Re: Bearded PM? Maybe, but keep it clean (March 26).
That the question of a bearded prime minister even graced the pages of the Winnipeg Free Press saddened me. Like the newly elected NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, we bearded folk are among the most gentle, kind, humorous of all people on Earth. We also are the most cuddly. When my children were barely able to grasp hold of things with their little hands, my beard was lovingly grasped and with a downward pull my face was brought to theirs for many kisses and hugs -- especially before bedtime.
But being a person with some passion for the plight of others, in the midst of the famine in Darfur I made an offhand comment that for $20,000 in donations to the Mennonite Central Committee's famine relief fund, I would shave my beard. In a week, $26,700 later, I was gently ushered to a chair and with delight some of those rascals who had donated money shaved me clean. The first time I saw my cheeks and chin in over 30 years.
But the gain for Darfur was met by the pain of my grandchildren who had by now picked up the trick of their parents and often grabbed my beard and pulled my face close to them for kisses and hugs. My three-year-old granddaughter took one look at me and spent the next two days with her back turned towards me. She would only look at me again after I had a good half inch of hair back on my face.
In spite of what your article says, I learned that beautiful young women really do prefer beards. Mr. Mulcair, you are a real man. Keep the beard.