This story will make you appreciate the clean-shaven face in such profound ways, that the mere sight of the five o’clock shadow on your partner’s mug will send you running for the hills. Before I launch in, let it be said, I’ve never been a beard person. [God, that statement needs some clarification]. I don’t like facial hair or overly hirsute individuals, and I have never been a fan of the facial fluff in any form really – except of course Magnum PI’s mustache…on Magnum, I could tolerate it. For the most part I’ve found them itchy, irritating to my skin (of course when I come into contact with said hairy person) and not that pleasing to look at. That’s me of course; I know there are many out there that are partial to a good beard. Ahem.
Of course at the moment beards are all the rage. Just take a wander into the East End of London and there are more beards on skinny trouser hipsters than there are coffee shops. I’m not kidding, it’s literally become a fashion statement up there with designer glasses, wing tips and tight short sleeve button shirts. Which of course leads me to our little tale of horror when it comes to what is actually living in some people’s beards. Oh yeah, baby, that fluff of hair has visitors.
A handful of (brave) men in the U.S allowed their beards to be swabbed by an investigative reporter (don't you just love investigative journalism. Such an art form) from a local affiliate and had the results tested to see what was growing in their little facial forest. The microbiologist doing the test was not surprised to see a fair amount of 'normal' bacteria living in there (ew, gross); but the ultimate shock came in the form of, wait for it…. fecal matter. Yes, you read that correctly. Good ol’ fecal matter was found to be present in many of the men’s beards that were tested. OMG, vile. Apparently, it’s a type of fecal bacteria that won’t necessarily make you sick, but as he said, if it was found in the city’s water system, he would shut it down for disinfecting. And I don't know about you, but any time I even hear the word fecal, harmful or not, I don't want it anywhere near me.
His advice for hirsute men (aside from, cut the damn thing off!), wash your hands, stop touching your face, and for god sakes, put the toilet seat down before flushing (do you know the kind of stuff that can fly right on out of there and swirl around the room from a mere flush?!) Of course stories like these merely give me more incentive to (beg) politely ask my partner never ever to grow a beard (and considering he is brown and looks like he could be from a variety of middle eastern countries, a beard on my husband would definitely mean he’s never getting into America without a full cavity search. Let’s just be honest).
So next time your partner or your Uncle Al leans in for a kiss hello with his big Grizzly Adams fluff face, maybe hand him a facial wipe first, or insist on a handshake until that fecal trap is fully showered.