Big Bad Beards and 5 Reasons You Gotta’ Have One!

It’s Labor Day Weekend, and you know what that means? It’s the ceremonial end to another great summer. Fall is nearly upon us, which means college football, one last camping trip, autumn-scented candles and leaves changing colors. Oh, and your social media feeds are soon to be chock-full of everyone and their mother posting selfies with their pumpkin spice lattes!


While the nation prepares for another crisp autumn, women across the country are starting to notice something else peculiar  – specifically about their men. Faces are becoming rougher, upper lips are starting to disappear and the familiar buzz of the electric razor doesn’t sing from the shower anymore. That’s right, it’s just about time for we the uber-macho to start our annual migration toward Destination: Winter Beard.

The recent movement that is No-Shave November has turned what was the cult into now the mainstream, but for some, the winter beard has been a tradition since before the birth of hipsters or pretty much every current Major League Baseball pitcher. In fact, Karl Marx was said to have coined the phrase “no-shave November” more than a century ago in an attempt to encourage facial hair and to piss off the bourgeoisie.

So, at the risk of inadvertently supporting a communist uprising, and as the carriers of the y-chromosome storm the shelves to stock up on beard oils and personal trimmers, I’d like to present the top five reasons that every man should join the beard brigade, and why their ladies should wave the flag in support of their manly-men.

#1: Beards are macho

We’ve heard this so many times that it may seem trite, but there’s no way around it: a dude with a well-grown, full beard just looks more badass. Not to take away from the rigid jaw line of clean-shaven guy, but if I’m going to pick someone for my posse, and I’ve got to choose between Chuck Norris with a beard and Chuck Norris beardless, I know where I’m going.

chuck norris no beard
Who’s more manly?
chuck norris beard
I am, you sissy!

Not to mention, not all men are blessed with a square jaw line and a perfect Adam’s apple. But a good beard can even the playing field between the chiseled and the round. It’s like an airbrush for your face – hiding the subtle imperfections that previously led you to be self conscious.

What’s his face like under there?

Who the hell knows… and who the hell cares? Check out that beard!

He’s a man’s man!

#2: Beards require patience, confidence, attention to detail . . . and believe it or not, hygiene

Growing a good beard means suffering, waiting, and believing that the sacrifice will be worth achieving the goal. The unbearable itch of the first two weeks, the self-consciousness that comes with defining your new look, and the fear of screwing up your neckline on beard-trim day can drive a lesser man to give up on the entire endeavor. But those that persevere through the toils and tribulations will find they arrive in a world of zen, where the little things that used to annoy just don’t seem to be that bad.

Parking ticket?

No big deal, check out my sweet beard.

Boss at work making me stay late on Friday for another ridiculous team meeting?

It’s cool, that’s an hour for me to stroke my beard.

Busted on the BlackJack table with the dealer showing 6?

Okay, maybe not even the sweet shine of a well-oiled beard can dull that pain.

Next time, ask the dealer before you hit, idiot!

Women, if you want your man to be more dedicated, more patient, and maybe even spend a little more time in front of a mirror or showering the stank of his last three workouts off, make him grow a beard. I guarantee you’ve never seen him so careful eating soup from a spoon or had him notice that nasty nose hair creeping out from within his nostril like he will when he’s cultivating a sweet mane of glory.



#3: Your kids will love them

Kids love wrestling with their dads. And every dad knows not to wrestle with his favorite shirt on, because the collar will instantly be stretched into a sort of cloth-made taffy that can no longer be recognized as a t-shirt. Imagine the excitement on your child’s face if dad is sporting a long hairy handle right there on the chin? It’s like they’ve invented a brand new WWE move all on their own: The Beard Grab Paralyzer. Sure, it may feel like someone is literally pulling the skin off of your face, but what’s a few moments of intense, mind-altering pain when it comes to making your children happy?

Lil’ man dreaming about the day he

And while some may still believe that a beard is nothing more than a cesspool of deadly bacteria waiting to attack your whole family in their sleep as a part of a larger plan by lesser organisms to take over humanity, the truth is that a beard isn’t any more gross than any other part of your body. So relax, and let your toddlers indoctrinate themselves into the natural development of their immune system while adoring daddy’s manly “itchy face.”



#4: Beards are a way to express yourself, without needing ink or piercings

I’m a tattoo guy of sorts. I respect the art and have ink myself, and even sported a few piercings back in my younger days. But as an ER doc, I can attest to the fact that society in general hasn’t caught up with the full-sleeves, neck-tatted white-collar job applicant quite yet. But a beard is much more palatable to the PC Police. Why should men who want to bring out their character be forced to only show it off on tank-top day or during the summer at the beach? And who wants to end up with holes in their body sans the piece of metal meant for the hole? Beards are as diverse as the men that sport them, and can be a great way to let out your inner self. Long? Short? Trimmed? Wild and free? It’s your choice, and the decision isn’t final like with a tattoo or body art. Mix it up and keep the world guessing – your face is your canvas!

#5: Beards increase virility

If your man can pull off a beard like a boss, consider yourself blessed, you’ve snagged a more attractive man who is sure to be a better father.

Don’t take my word for it, it’s science!

A study from The University of New South Wales showed that men with heavy stubble scored (no pun intended) higher than men with light stubble or a clean-shaven look on an attractiveness scale as judged by women who participated in the study. In the same study, men with full beards scored as likely better fathers with the ability to provide and protect for their families inferred by women judges.

That’s science, and you can’t argue with science!

There have even been studies that show that beards grow faster on men who have been isolated from their mates for several days, seemingly an effect of the anticipation of returning to his partner. When the lady’s away, the beard will play! See, even your beard knows that it needs to grow to impress the opposite sex!

So, if you or your man wants to step into a whole new realm of badassness, toss the razor in the trash and get ready to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, where like with Pedro’s presidential platform, “all of your wildest dreams will come true.” Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but if you want to see what it’s like to be on the bearded side of things, no better time to start than now!

Vote for pedro


Just make sure to thank me if all of your wildest dreams do, in fact, come true.



What say you? Beard or no beard? For those of you on the hairier side of the aisle, do you stick with the winter beard only or go strong all twelve months? Comment below!

How to punch a dead man in the chest . . . and end up a hero!

If you don’t know CPR, you should learn. It’s cheap, easy, and may save someone’s life someday.

Having said that, did you know that CPR success stories – in general – are rare? In fact, the likelihood of someone having sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, receiving CPR and walking out of the hospital at all (let alone with good neurologic function, i.e., the brain isn’t damaged) is actually pretty crappy.

According to a 2015 study by the AHA, the rate of ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) and subsequent survival from the hospital in a patient who had sudden cardiac arrest and received CPR by emergency medical services prior to the hospital was only 10.6%. And, only 8.3% had good neurologic outcome.

Pretty crappy.

But wait! There’s more!

Of the patients who received bystander CPR, meaning a good samaritan like yourself happened to see someone go down and think, “hey, I think that guy just died, I’d better do CPR!” and actually did it, 31.4% survived!

Now, I don’t know about you but I’ll take a three-fold increase in my likelihood of surviving any day of the week. In fact, if anybody plans to spend much time around me, maybe I need to pay for all of you to learn CPR!



In the 1970s, two doctors at Harvard – James E. Pennington and Bernard Lown – started studying the effect of “thumping” someone in the chest who had suffered sudden cardiac arrest. They were able to show that a forceful blow directly to the sternum could potentially get the heart out of an arrhythmia such as ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF). Bear in mind, CPR wasn’t even officially endorsed by the AHA until 1963, so this was pretty groundbreaking stuff back then!

So, how is it done? It’s easy, as described below:

  • If you witness an individual collapse and show no signs of life, first get help. Go yourself or ask someone to call 911 and to bring an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is near.
  • Assess the individual for responsiveness. (This isn’t where you get to punch them… that part’s coming!) Tap them on the chest firmly and ask, “Are you okay?”
  • If there is no response, check to see if a patient is breathing and has a pulse. This is the look/listen/feel stage. Don’t take more than 10 seconds. if you find a pulse, great. If not, move on.
  • If there is no pulse, then this is your moment! Clench your fist, hold it ulnar (pinky) side down (like you might bang it on a table whilst showing your boss who’s really boss in a meeting) about 8-10 inches above the person’s sternum, and deliver a sharp blow to the sternum. Immediately retract your fist almost like a whipping action to create a rebound of the chest as you remove the force.
  • Start chest compressions at a rate of about 100-120 per minute.

There you have it: the process of punching someone a dead person in the chest and saving their life.

The discovery of this procedure – affectionately known as the “Precordial Thump” – was actually by mistake. Paramedics transporting a cardiac arrest patient hit a speed bump, and the jolt delivered to the patient’s chest in the back of the vehicle apparently saved the patient’s life! Funny how science is so non-technical when you get right down to it.

“So, Sam, I hear you had a major heart attack? Glad you’re doing well! What did the doctor say?”

“Not sure, Bill. I never saw one. Damned ambulance driver hit a telephone pole and I just woke up. Never did make it to the hospital.”

I’ve actually seen this done multiple times in the ED. I can remember once that the patient immediately awoke after a thump on the chest and a short (seconds) period of chest compressions. I know doctors who use this maneuver in their repertoire regularly when dealing with sudden cardiac arrest. I can’t say that it’s often this comes up for me, but for a handful of times. . .


Now, while this may seem like a cool party trick for your next office Christmas party, the truth is that it’s probably not all that effective, and may even be harmful. As it turns out, the survival rates still weren’t all that great, and there were reports of other injuries such as sternal fractures, cardiac contusions, etc.. Still, I know some physicians and EMS providers who would argue that this is still something to be tried when things are as bad as bad can be. After all, a common adage of the ED is that  you can’t kill a dead person. Still, the evidence is pretty clear that this technique isn’t really all that helpful, and probably only delays time to good bystander CPR, which is most definitely helpful.

In fact, in 2010, the American Heart Association released new guidelines stating that a precordial thump should not be used in unwitnessed cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, and should be considered only if there is a witnessed arrest into a (monitored) VT. In other words, if I’m your ER doc and we are talking while you’re on the telemetry monitor, and you pass out and I see your rhythm change to VT, I’ll probably punch you in the chest. Sorry and you’re welcome. But, if I’m out walking my dog and see you lying on the ground without a pulse, I’ll stick with good ole’ CPR, and would suggest you all do the same!