by A.G. Eisenbart

illustration by Dakota McFadzean

Bonus ColumnHey guys. I was trimming my beard this morning and something seemed weird about it. So I took a closer look, and sure enough, my beard was made of papier mâché and chicken wire!

When did this happen?

Back when I first started growing my beard out, I’m sure it was hair. You can’t tell me I wouldn’t notice chicken wire growing out of my face. I even looked at some selfies from a month back. Yup, that’s hair. So what’s up with this light-gauge mesh and crusty papier mâché? Oh yeah, and the brown paint? I think it’s tempera.

Why didn’t anyone tell me that my beard was no longer hair but constructed on a sturdy chicken wire framework? Why did you let me walk around with a fake beard? Did you guys think I meant it? Were you all like, “Hey, I guess he’s trying something new and exploring his identity.”

As if a chicken wire beard is a sign of an identity crisis. Did you think I was compensating for alopecia? Really, really localized alopecia? That’s not a thing.

Am I missing some important information about facial hair trends? It’s not like papier mâché beards are trending. I tried to ask some hipsters about their beards at lunch, but they kept staring at my face. In fact, everybody was staring at my face. It turned out that bits of papier mâché were falling off every time I talked. I had to go to the washroom and stuff some wet paper towel in there to keep my beard looking smooth.

Wow, nobody ever told me how heavy wet paper towel is when you’re carrying it with your face.

Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m taking off the chicken wire beard and going to bed. When I wake up I better have my hair beard back. No questions asked, just — give it back.

What the hell. It’s not coming off. The chicken wire is attached to my — IT’S PART OF ME. OH GOD.

A.G. Eisenbart is an insurance adjuster, skydiving enthusiast and medical anomaly.