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The Beard Cap:
It’s Here, It’s Real And, No, It’s Not A Joke
“Attention Hipster Swimmers, This Beard Cap Is the Answer to Your Prayers”
At first glance, one might suspect that the article to follow this double-take-worthy headline would be of the satirical nature of The Onion. Time magazine elucidated a long pondered curiosity when they unleashed this piece of journalistic brilliance on us. “Facial hair, especially the long unruly kind, can prove a severe impediment to a swimmer’s aquatic aerodynamic ability.” And so begins this utterly Pulitzer-unworthy piece of writing that immediately begs two questions: a) is there a significant need for swimming caps for one’s beard, and b) isn’t aquatic aerodynamics just hydrodynamics?
To add confusion to bewilderment, this completely absurd “invention” has been brought to us by the thoughtful (and evidently aimlessly preoccupied) folks at Virgin Trains, who, yes, you might think and, perhaps, hope have better things to engineer than any swimwear, let alone swimwear for your beard. The admittedly powerful transportation company actually commissioned a study on the matter of beards in athletics and particularly in the Great North Swim, Lake Windermere, UK, which found that “1 in 10 men attributed their beard to slower swim times,” as well as concluding that one quarter of [an unspecified pool (no pun intended) of] men believe that “their beards negatively impact sports performance.” Though the Time article happened to leave out this last conclusion, the Virgin Train’s research also found that 6.8 out of 10 statistics can be safely fabricated without question, but only when the matter of concocting a completely farcical invention for an event that has nothing to do with the primary function of one’s industry is on the line.
The train company asserts that their new aquatic beard cap is “reusable, adjustable and perfect for keeping bushy beards under control,” which leads one to wonder why they found it necessary to include “reusable.” It just seems odd, doesn’t it? When we’ll be seeing these fantastic water-balaclavas stateside is still unclear, but there is one thing that is certain, and that’s that I’ll be ordering mine express, and I’ll be wearing it just about everywhere I go, rain or shine.
- Jacob Smith