Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Viva La Beard!

What an amazing week. Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Tuesday was Obama Becomes President Day. And now comes Thursday the 22nd, which is one of my favorite holidays, St. Willie Nelson's Beard Day.

I realize that some of you, depending on which religion you subscribe to, may not even be aware that Willie Nelson's Beard is an actual, bona fide Saint, but indeed it is. Specifically, it is the Patron Saint of Picking Up Hitchhikers.

This holiday is generally observed by bikers, truckers, lot lizards, hobos, rodeo cowboys, hippies, vagrants, and other earthy, outlaw types. Most folks celebrate St. Willie Nelson's Beard Day simply by driving around and giving any hitchhikers they might see a lift. Of course, there are many other ways in which one can honer The Beard.

My good buddy Earl Diggs, for example, celebrates St. Willie Nelson's Beard Day each year by throwing a big shindig out at his auto repair shop over in Woodville (just off State Road 319, about a half mile past Happy Jack's Beer Shack & Holistic Health Clinic). These parties are always a lot of fun, with plenty to drink, occasional nudity, and surprisingly few fatalities.

Earl's band, The Grave Diggers, do Willie Nelson covers all night long, which, I admit, can get a little tiresome. If enough people start throwing beer bottles at the stage, however, they'll usually appease the audience and toss in a couple of Johnny Paycheck numbers, or maybe even a Steppenwolf tune.

The grand finale, though, comes at the end of the night, when we all pay homage to His Beardness by offering up the annual SIRSA (Sacrificial IRS Agent), whom we cleanse in the Upside Down Red Beard of Wrath (which is actually a giant bonfire, representing Willie's Beard as it might appear were it worn by the Earth itself.)

This may sound a bit gruesome and archaic to some of you modern, "educated" folks, but Woodville's a small town, and they take their religion seriously, like in the old days. Also, they get really, really drunk.

Celebrations are not always so serious, of course. Flo Ledbedder, part-time mother of six and professional Meth Lab Engineer's Assistant, likes to ceremonialize St. Willie Nelson's Beard day by going down to Hank's Hell Hole, the local biker bar, knocking back 8 or 9 Harvey Walbangers in quick succession, and then jumping up on a pool table while gyrating to the jukebox and proudly displaying her magnificent tattoo:

Flo is a dynamite lady, and while these displays of religious fervor can be very entertaining to watch, I can't help but wonder how Flo's partners feel about sticking their Pride & Joy directly into the Red Headed Stranger's chin. I suppose they probably try not to think about it. I'm trying not to think about it right now.

I read somewhere that elderly women have no pubic hair, that, eventually, it all just falls out. Poor Willie. He's going to look very strange one of these days.

My other good friend, Ricky "The Blade" Scruggs (God rest his soul), had his own colorful way of honoring SWNB Day, which was to drive up and down the interstate in his Ford F-150, pick up unsuspecting hitchhikers, and then scare the living crap out of them. Once they were going down the road, he'd pull out his shiny, over-sized butcher knife and start waving it around, while talking about how hitchhikers were "a little stringy, but real tasty".

Ricky was a hell raiser, for sure, but he didn't mean any harm by it. Everyone's different, and that's just how he liked to have fun. The stories he would tell about those little encounters would have the boys down at Hank's shooting Pabst Blue Ribbon right out of their noses. Unfortunately, Ricky passed away one year ago, shortly after picking up his very last hitchhiker, Bobby "The Pistol" Wilson.

I, of course, have my own unique way of observing St. Willie's Beard Day. Not to be uppity or anything, but, as you can probably tell, The Captain is slightly more sophisticated than his "good 'ol boy" counterparts down at Hank's Hell Hole. While these guys and gals have much to offer in the way of drama, irony, and situational comedy, I tend to approach these types of spiritual matters in a more thoughtful, philosophical way. Having graduated from highschool and all.

I like to meditate on the deeper meaning of The Beard, and reflect on all that it symbolizes. Willie's chin-bush is a mysterious archetype, when you think about it. It is always coming and going at the same time. The beard on his chin today is not the beard that was there in 1979... yet it remains "his beard". How is that possible? Can something that is be something that was? And if it isn't, then was it ever?

Such a paradox.

And here's another mystery: while Willie himself is still very much alive, his beard is technically dead. And yet it somehow grows. How can a dead thing grow? If something that is dead can grow, is it really dead? Is this some kind of crazy miracle, or simply The Beard's way of reminding us that death is an illusion? And if death is an illusion, then what is life? Are shadow and light one in the same? Does the entropy of death simply reach critical mass, and then manifest itself as the ecstasy of birth?

The fibers of Willie's beard intertwine with one another, in ways that are too complex for us mortals to comprehend. Those curly, corkscrew strands are suspiciously similar in shape to the subatomic gravitational patterns which our scientists have discovered only recently. Is it merely a bizarre coincidence that Superstring Theory just happened to emerge in the 1970's... the same period in which Willie's beard blossomed onto the scene, becoming a lasting yin-yang symbol of unity between the seemingly ever-opposed Redneck and Hippie? Is Willie's beard a magical Superstringy Doorway out of this cartoonish 3D universe, and into another mystical zone, a super-dimensional realm where anything is possible?

Is there any other POSSIBLE explanation? Do you not SEE how it all FITS TOGETHER PERFECTLY???

We may never know the secrets held within that cellular mass of tangled, twisted dead-yet-aliveness. It's not as if The Beard owes us any favors, and, to be honest, most of us probably do not deserve its blessing. However, on January 22nd, the one day of the year that Willie's fluffy, hairy chin-spirit cruises through our simple, paint-by-numbers lives, it certainly doesn't hurt to stick the old thumb out and see if we can hitch a ride to a higher, or at least hairier, state of consciousness.

For even when Willie himself is dead and buried, that which is his facial hair will continue to flourish. I think we can all learn a lesson from that, and take comfort in the fact that, while the flesh is weak, the beard remains strong.

Have a happy St. Willie Nelson's Beard Day, everyone!


Buffalo said...

St. Willie will arise on the fourth day.

Ms Smack said...

Stardust memories remains a favourite song of mine, but now I can see it was probably written for a relative of Flo's named Stardust.

No one can match your prowess for stories on the net, Smack.

I've seen some amazing women beards here in Australia and we also have a suburb in Adelaide called Woodville. It's pretty rough turf..those people are a bit...rough around the edges.


Jules said...

Being a potential hippie I best get celebrating!!

As for elderly women and their pubes: having been a nurse aide and spent many a fine hour scrubbing old ladies muffs, I have to tell you that not one of them had no pubes, they all had them, grey or white, LONG AS HELL, and usually quite pungent with the aroma of urine with a hint of faeces.

Jules said...

Oh and New Zealand has a Woodville too and it sounds extremely alike to your Woodville.

Captain Smack said...

Yes, I believe I've heard that too. Is that from the Bible?

Ms Smack:
You guys have a Woodville too? Are the people kind of... strange looking? Like their eyes are a little too close together or something?

What??? Their pubes don't fall out? I can't believe it, I was given bad information - and I even got it off the internet!

I'm starting to suspect that "Woodville" is not so much a place, but a magical, redneck diminsion, with portals near every town on the planet.

Ms Smack said...

Ew Jules! I just went and treated myself to a soy flat white (I'm all over the hippy diet already see?) and now all i can picture is you scrubbing old gray, smelly muff.

Ms Smack said...

Oy, that's trippy timing.

Yes, we have a Woodville here too and yes, you're right about the portals I reckon. I would lock my doors driving thru there, let's put it that way. I'm sure there are good people living there..somewhere.

Captain Smack said...

Then I guess you probably won't be attending Earl's shindig.

Prunella Jones said...

Perhaps we are not meant to truly know the infinite meanings hidden deep within the holy beard of Saint Willie. Perhaps it only exists so that we may gaze upon it with awe and contemplate the nature of the universe and our place within it while sucking down a sweet, sweet bongload.

That's how I plan to celebrate anyway.

Janie said...

You are hilarious! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I'll be baaaaaaaack!

Anonymous said...

I think Willie is pickled, and therefore will never perish, but will live on indefinitely...

Gorilla Bananas said...

This festival could be popular in Iran if you replace "Willie Nelson" with "Ayatollah Khomeini". Maybe it should be a part of Barry O's new diplomacy.

C'est La Craic said...

Many's the day I've stood in the cold and the rain by the side of the road and said a wee prayer to St. Willie;

'and the Beard provideth, for lo, a truck doth sloweth down.'
Book of the Beard 11:25:23

Cunning_Linguist said...

Now see, I was gonna get you a St Willy Day gift and everything. Unfortunately with next week being Conway Twitty coiffe day, I was gonna do the giftgiving lump together on the whole deal. Sorry bud, times are tight this year.

verona said...

Anybody remember that 60 Minutes interview Willie did with Ed Bradley? Ed asks Willie if he smokes marijuana, and Willie pauses, and it looks like it's a tense moment, then Willie says "Why? You wanna burn one?" or something like that.

I'll salute the beard when I see Willie perform here in Feb.

milly (elephants&redwoods) said...

soooooo that tattoo...I suppose she could never have a Brazilian wax as Willie would lose his beard. here here to 1970's bush and Willie Nelson.

Captain Smack said...

Prunella Jones:
You seem to have a natural understanding of what it's all about. The Beard is strong in this one.

Alrighty then, ma'am. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Sweet Cheeks:
I'm sure Willie gets pickled, but I always thought of him as deep fried.

Gorilla Bananas:
Ayatollah? Isn't that the guy who used to run Chrysler? I wonder what he's doing in Iran.

C'est La Craic:
I believe that verse is also in that Red Sovine song Big Joe & Phantom 309. A real tear jerker.

Cunning Linguist:
Times are indeed tough. Perhaps we should also toss in George Jones' Liver Day and celebrate them all at once.

I saw Willie a couple years ago at the Cowchip Jamboree (not kidding) and he does put on a good show.

I didn't see that 60 minutes episode, but I heard that he got stoned on the roof of the Whitehouse back during the Clinton Administration. I choose to believe it, too.

I don't suspect Flo will be getting a Brazilian anything. She would see that as unpatriotic.

EmmaK said...

Thanks for telling me about this but it is too little too late. I will be growing out my bush to participate in the celebrations next year but for this year I will just have to cry into my beer.

xl said...

I had a former co-worker who always had what looked like a three-day beard. He also always looked hung-over. So is it possible that he was celebrating StWNBD year-round?

Captain Smack said...

Geez, now I wish I'd mentioned it sooner... well, it's something to look forward to.

Possibly, but I suspect he may have actually been celebrating International Meryl Haggard Appreciation Day. Those two holidays are commonly confused with one another.

Shelly Rayedeane said...


I'm confused. Would going down on that make a man homosexual, heterosexual, or trisexual?

Captain Smack said...

I don't know the answer to that, but I believe it may cause him to cough up hairballs for a few days.

Pearl said...

Willie is my shepherd, and I shall not want.

Funniest thing I've read all day. I'll be back.


Spiky Zora Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spiky Zora Jones said...

Hallelujah Captain!

I didn't know he had such a big follwing. And I surely didn't know he had a beard. He looked so clean cut on those Ozzie and Harriet show re-runs.

It must have been before he died somewhere by Dallas Texas.

Why he had some popular songs huh? ike I'm a travelin man...and don't forget Garden Party. ha...and we know what he was growing in that garden huh?

Well I'll just have to go to...the Ricky Nelson Church of Rockabilly, this coming Sunday. I wonder if his brother Dave will be there.

Will I see you there. :D


Willie...Willie Nelson?

Oh, well that's different.

Never mind.

Ciao Captain...fabulous post.

Willie is my friend's fave Saint too. :)

Son of Incogneato said...

Jumpin’ Jesus Capt., we’ve got a Woodsville here in Norway, too! This must be one of those synchronicity things. We don’t have any Rednecks here, we’ve got Bluenecks (think about it; Norway – cold), but it’s the same damn thing only different. When some massive drunken thug is beating the life force out of you with a broken off pool cue it doesn’t really matter they’re called, does it?
I almost had a mystical experience reading this post. All the hitch-hiking I did in my youth and I never even knew about the Patron Saint of Picking Up Hitchhikers. Too late this time around, but next year there will be BIG celebrations on St. Willie Nelson's Beard day, that’s for sure.

Son of

Ps – my friend Brynjulf would like Flo Ledbedder’s e-mail address. It's not for me, I swear to god.

Also – I'm curious as to why are there so many women from the southern hemisphere posting comments here. Is there something special about you that attracts woman from the underside of the planet? Do you think it's your hat? I’m only asking . . .

Captain Smack said...

Why do people keep saying it's "funny"? This is a sacred holiday! I'm feel I'm beginning to detect a degree of religious intolerance...

Spiky Zora Jones:
I think *technically* Willie himself would be considered a "presaint", as he is still alive. His beard, however, is not, and therefor an official saint.

But I digress. Quibbling over technicalities can really suck the life out of a religious experience.

Son of Incogneato:
So it is confirmed, then; Woodville is actually an inter-dimensional realm which ignores the whole space-time-contuum thingy. I should have picked up on this sooner.

I'm afraid Flo has no email address, or even a computer. I'm pretty sure she still has one of those rotary phones. Give... er... "your friend" my apologies.

As for all these women being from the other side of the planet - that's just one of God's many ways of screwing with my head.

Manuel said...

I asked the girlfriend if she wanted to celebrate......She said how, I showed her the picture.......she said no then went home......thanks captain......thanks a lot

Lulu LaBonne said...

Flo the bearded lady is inspirational.

Captain Smack said...

Give her time, Manuel. There's always next year. She'll come around eventually. And remember, there are very few problems that a bottle of Jack Daniels won't fix. Or cause.

Lulu LaBonne:
That's what the guys down at Hank's said. Well, they didn't use those exact words. I think what they actually said was more like "Yeeeehaw" and "Hot dayum", which is basically the same thing.

Ms Smack said...

Now, because of you, I'm on a Willie Mission.

Cap'n Ergo "XL" Jinglebollocks said...

you're right-- that truely IS amazing. on a whole bunch of different levels.

Captain Smack said...

Ms Smack:
Good luck, Ms Smack. May The Beard be with you.

Cap'n Ergo:
Ah, a fellow Captain, I see. Nice to have you aboard.

And yes, it's kind of mind blowing, isn't it? It's like it all comes together at once and just makes sense...

De Campo said...

While I have no factual evidence to support the belief; I like to think that elderly women’s pubic hair turns purple. It’s not nearly as stringy as hitchhikers but doubly tasty mind you.

Happy St. Willie Nelson Beard Day!

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go vomit over the content of my comment.

Captain Smack said...

I generally try not involve factual evidence in my beliefs in the first place. That would just slow the whole process down.

Helen said...

Thanks for stoppping by! I'll be reading this blog in the future. I think.

scarlet-blue said...

What happened to just letting off a few good old fashioned fireworks, waving a sparkler, and doing a streak across the village green? Goodness me...

FirstNations said...

I've got an apple, a lighter and an ounce of Sur dank. this ones for willie...


do, jesus!


I am proud to say I do not know one Willie Nelson song,that I know of! I don't like 'old peoples' music- and he's no Kenny Rogers lol

Now the real question is:

Is Paul Stanley gay?

me said...


ha. nice post. gots to love st willie's beard.

you're kinda sick, but i think i like it. :)

Steve said...

All hail the beard. I'm trying to get a similar day of recognition started for a spectacularly hirsuted english guy called Dick Strawbridge who owns a moustache of Boeing 747 proportions. He and Willie need some quality follicle time together.

Erica AP said...

Aye!!!!! I keep scrolling up to look at that vag picture but I swear I'm not a lesbo...

Luke said...

I can totally see myself picking up hitch-hikers and ending up dead under similar circumstances...damn my off-the-wall sense of humour!!!

Bill Stankus said...


Is there a Holy Card of Flo's tat?

All This Trouble... said...

Happy Belated St. Willie Nelson's Beard Day! Sorry about running behind. I was too busy fixating on my heart palpitations to respond in a more timely manner.

Nice place you have here. May I now refer to you as "one of my internet boyfriends"? I met Bill Stankus first but, in my opinion, it's all about spreading the love.

Captain Smack said...

Ok then, I'll be keeping an eye out for you in The Future.

Scarlet Blue:
That sounds more like the 4th of July. Except the streaking, which sounds more like a typical Saturday night in Woodville.

Ah, nature's pipe. Willie would be proud. Jesus, too. And probably Eve, now that I think about it.

I guarantee you you know at least a couple of Willie's tunes. See if this or this rings a bell. And Paul Stanley is bi (which usually means gay).

Nice to have you over, Me. And thank you for following the "LOL" rules, always a good sign.

Captain Smack said...

I just googled him, and yes, that is one hell of a stache. I wish you luck.

Hey there! I keep looking at it too, and I'm half lesbian... so maybe that means you just have some latent lesbo tendencies?...

A general rule of thumb is don't screw with anyone who's nicknamed after a poisonous creature ("Spider", "Snake", etc.) or any implement of destruction.

Bill Stankus:
Well, there is now! That's a great idea, I'll get my marketing department right on it. Thanks!

All This Trouble:
Sure, why not. Spreading love sounds like a basically positive thing... if it's cool with Bill, that is. I don't wanna step on anyone's toes.

And, hey, what's up with all these freaking Content Warnings? What the hell is this crap? Are we all in 2nd grade now, we're not allowed to talk about boobies and what not?

All This Trouble... said...

Funny you should mention 2nd grade, Captain. You see, I'm an elementary school nurse and I don't want any busy-body parents calling the superintendent and demanding my head on a platter. It's all about covering my ass, not my boobies.

Captain Smack said...

Ohhhh, so you put the warning there yourself! I see. I didn't realize it was voluntary, I thought it was some new horrifying blogspot policy thingamajig. Ok, well that's totally different. Cool. Thanks.


Damn, after not recognizing,nor liking, the first- I did recognize the second-however ,it's an Elvis song ,which hardly counts :)

That just makes Paul hotter, in my opinion. Do you think him and Gene......?

Mercurious said...

It's a pleasure to have found your blog. I'll be back often.

And thanks for stopping by the other day. Don't know how you found me, but glad you did.

Captain Smack said...

I can't get over the fact that you don't know who Willie Nelson is. He's not just some guy from 70's country music, like Conway Twitty or something, he's a freaking international icon. He was one of The Highwaymen. He was one of the original Outlaws. He's totally cross-cultural, he was just on one of Beck's albums. He's been on the cover of High Times magazine. He drives around in a tour bus powered by fried chicken grease.

Please tell me you know who Johnny Cash is.

I don't know how I stumbled upon your blog either, sometimes I just start clicking and it's all a blur. The weird thing about the bloggosphere is how small it actually is. No matter where I end up, I always seem to keep running into the same people.


Oh, I KNOW who he is- I just don't know is music. In fact , I have seen im singing on tv[but turned the channel]

To me he is just a grotty, grey beardy,crowing wrinkly-yeah,like Johnny Cash with a beard.

I prefer my men cleaner, younger,studlier and with better taste in music...that music is such a downer. I bet it's what people suicide to.



I lost a few 'h's'along the way.
Are you having a heart attack over there cuz I am not a Willie Nelson groupie?
My first favourite song was A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash-but I was only 10 and can be forgiven.I wisened the F--- up and promptly moved on to Donny Osmond.

phishez said...

Captain Smack, you've opened my eyes. But its too late I fear, for me to celebrate SWNBD.

I bet that chick saves a bucket on waxing too. *sigh* I bet when she gets old an all the hair falls out its gonna look like someone has cut willie up the lateral line of his chin, and removed the jawbone, without bothering to stitch it up again. So he'll have a saggy chin with two seperate sides.

I wish i hadn't thought about that now...

Jules said...

Woodville is definitely a portal for wierdos.

And funnily, since this post I have had an obsession with the length of my pubes. I think it's time for a short crop!!

Laura said...

I didn't get the memo about SWNBD when I was baptised as a hippie. Next year, ohhhh next year...I'm going to start planning the festivities now.
I have a thing for men with beards...

Captain Smack said...

Donny Osmond. You're killing me, Uber.

That was very descriptive. I'm scared now.

I've always been a fan of the Landing Strip myself...

You're hippie baptism must have taken place somewhere outside of the Southern USA, or surely you would have known.

I now realize that I should have mentioned mountain climbers in paragraph 3. My mistake.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about this carefully and I have concluded that hair is probably alive at the base, and just grows dead as it gets longer. Try plucking to see how much it hurts - YOUCH!!! they gotta be alive right?

Cunning_Linguist said...

Gene and Paul would never get it on. Gene charges too much. :)

Madam Z said...

I always get Willie Nelson and Woody Guthrie mixed up. I think it has something to do with the transformation of a willy into a woody. But when I try to get it figured out, all I can think of is woodys, and I get a miniature woody of my own. Excuse me. I have to go now...

Captain Smack said...

I'm not sure what to think. On the one hand, your logic is impeccable. On the other hand, if hair is alive, and Willie's beard is not technically dead... well, then that kind of screws up one of my main premises.

I'll need to look into this further.

I agree, he does charge too much. Sure, charging $666 is cute and all, but not exactly a bargain.

Madam Z:
Thank god I didn't mention Peter Frampton or Rod Stewart.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some are alive and some dead? Maybe thats why it hurts?

Fragrant Liar said...

Wow, in you, Cap'n, I have found a whole new breed of blogger. However, all that metaphysical thought-provoking shit is making my brain hurt (and smoke). And you didn't even ask, "What would Willie do?"

I can only add the immortal words of Kev Fowler: "Don't Touch My Willie."


Anonymous said...

There are lots of funny bloggers in America aren't there?

Ms Smack said...

I wonder, are you working on another brilliant Jesus and Elvis piece, given it was recently Elvis birthday? hmmmm?

EmmaK said...

Okay thanks for nothing. Chad has just made me vomit all over myself

also please add me to your blogroll por favor and i will put you on mine

Captain Smack said...

Some things are just too mysterious to be understood.

Fragrant Liar:
I can't say the "Don't touch my Willie" is my favorite motto. At least not in all situations.

There are lots of funny bloggers in America aren't there?

Ms Smack:
Ah, crap. I forgot Aaron's birthday again. No wonder he's been acting all sulky.

Dear, are you sure you're commenting on the right blog? You've been on my blogroll for over a year.

That Baldy Fella said...

This has lead me to question the very nature of my own chin-covering facial pubes at an existential level. And now my head's gone all hurty.

contactos en valencia said...

It can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.

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About Me

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People often tell me that I look a lot like Jesus, so I always wear a Captain's hat so they can tell us apart. I also enjoy wearing robes and rockin' the tables.