JIM CREES: My beard dirty? Nay, sir!

As regular readers know, some folks throughout the area tend to get a smidge upset with me at times.

I honestly don’t know why my opinion gets people so fired up ... even if it is different from someone else’s view of things.

It is, after all, an opinion.

An opinion.

Recently, an area resident returned a subscription renewal form with a note explaining why he would no longer be subscribing to the Pioneer.

The note read:

“Get rid of your a****le editor, gray beard, drink a lot drunk, and I might think about it ...

“If anyone ever gave him any power he would f*** it up for sure.

“He would screw with the first Amendment, what a mess would follow. And given an opportunity to change second amendment he would, with his big dirty beard, turn his whole family and mine, and yours into slaves.”

OK. I can understand the a****le comment.

I figure the “drink alot drunk” has something to do with the beer column I write.

I appreciate his concern that I — singularly and on my own — might change the United States into a nation of slaves.

I understand.

BUT!!!!!!

I take umbrage with his comment on my beard.

“Big dirty beard!!??!!”

That’s going too far.

I wash my beard. I groom my beard. I trim my beard occasionally, (except around Christmas time when I let it grow out a bit.)

I take care of my beard, and have done so since the last time it was completely shaved off — in 1973!!!

You may think me a jerk out to enslave the world with a beer in my hand, but leave my beard out of this critique!!

Forsooth, sir. My beard is pristine!

Or so I believed until yesterday when I found out that following research by some TV station in New Mexico, it may be my detractor could be right.

Sigh. My dirty gray beard.

Turns out, according to the research, a man’s beard could carry as much bacteria as a toilet.

So ... let us review the “research.”

New Mexico KOAT-TV television station, for whatever bizarre reason, hired a microbiologist to evaluate swabs taken from a number of bearded men to analyze the cleanliness of those beards.

The report filed notes there was bacteria found in the beards not at all dissimilar to the types of bacteria found infesting bathrooms, and toilets specifically — stuff called forensically “fecal matter.” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!??!!

Whoa, Nelly! Not in my beard!

“These are the kind of things you’d find in feces,” researcher John Golobic told the TV station during an on-screen interview. “It certainly shows a degree of uncleanliness that could be somewhat disturbing.”

Now, hold the bus.

The “same kind of things you’d find in feces”???

There are a lot of things in feces that are not feces.

Water, for example.

Feces — or poop — is made up of 75 percent water and 25 percent solid matter. About 30 percent of the solid matter consists of food matter such as cellulose. Ten to 20 percent is cholesterol and other fats.

So if I, or any other bearded example of exceptional manhood, has droplets of water in my beard, does that count as “things you’d find in feces?”

If I have a touch of leftover bean soup tucked away in my beard for later snacking, does that register as “fecal matter?”

C’mon, guys.

If I found hints of cellulose in a swab from a bald guy’s head, does that “prove” ... anything.

So, what’s the point?

The point is simply that we all need to wash our hands regularly, take the occasional shower, brush our teeth two or three times a day and wash our beards.

I DO!

So not only are the dum-dums out in New Mexico just plain stupid for wasting time on such a banal investigation, but my critic is still wrong as well ... at least in part.

I admit to being annoying. I admit to drinking a few beers each week.

I DO NOT admit to having a dirty gray beard.

Gray? Granted.

Dirty? No sir!