Ill Advised Beard Styles, One of Several

I am occasionally asked: “Hey, Scalzi, why don’t you rock the beard like C. Everett Koop?” And this is why:

Basically because it makes me look like I just got out of Amish prison. That is, if they had prisons. Which I’m fairly sure they don’t. But if they did, this is what it would be like.

Now, excuse me. I gotta go shave off the rest of this thing.

72 Comments on “Ill Advised Beard Styles, One of Several”

  1. I dunno, it gives you a certain amount of gravitas.

    Alas, it probably also itches like crazy.

  2. Dude, that looks totally awesome. I have a very similar beard with my head shaved. You commented on my Amishness in San Diego once!

  3. I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve never met anyone who can change his look so profoundly just by altering facial hair configurations.

    I’ve spent a whole week around you, and I would have walked right past the dude in the picture above without any mental registers chiming.

  4. Scalzi: the Lincoln Years.

    (With a tip of the hat to Little Brother, where this quote originated)

  5. Woah, waitaminute! I think it’s great looking. Just cultivate a moustache to lose the Amish look.

  6. I have no idea what kind of motifs they’d use, but I’m pretty sure they’d be very meticulous and elaborate.

  7. You look like an Amish clop-by shooter.

    But don’t worry, no prisons. They just lock you in the barn with the cows.

  8. I kinda liked it until you drew the Amish Prison comparison.

    Oh, well. I still kinda like it. Maybe it’s the arty black and white photography that makes you look so hipster.

  9. Did you just grow it in order to take a photograph for Whatever? I mean, if you’re just going to shave it all off now. Or is this something you do periodically?

  10. John,

    Whatever you do — DON’T GROW A BEARD. My cautionary tale:

    Grew one once for winter on a lark. Next spring, I shaved it off and my then girlfriend (now wife) took one look at me and said “You are not the man I fell in love with… YOU are ugly.” Twenty years later I’ve shaved it exactly once for a volunteer fire-fighting class (you can’t get a good respirator seal with a beard) and even then she gave me crap about it.

    Whatever you do man, don’t do it man!!

  11. Johannes Skalsche, the Amish hit man.

    His arrest brought out a side of the Amish community that few knew of: the Enforcers. Hardly anyone knew that the Amish community sometimes needs members…even outsiders…eliminated. The code for such an elimination is “shunning with extreme prejudice.”

    While Amish Enforcers are exempt from the usual Amish prohibition on firearms, traditional methods such as the Cow Crush (cow tipping, but onto a victim) and the “accidental” burial alive in a grain silo (as depicted in the movie Witness) are preferred.

    Skalsche is now serving Life-Without-Parole in a maximum-security facility in Pennsylvania, following his conviction for the Barn-Raising Bombing of 2006. It’s rumored that he has organized an Amish gang withing the prison that strikes fear in the hearts of the other prisoners and even the staff. Its members are known by their elaborate hex-sign tattoos and their affectation of the Amish beard. They remove the lightbulbs in their cells, and are said to have sabotaged much of the prison technology.

  12. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the beard in the photo. Note: I am categorically opposed to beards, and should my husband ever grow one, I will demand depilatory reprisal. However, that leads me to my next point:

    I suspect the only opinion of any import on this matter is Madame Scalzi’s.

  13. You know, I really have never liked facial hair on guys. Tom Selleck is so far the only notable exception.

    However, if one MUST wear a beard, the goatee or the above amish beard are generally more tolerable because at least I can see a man’s face.

    And I must say, that particular beard style pictured above actually doesn’t look bad on you. You look like a member of Anthrax… kinda.

    But again, I find men more attractive sans hair on their face.

  14. Some people should grow beards, and some should not. I agree with you. Kill it before it multiplies.

  15. Xopher! That was GREAT! I was also picturing hex signs as prison tats. Those big stars they put on buildings too.

    John, it’s not as bad as you think but it’s your face. Personally, I thought you looked a little like a younger Ben Zellner (a planetary scientist I used to work with).

    Amish peace enforcers…boy y’all have active imaginations.

  16. Hey, look on the bright side. When ‘they’ make a movie of TCL & ZT you can play Hyrum Yoder.
    What a kick would that be, to [spoiler deleted] in your own story.

  17. Johannes Skalsche, the Amish hit man

    The man’s a fucking surgeon with imprecatory prayer. At any range.

  18. BC Woods is right!
    One of those Souwester hats and you’d look like someone named Gorton–or is it Mr Paul?

    Many years ago, I went off to grad school. I had grown a mustache in college–it kind of went with the John Lennon glasses. While in grad school, I met and fell for a fellow grad student.

    About a month before the wedding, I shaved the ‘tache off and it nearly ended everything. She told me I looked half my age. It wasn’t a compliment. What thirty year old wants to look fifteen?

    So, I grew the mustache back. My twenty-two year old son and daughter have never seen me without it.

  19. About once every 5 years I forget, and shave off my beard – and then realise that without it my head looks like a ping-pong ball.

    Some people have faces that need beards, some don’t.

  20. Chris @ 21 Nice! “…I take a look at my life and realize it’s very plain!”

    JS – You should have kept the beard, but grown it out and braided the chin-part like Layne Staley.

  21. At #9: My buddy FunTimesJoe just calls it a N’eard, as in Neck Beard. I want to punch him in the mouth when he says that. Every time.

  22. “clop-by shooter” (N. O’Brain@18) is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long, long time.

  23. There is something about that beard that makes your philtrum look long enough to land a plane on.

    I greatly prefer the photograph on the cover of your ten-year collection. It’s less disturbing.

  24. I’ve seen Amish with some pretty amazing marketing campaigns for their products, so I wouldn’t put it past them if they had some kind of Amish prison.

  25. I actually quite like it when you have a goatee. It makes you look more mature (which is probably the reason you don’t keep it)

  26. I think it makes you look like John Scalzi, Hard Man Who is Not to be Trifled With.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  27. I only grow a full beard so my face doesn’t freeze when I go ice climbing.

    However, I like to mix it up. It keeps people, namely my wife, guessing. It also helps so I don’t get stuck in a twenty year mustache style like some of the previous posts.

  28. Well…yeah, but it still looks good. Perhaps I am attracted to Amish criminals. Hmmm…and the soul searching continues.

  29. Next time, grow the full-face beard and a really long ponytail and you could masquerade as a UNIX programmer.

  30. That’s him, officer! That’s the man who stole my cheese! He took off in one of those buggies with the orange triangle on the back. And he got my apron dirty. *shakes fist*

  31. Marko, I find your comments intriguing, because I find it instantly recognisable as … that guy who made me pause Pink Floyd gorram it… ;)

    There’s just a brillo pad stuck to his face. But the rest of it – eye shape, arcs of the cheekbones, philtrum, nose – all very definable. Then again, I had a huge splorge of facial topiary which I didn’t have last time I saw ya, and you recognised me no problems.

    Then again, the red altitude-warning blinky I have to wear prolly gives it away.

  32. Another vote for totally awesome here. But then again, I shave to a 5 O’clock shadow and find myself with a full beard after I sneeze.

    I’ve been keeping as clean shaven as possible lately, but I wore mutton chops to my wedding.

  33. I tell ya, there ain’t nothing like a good old-fashioned Amish prison-raising. Lifting those concrete walls up into place is, though, a royal pain.

    I recently had to shave off my own beard for a new job. Not an improvement, imho. Grisly details, and photos, available here.

  34. beards are awesome and ya it becomes itchy for a lil while, what a baby be a man and grow a full beard im 20 and have a full beard its not itchy at all and becomes softer the longer it grows

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