no matter how much scrubbing and rinsing goes on, there are still stray traces of beard hanging around the bathroom for days.

I reckon spiders bring them back out of the plug hole when you’re not looking and scatter them where your nearest and dearest are most likely to look.

That’s why I’ve jumped the gun and got out well ahead of ‘peak beard’, but I’ll be keeping tabs on the next male grooming fad.

I’m praying for fighter command moustaches or proper 70s style ‘digger’ sideburns. Please boys, anything but a goatee.