Admit it, you read the Palm Beach Post article shaming bearded men everywhere, the one stating “Beards are filled with bacteria and ‘as dirty as toilets…’”
But have you gotten the real poop scoop? It appears an avid New Mexico reporter made a vigorous leap to his shitty conclusion after a microbiologist announced the presence of ‘enterics’ in swabbed samples from random men’s beards. To clarify, an enteric, according to the updated Palm Beach Post article, Is your beard really that dirty? Maybe not, is a “bacteria that normally live in the intestines.” So a jump to a wrong conclusion?
Ask yourself if the data is that far off when everything we touch is potentially contaminated with bacteria. Yes, wash your hands, Captain Obvious, but then go on and touch a restroom doorknob, hit the ATM, check yourself out at the grocery store using one of their maddening kiosks. Unless you don latex gloves as a habit, you will come into contact with all kinds of germs. Dated newsflash alert: it’s not the worst thing either, and is also immune-strengthening. Sorry if I grossed you out.
I am usually strong enough to resist reading about the state of our pigsty world: the horrors on desktops, the amoebas crawling on sponges, but here’s the big butt, or but, if you will … I broke my rule, the lure of the beard poop article was one I was just too weak to fight. After reading the comments of fellow GMP’ers—some of the cleverest folk on the planet—I’m so glad I caved. Read on for pure entertainment and an unadulterated dissection of the truth, the perusing of which, made my day. I hope it makes yours, too.
Johnny Pharr, contributor to GMP, asked if the lab was accredited, noting, “… but anyone knows that we must gather facts, then seek to understand. If I’m wrong, instead of egg on my face, I’ll have poop on my face.”
It was this quip that got the poop rebuttal rolling and me ROFL.
Ina Chadwick, ghost writer of annual reports on packaged goods and whose humorous essay stemming from this poop debacle Where the Germs (Really) Are, launched yesterday on GMP, questioned if the poop presence might be attributed to the beard wearer’s lifestyle, “Face in the toilet from drinking, or sucking up to big money.”
We hungrily explored any kind of reasoning that might leave a beard bearer in such a craptacular state. It was a mystery begging to be solved.
Proud bristle-sporter, Travis Eneix celebrated his clean beard, noting, “… the average kitchen sink in the USA has more fecal matter than the average toilet.” He ended his observation rather personally and with the intention of reassuring us all, stating, “… the first thing I do after having a sit down on the toilet is NOT wiping my hand through my majestic beard majestically.” As of this writing, he is happy to share that his beard is, in fact, cleaner than his sink.
We all let out a collective “phew!”
GMP peeps, such stalwart, honest folks. It felt good to hear I not only worked among geniuses, but clean geniuses to boot.
The comments kept pouring in, having taken on a dynamic of their own, I watched agog as they built upon each other, an idea forming in my immature mind. Such wit must be shared. It was selfish to retain it for my own use.
Kelly McQuain convinced me further, “we should all be mindful of how animals need homes where they can catch crumbs.” It was refreshing to see the conversation address the natural order of the world. Why couldn’t beards serve two purposes, an hirsute, sex-on-fire draw, also capable of housing eensy, cutesy-pie critters. #swoon.
We all cheered a little as Dixie Gillaspie set us straight with the sanity our 12-year old selves were clearly lacking, when she shared her clip from the Washington Post, No your beard isn’t full of poop (probably).
And Ty H. Phillips beautifully brought us back home with his considerate and reasonable reply, “Umm … science literacy first, please. This has been so badly debunked and blown out of proportion as to be on a par with believing in fortune tellers …”
Possibly true, or not … there are some walking among us who are not as clean as we think, who stroll around touching everything they can, hands infested with pathogens, and there are those (hopefully, a majority), who suds up on a regular basis.
Wash your hands after common sense activities that call for it, and every once in a while do it just for funsies. Then as you were with your life, beards, and the 15-second rule, which overrules everything else.
Original article appeared at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission.
Photo: Getty Images