If a small child asks “Father, why are beards so scratchy?” he responds “Alas, child, the Beard has not always been so scratchy. There was a time before the modern aspect, when a man’s appearance was its own reward, when food grew unbidden from the earth and the stars hung so low overhead that they swayed at a man’s passing. It was a time of downy comfort and soft whiskers. But then came the insolence and…The Shaving.” The last line is delivered with a shudder. If the child looks frightened or guilty, reward yourself with a good itch.