Just this morning, after taking two days off, I pondered my three-day growth, and the overused disposable razor by the sink (I really need to buy some more this weekend), and thought this would be a perfect time to grow the beard back, just in time for Christmas. But then I thought it might confuse the twins as to who I was, and no amount of convenience was worth that.
So I shaved, and then came in to work, to find that my boss, Publisher Henry Haitz, had e-mailed me a story from The Wall Street Journal, which started like this:
Growth Area: Beards on Laid-Off Executives
Released From Staid Offices, More Men Free Their Facial Hair; the Professorial Look vs. ZZ Top
By CHRISTINA BINKLEY
Call it the face of freedom.
After Jorge Hendrickson lost his job at a Manhattan hedge fund three weeks ago, he stopped shaving. "I’ve shaved for so long, and it’s nice to be able to look at the positive side" of losing a job, says Mr. Hendrickson, 24. "I’m changing my lifestyle while I can."…
This, of course, is not the kind of message you want to receive from your boss after taking a couple of days off (and almost deciding to grow your beard back), on the same day you read that David Stanton — the only person at WIS I could name, a guy who went to work there the same year I joined The State — has been unceremoniously laid off.
But then I saw Henry’s note at the top of the e-mail, which read "Assuming you saw this in wsj yesterday, 4th para from the bottom….." Here was the graf to which he directed me:
Ben Bernanke’s furry jawline gives the Fed chairman the look of a trustworthy intellectual. But Brad Warthen, editorial page editor for The State, a Columbia S.C., newspaper, recently pondered what would happen if Mr. Bernanke were to shave. "Could this be the bold stroke that is needed to jolt the economy back to where it should be?" Mr. Warthen posited in his blog.
So now you know the economy is really, really in trouble. The collapse of credit markets, the swan dive of the Detroit Three automakers, the apparent refusal of consumers to spend on Christmas, on and on –all that was just preliminaries.
It has now come to this: The venerable Wall Street Journal quoting my meanderings about what the Fed chairman’s facial hair might mean in terms of the world economy’s future direction. Sure, Bernanke is from South Carolina — from the Pee Dee in fact, just like me — and that gives me special insight, but still…
The time has come to curl up into a ball and pull the blanket over your head. It’s the only rational response…