ShoreBilly's Swill on ShoreBread

This, like many other times, is one of those weeks where the column kind of writes itself. This one was the spawn of something silly and trivial that I did earlier this past week just for a reaction. If you’ve read enough of my stuff, you’ll find that me doing something silly just for a reaction being the impetus for a column is sort of my milieu. It was such a miniscule event, but just enough to kick my ADD into several different directions in high gear only to all come together in the end.

We all know that I’ve been off for about a month, I’ve ventured outside of my house very few times, and grooming has not been at the forefront of my concerns. Being the dead of winter – and a really cold one at that, I have stuck with my tradition and permitted the hair on my head and face to grow at will. Earlier this week I decided I was going to do something that I don’t normally for any other reason than to mess with my saintly wife. Why she endures my constant subtle sophomoric tortures for the sole purpose of entertaining myself are beyond my comprehension. I did something I hadn’t done in years. I actually used a hairbrush. I brushed my hair simply to get a reaction from my bride. It blew up in my face though since she is now a seasoned veteran at dodging my subtle mind tortures. She never even acknowledged it.

I went to the mirror to see if maybe I had undershot my look and was horrified. It was like a malfunctioning time machine. Given the present length of hair on both my head and face, I looked like the fifth Gibb brother. This was not a stellar look in 1978 let alone 2014. I stood staring at my painful image for a few moments thinking. I just needed a white silk shirt with a butterfly collar unbuttoned to my abdomen revealing a cache of gold chains and I was Jive Talkin. I was just a tightened C-clamp on the old fertilizer satchel, raising my voice several octaves away from Night Fever. So I immediately grabbed a hat to throw on my ‘feathered’ look with a whiff of mullet and accepted the fact that the joke was on me.

This backfired gag sent my twisted thought process down a new path. For some reason, standing behind a bar, particularly in a resort town for over a quarter century, puts you in an odd spotlight. People are constantly trying to “make” you, or “place” you. Basically trying to figure out whom you look like or what celebrity you remind them of. I’ve been on the scrutiny end of this process countless times and it’s yielded some pretty entertaining results. Now let me first say that I’m a man of many looks. Now don’t read into that statement to think that I evolve or have a sense of fashion or concern for my outward appearance. When I say “looks”, I don’t mean that I’ve been through phases like: preppy, Goth, punk, metro, redneck, or anything like that. I’ve never once in my life gone for a specific style. All I mean is that it really depends on what time of year you see me that dictates my appearance.

I’ll elaborate. If you see me in the middle of winter, I have long hair, a full beard, and carry a bit of girth about my midsection. If you see me in the middle of summer, I’m clean shaven, short haired and usually about 15-20 pounds lighter. This is not a look, nor a statement, nor a style by any means. What it all boils down to is that I am much more concerned with being comfortable than fashionable. I don’t like to be too hot or too cold, ever. In the winter, I’m not working as long or as hard or as fast, and I have more time to eat and sit, so I put on some weight. I also let my hair and beard grow to keep me warm and because I don’t really like to shave. Living at the beach, it’s also the time of year that I can’t afford a haircut or razor blades so it kind of works out. And I despise being cold.

In the summer, I’m working my tail off; long, hard shifts, some indoors, some outdoors, running up and down steps in the summer heat. I don’t have as much free time to eat nor time to sit around and slowly digest, so I shed the winter weight. I hate being hot and sweating, so all of the fur comes off as well. There’s no secret formula to my looks, simply comfort. So obviously, what celebrity I look like to people is dependent upon what time of year you see me.

Though many people try to guess, it seems that the group most commonly trying to apply a doppelganger to me is women – middle aged and up. It could be that this is the only remaining target demographic I have left or just that it’s a hobby for that specific group who are not yet ready to spend their nights out playing bingo. I don’t care; bring on that Red Hat Society. Hell, to them I’m still a boy toy. Or it could be that just one of them is waiting for me to answer, “who do people say you look like?” with “Channing Tatum”. That way, true or no they don’t have to put on their glasses and can lock me into their subconscious. Truth be told, that is who I think I look like. Only my face and body are totally different, other than that, I’m the spitting image of Channing. And I will leave you with that cartoon image.

The list of celebrity look alikes I’ve been sidled with is too long and entertaining to fit in the space I have left, so I’m going to pick it back up next week. Thanks for playing along.

Until next week,

Syd Nichols