I read the news article in the Great Bend Tribune, “Beards could be just as dirty as toilets” (May 6 issue). The article further noted that Quest Diagnostics did a number of testing among men with beards, and although some beards had normal bacteria “many contained filthy elements you’d likely find if you tested a public toilet seat. Shudder.” I indeed shuddered and am thankful my folks liked me to have a clean-shaven face. The news article noted that a person could grow a beard without getting sick, but advised against it since it is not unheard of that men’s beards could contain traces of fecal matter and E. coli as well as other dangerous bacteria. The article advised the obvious: A clean-shaven face is best and if a man must grow a beard, he should keep it clean and closely trimmed for cleanliness. And, even surgeons wearing surgical-masks should be extra careful, too. I once knew a relative who had a long beard. He enjoyed “over medium fried eggs” at restaurants for his daily breakfasts. Sometimes the cooks made them ‘over easy’ and my relative would occasionally accidentally dribble yellow egg-yolk onto his beard. I am thankful I would tactfully point it out and he would quickly clean his beard. In any event, I am thankful I am a clean-shaven man, myself. Good health sometimes trumps fashion trends.
James A. Marples,