It was a sweltering La Paz evening: warm and sunny, like always. I couldn’t even sit down without sweating. A thought came to me that had been circulating in my mind ever since I crossed the Mexican border: it’s time to turn this beard into a mustache.
I haven’t seen my chin since 2010, back when I was racing dune buggies in South Carolina. Given the crowd that naturally gravitates to dune buggy racing, it only seemed appropriate to sport a mullet and some face-furniture.
Since those fateful days, my beard and I have spent some really good times together, engaging in numerous noble adventures and I would be sad to see it go. I knew there was only one appropriate way for my beard to depart from this world: a traditional, full-fledged Viking burial. Construction immediately began on a Viking warship, with huge timbers hewn from the finest mahogany and teak. I'm no expert shipwright, but I think I managed to assemble a craft that even Eric the Red would've been impressed by.
I've been hanging out with a couple of Aussie blokes down here and my friend Hamish was on board (pun intended) to convert his whiskers into a nose-neighbor, as well. He decided that he couldn't wait for the longship to dry and dove into the manscaping with reckless abandon. In a few short minutes, he had a crumb-catcher that would've made Pancho Villa proud.
In the meantime, we did some fishing and Hamish managed to catch the biggest shark we’d ever seen in La Paz harbor. It was a real monster.
After another Tecate or two, Brett and Haylee showed up and we decided it was time to deconstruct my beard. A short funeral ensued, during which time I saw fit to say a few words.
I praised its bushiness. I thanked it for keeping me warm during the snows of winter and the gales of spring. It nobly tickled the face of each woman I’ve kissed over the course of the past four years. It even protected me from the atrocious fate of having to shave every day. We had been through a lot, this beard and I.
Poseidon or La Virgen de Guadaloupe must've been listening, because a glorious double rainbow was immediately painted across the sky with a sunset backdrop. If thats not a good omen, I don't know what is.
Slowly and surely, we loaded my poor beard into the viking ship and eventually my mustache was born. Brett and Hamish prepared to launch the ship, and since none of us felt comfortable shooting flaming spear guns in the crowded harbor, we decided to revert to some dinghy gas to get 'er fired up. After living on a boat for so long, its also possible that the beard itself was flammable, because it burst into flames in a hurry.
The reception to my mustache (surprisingly) has been mixed. All of the retired cruisers around La Paz give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. The lovely Mexican maidens I’ve encountered around town visibly swoon as soon as they catch sight of it. Every mustached hombre I encounter gives a nod of approval. The dogs of La Paz, however, have all barked and bristled as I stroll past. I can’t blame them, of course, I’d feel threatened too.