The bald head, the over-the-top facial hair, the creepily calm voice in the soothing southern accent, the fact that hugging this dude will likely result in blindness and facial disfigurement — a perfect storm of terror.
The existence of the World Beard and Mustache Championships is actually not news to me; Kent Jones did a feature on the competition last Fall during his “Just Enough” segment on The Rachel Maddow Show.
What is news to me is that these “Olympics” are such a meticulously organized event that there are qualifiers to compete, like the Beard Team USA Nationals. Check this site out; some of these guys are actually alternates in case an injury occurs.
I guess what’s most surprising about this hirsute subculture, at least at first, is that there are actually cash prizes involved (I wonder if I can get the wife behind a decade of no shaving if there’s money involved….) But think about it: these beards and moustaches represent a lot of time, dedication and maintenance. So does the luge.