Hirsute Hope Springs Eternal

Welcome to what’s probably my 80th beard. And, of course, these days I’m thinking: “80–that’s a very lucky sound number if ever I heard one.” Because, like someone with a gambling problem, my urgent need to believe makes everything seem like, well, An Auspicious Sign.

What I so passionately embrace is that this time, this beard will make me look like exactly Sean Connery. I’ve even wandered around for days speaking in a thick Scottish burr to encourage the growing whiskers. 

So much, then, for belief–because what I actually know to be true is that any day now I’ll catch my reflection in a window and see that once again I bear a striking resemblance not to Sean C, but Eddie, the Jack Russell on Frasier. (See chart below.) So much so that I’ve seriously considered boot-blacking my nose and going trick-or-treating this year.

But let’s pause for a moment and think about this: My eightieth beard. Really? You might think this implies that those other 79 runs at Sean-dom which ended in Deeply Jack-Russell-eques ways have taught me nothing. And you’d be right.

Here’s the thing: Where anyone else would recognize obsessive-compulsive behavior and seek help (me–I’m Kulturhack, and I can’t stop growing a beard; them–Hi, Kulturhack, welcome!), I see a touching, very American belief in perfectibility–even in the face of enormous odds. Deep in my heart, I just know I can bootstrap my way to Sean Connery, if only I keep at it and blindly ignore the facts.

And further, I think I should be forgiven this naivety. After all, I’ve watched the Palins, Angles, Bachmanns, and even O’Donnells attempt to will themselves into high office in spite of the overwhelming facts. I dream of being Sean Connery; they undoubtedly want to be president–and the fact that at the end of the day we’re all Eddie has never slowed them–or me–down . . .

Put another way: The day Sarah Palin takes the oath of office as president of the United States, I’ll be Sean Connery.

I just know it.