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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No doubt many friends of the decanter have lost a good deal of sleep wondering to themselves, “Self, what’s going on with Ol’ Robbo’s plague-beard?”

Well, I’ll tell you.

A couple weeks back, owing to a combination of spontaneity and heightened nagging by Mrs. R but mostly heightened nagging by Mrs. R, I hacked back what had come to be a substantial growth to mere stubble.

Looking into the mirror afterwards, I was a bit startled by what I saw.

Maybe I’m just puffed up by the pollen. Maybe the fact that I badly need a haircut throws off all the proportions. Maybe I just hadn’t noticed before. Whatever the reason, suddenly my jaw looked a lot smaller in comparison to the rest of my face than I remember it used to. And there, right at the end of it was my father’s chin, small, round, unmistakable. Again, I’d never noticed the resemblance before.

Frankly, I liked the bearded look better. Not only does the jungle growth fill things out, the fact that it’s grizzled gives me a certain confidence. (I’ve always looked much younger than I actually am and have always been self-conscious about it.)

Eldest Gel always had liked the beard, too, and protested my hack job heartily.

Mrs. R must have found herself leaning the same way, because when I immediately announced I was going to grow it back again she didn’t protest but only asked that I keep it reasonably trim. That’s something I can live with since I have no plans to join Z.Z. Topp.

So there we are. It’s coming back in nicely now and so far I’ve received no fresh complaints.

Now go catch up on all that sleep!

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