Friday, January 27, 2006

To park or not to park

Something has got to be done about the parking situation. I can't live like this, like a beast, fighting with other beasts for the last piece of meat, the empty parking space. YOU, BYU, you've made us like this. We are sharks, idling dangerously in the aisles, waiting for a leaver, for a pair of legs to pass by on their way to a parked car. We wave at each other as we prowl, but then spit out curses when we see that much-hated spectacle: another car stopped in the aisle, with it's blinker on. The blinker is a territorial mark, a signpost, shouting MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE in perfect time. We have begun to pray for parking--yes, to include it in our intimate conversations with creation's Architect--is there no end to our debasement!? We are dogs! We are ashes. We are the living dead, those who circle, endlessly, to no end. To no purpose. To nowhere. To hell. To hell with parking. We are leaving. We will walk home. But we won't forget, oh no we will not fail to remember, when the alumni office calls....and asks....for cash. We are petty. We are proud. But we will smile.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Thought I'd play some intramural basketball. Didn't want to disappoint a friend. Showed up at the first game last night. Friend wasn't there. Dirty bum. Only had four players. The other team got scared and played five anyway. 20 minute halves. Knew I was in trouble when after five minutes I looked to the sideline for a sub. Nope. Only 35 minutes to go. Almost collapsed. Spent the last half running from one three-point line to the other, watching the action. Got home, felt like Don Johnson after Valentine's day, completely spent. Wish I had his stamina though. Wish I had his white pants and boat loafers. Wish I was in Florida.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Senor, would you like some wax?

Yesterday shaved the beard, but kept the 'stache. I will be the first one to admit that it is nasty, despite all the courteous comments today from encouraging man friends. I have to believe that it is just helpful support, a what-the-heck kind of support meant to enable someone who is, in the face of all that is clean and nice-looking, going out on a limb. It's the, "That shirt looks good on you. I would never wear it, but it looks good on you" kind of comment. It took a woman, eg in fact, to vocally share with me the obvious truth that yes I look better without lip hair. My wife knows it, but fully supported the 'staching as an outrageous act of the shameless attention-grabbing variety. Really, I just wanted to get a reaction from my students on the first day.

Of course, deep down I would like to look good with a mustache. I swear to you it looked better when it was trailing down towards my jawline...very cowboy...but the honor code specifically dictates a corners-of-the-mouth chopping point. So I will continue to play it off as a harmless prank. Not so if I had a real Dapper Dan dangler going. I grow a mean goatee, but the mustache on its own is admittedly rather flat, and blonder than my pirate-red underbeard. I want a rougish mustache that bushes out over the lip, or stretches generously towards the ears. I want to twist the ends with my fingertips, stick my bottom lip out and blow upwards, feeling the long hairs undulating under my nose. Those kinds of mustaches can still make it in today's world. Apart from those, however, mustaches 1) shouldn't be worn by men under 35, 2) shouldn't be worn by anybody looking for a date, and 3) are always preferable in darker shades.

I did show it off to Lance Larsen, and yes, he laughed, because several years ago he too sported a mustache, a more handsome one at that, and I made a comment (anonymous) on his teacher evaluation that it made him look like a porn star. I think he suspected it was either Ryan Shoemaker or myself, but never knew exactly who said it until last year in English 600 when Ryan spilled the beans. Behind the laugh I could see a slight recollection of insult, and for a moment I felt ashamed. (Incidentally, he shaved the mustache the next semester.) So my presentation to him was I think a peace offering of sorts, a gesture of good will if you will.

The reaction from students, on the other hand, was disappointing. I shouldn't have expected any comments on the first day, although I would have loved to have heard their thoughts. I did make a joke about it eventually and we shared a laugh. I could tell that even they knew I was guilty of sporting a bad mustache. Still, I think I'll keep it for awhile. Oh, and I did have one freshman girl ask how it was that I was able to get away with a mustache. "Is this your first semester at BYU?" I asked. "It is," she said. "Well, then I wouldn't expect you to know that mustaches are 100 percent legal under the stipulations of the BYU dress and grooming standards, as long as they are stop at the corners of the mouth." "Oh my gosh," she said with a hint of disbelief and turned with an amused look to the girls sitting next to her. Oh my gosh, indeed.