Mr. Predictable and His Fine Example of Pogonotrophy

Post CCI

Here’s the story of a beard, snooping, and a garlic explosion.

I’ve been so bored I decided to see how much of a beard I could grow in a week. I’ve never grown one before. People have said to me that a beard coupled with my exceedingly long hair would make me look a bit like Jesus. I can assure you that after a week, all I looked like was a grumpy hippy. I had no intention of keeping it but I think I will miss it. I liked stroking my hairy chin. I couldn’t stop doing it. I honestly think that if I had kept it, I would look like I was in a permanent state of contemplation. That said, I did have some fun with it before I said goodbye to it. Before the week was out, I shaved it in such a way that I was left with a horseshoe moustache. In only ten minutes, I had gone from grumpy hippy to ‘70s porn star homage…

What makes it worse is that my beard is all kinds of colours. Black, brown, ginger and blonde. I have multicoloured facial hair. My next door neighbour came round recently. It did take him a few minutes to figure out who the guy standing in front of him was. Horseshoe moustache. Long, shaggy and ragged hair. Red eyes. Scruffy t-shirt and jogger bottoms. I’ve been alone for only a week and I’ve already fallen apart. You should see the state of the kitchen. At least I think it’s a kitchen. Can’t really see it for all the mounds of trash and dirty dishes.

You see, I only had this week to grow said beard. Because people expect things of me. To act a certain way. To behave a certain way. Mr. Predictable. Dependable and dull. If I grew a beard, it’d be like the Queen going to a punk rave. I cannot put into words the attention it would receive. Every second I’d get a constant stream of questions and judgmental stares. People can’t accept it when I change. I have such a strict set of rules and order I abide by, and the second I deviate, ‘Oh no, there must be something seriously wrong, let’s stare and judge and make him feel all self-conscious and awful.’ So really, the world won’t let me change. It just won’t.

I went to a family party. Sorry, let me rephrase. I was forced to go to a family party a couple months ago and I had a bit of a beard growing. And I’m not kidding, I got non-stop commentary of my face. I just wanted to sit on a corner, be miserable and have everyone ignore me, like most days of the week, but I couldn’t enjoy such freedom. So when mum and dad left for Dublin on Sunday, I knew nobody was gonna see my face for a week. Oh, the freedom I’ve enjoyed. But it’s not just facial freedom. Food, too! I can have whatever food I want. Because I’d get a judgemental glower from the parents if I didn’t have something ‘healthy’. So on Thursday, I had two pork chops, two burgers, three rashers of bacon, three Cumberland sausages, three pieces of pork ham, and a partridge in a pear tree. No, wait, mash. I had mash, too. It was a lovely dinner…

Hey, my attempts to make gravy earlier in the week wouldn’t sit well with some people, either. Imagine if you tipped a bunch of gravy granules on a plate and then poured hot water over it. That’s what it looked like. I also made two double bacon cheeseburgers on Friday. I do know all this junk will probably kill me pretty soon, but we all gotta die at some point. I’d rather go out in a sea of meat than slipping in the shower.

It’s been fun. I got a missed phone call message from an American lady earlier in the week. “Hello, Zac Mann, sorry I couldn’t catch you, but are you alright? Can you call me back? We really need to talk about that thing and sort out what’s going on. Can you please call me back, I really need to speak to you. God bless, bye.” Needless to say, I’m not called Zac Mann nor did I have any idea who the hell that was. Turns out, he’s quite a well-known singer online. Well, well, well…

Probably a wrong number. It may have been his agent. I really don’t know. I’ve never got a wrong number call before. I usually get call centres calling me because I don’t have any friends to call me. I could’ve called her back putting on my American accent, but this Zac is from Indiana, and my best American accent is spoilt Californian teenage girl. Hmm, it’s entirely possible that’s how he really sounds.

More to the point, and I hate to snoop, but what the hell is wrong with him? That thing we need to talk about? So touchy we can’t talk on the phone about it. I know the American government listens in on telephone conversations. So this is something that can’t be discussed over the phone. Right. Can’t be drugs because he doesn’t look like the type. But what else could it be? A medical condition? Did he kill someone? I don’t know. I haven’t heard back so I presume the woman realised her mistake and hoped the person who got the message didn’t write about it in a blog. Oh, hang on. Ah, well, surely it can’t be that Zac Mann. Whoever he is…

I mentioned earlier I had red eyes. It’s nothing untoward, it’s just that if you’re ever involved in a garlic explosion, the fumes in the air are pretty ‘garlicky’ and really burn your eyes. What? Oh come on, did you really think I’d get through a whole week without something blowing up? Has that ever happened? No, exactly. The night started so well, too.

I was cooking a pizza and it came with a tub of garlic dip. But there were no instructions for what to do with the garlic. Well, you can’t put it in the oven with the pizza, it would boil. But whenever dad does me a pizza, the garlic is always steaming hot. STEAM! Aha! Microwave! Oh, no, bad idea. Really, really, really bad idea. Don’t put dip in a microwave. Just buy a pizza without dip. That’s my advice. Tip of the week. Because I put it in the microwave, and it exploded. Spectacularly

I have no idea how, but after about ten seconds, I heard an almighty pop. I opened the microwave and this big cloud of steam came billowing out. An eye-watering nightmare of garlic hell. I presume it was something to do with the air pressure inside the sealed container. It just popped. Like that weasel.

I tried to rescue it but it was really hot. I had to use a tea towel to pick it up to take it out of the microwave, now full of garlic dip dripping from every surface. But I didn’t have much grip. And, somewhat inevitably, the dip slipped right out of my hands and landed on the kitchen floor. What little was left of the dip was now spread across the kitchen floor. It wasn’t a great night, if I’m being honest…

But at least I had a pizza to eat whilst I enjoyed a touch of Breaking Bad.

For about ten minutes.

Because after about ten minutes, the electricity went off.

At midnight.

I’m so glad they’re back on Sunday…

American professor and aphorist, Mason Cooley (1927-2002), once said, “Living alone makes it harder to find someone to blame.”

Peace Out :|:


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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