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A Nice Young Man With Beard And Mustache by Mario V. Farina

Walter Bench was twenty-three and bald. No, not as bald as a billiard ball, but bald enough requiring he dust his head with powder in order to keep it from shining whenever he went out.
A Nice Young Man With Beard And Mustache
A Nice Young Man With Beard And Mustache by Mario V. Farina
Walter had a job in Customer Support with Allentown Manufacturing in Philadelphia and worked in a cubicle. Not a great many co-workers noticed when he began growing a small beard and matching mustache. But his head continued to shine; that is, until he visited Caruso's Hair Replacement Center and was fitted with a beautiful head of dark brown hair. On the cover of this book, there's a good picture of Walter after he had dressed up his head. Suddenly, he began to receive feminine co-worker visitors to his cubicle asking to consult with him, ostensibly, involving work procedures. Traffic to his place became so heavy, the office supervisor needed to issue a general memo requiring questions of office procedures be directed to him and no one else. Walter had once enjoyed the happy hour at Gordon's Tavern before he had purchased his hairpiece. His visits there had become fewer and fewer since he wasn't making much progress with attracting women. Now, with his new-found popularity, he felt that he could do better. It was a Friday evening and he sauntered into the establishment as he had done in the past. There were several seats empty at the bar. One was next to a girl that he had met there at an earlier time. She was Marcia Huntley. Marsha was young, blonde, slim. Walter thought it would be fun to see whether she would recognize him. He went to the bar and casually sat after smiling pleasantly to Marcia. She returned his smile. He ordered a whiskey sour for himself. Turning to the girl, he asked, "May I order a drink for you?" "Thank you sir," she responded. "I believe I met you some months ago at this bar," he remarked. "I don't believe so," she said, "I would have remembered, but I'm happy to meet you now." "Your Marcia Huntley, aren't you?" "Why, yes! I guess we did meet after all!" "You're an on-call reporter for the Daily Mail," he commented. Impressed, she said, "you're exactly right! Would you tell me your name?" "I'm Walter Bench," he said. "You may remember, I made a joke about always being found sitting at a bench in the park." "I'm sorry, Walter," she responded. "I don't see how I could have had such an interesting conversation with you and not able to remember it. How could I have let you go so easily?" "I'm the same person," he taunted. "Do I have a face that is easy to forget?" "Heavens no! You have a brilliant face, so debonair! And, I might add, so handsome!" "How would you describe me to a friend," he asked? "I'd say, I met a nice young man with beard and mustache!" He laughed, "I've never heard anyone give me compliments like that before!" Inwardly, he was gloating over the fact that his statement had been so true. A thought occurred to him. He recognized it was naughty, but he was in the mood to have some fun. "Oh, I just remembered, I need to make a phone call. Would you hold my seat for me, Marcia?" "Sure, Walter. Hurry back!" He left the bar hurriedly. However, he did not go to a phone, but to the men's restroom instead. There was no one there as he had hoped. Using both hands, he gently removed his hairpiece, put it in a side pocket of his jacket, and exited the room. He walked back to where he had been sitting, and prepared to sit next to Marcia. "Sir," she exclaimed. "I'm holding this seat for a friend of mine." "A friend? Can't I be a friend of yours also?" "I'm sorry, my friend is a lot more interesting to me than you are!" "Why would that be, don't I have a beard like he has?" "Yes, but his is nicer." "Don't I have a mustache like his?" "Yes, but his is nicer. You saw him here with me didn't you? I'm sorry, I prefer to wait for him!" "What's wrong with me? Don't I have a head of hair just like his?" She began laughing. "What are you laughing at?" He joined in her laughter. "You forgot to look in the mirror before you came here! You don't have a great deal of hair, but I do love your sense of humor!" "Thank you for telling me about the mirror," he said. "I'll take your suggestion and go look. Sorry I bothered you." Smiling broadly, he left the bar. He returned to the restroom. There was a man at a sink washing his hands. The two men nodded to each other. Unimpeded by the other man's presence, Walter removed his hairpiece from his pocket and, viewing himself in the mirror, put it on, and adjusted it. The man looked on in amusement and amazement while Walter tamped it down to make sure the tape was holding it firmly in place. He returned to the bar. "Thanks for holding my seat, Marcia," he said. "You wouldn't believe what just happened to me," she replied. "While you are gone, a guy came over, wanting to sit here, pretending he was as good-looking as you, and that made me laugh so hard, I still can't get over it!" "That man, was he wearing a suit like me?" "Yes, I think so." "Did he have a beard like mine?" "Yes, I think so." "And the mustache like mine?" "Yes, I think so." "So what was the problem?" "He had seen you here with me, and he said he had a head of hair like yours!" "Didn't he?" "No, that's what was so funny! I told him he had forgotten to look in the mirror before he came here! And I began to laugh. And he laughed." "What was so funny?" "He didn't have any hair! At least, not like yours!" "I wish I had been here," exclaimed Walter laughing. "I would have enjoyed seeing the look on your face!" Walter wondered whether he could get away with another thought. It was bold, he knew, but he did have a sense of humor and decided to try. "Marcia, I'd like to tell you a little story." "Please do," she responded. "There was a fellow who's first name was Retlaw." "That's a strange first name for a man," she interrupted. "He gave himself that name for a special occasion," he said. "He was a nice man, but not very attractive. The reason was because he had lost his hair at a very early age. He would go to bars like this one hoping to meet a girl that would like him for who he was instead of what he looked like. He met a woman there once that he liked very much, but she paid no attention to him because of his looks. There came a time when he changed his appearance, and went to the same bar, and saw the same girl. This time, she liked his looks and seemed to be instantly interested in him as a person. As a joke, he disappeared for a while, changed his appearance to what it had been, and returned a few minutes later, and, would you believe, she did not recognize him. What do you think of my little story?" "That's a strange story," Marcia commented. "I'm not sure why you told it to me." "I wondered which of the two men you would like better." "The man with the hair, I guess." "I wonder what you would think if I told you that the name, Retlaw, is Walter spelled backwards." Marcia seemed puzzled. Gradually a realization began to infiltrate her brain. "Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards? Your name is Walter. That man that I was laughing with was you?" He nodded affirmatively. "And you're not angry with me?" "No, I know that I looked different with the hairpiece on than without. But I'm the same person with or without it. But, I'm the one that should apologize; for the trick I played on you. It was nasty of me." "Yes, you may be right. But I'm glad it happened. That other you was pleasant to be with. I would not like to lose him." "And I would not like to lose her," responded Walter. "Would you do me a small favor," she asked? "Not at all, what would that be." "Don't lose that hairpiece!"

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