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John Lamb, Published November 07 2009

Lamb: Time to observe "Growvember"

So what does one do after Rocktober, the month for all things rock ’n’ roll?

Welcome to Growvember, 30 days dedicated to men – and women if they are so inclined (I’m thinking of you, Salma Hayek, in “The Vampire’s Assistant”) – prepping for winter by growing a beard.

The reason is simple: A beard allows the wearer an extra layer of warmth against chilly winter weather. And for survivalists, it’s another place to store morsels of food close to the mouth in case you are buried in an avalanche, which admittedly is not much of a threat in North Dakota as long as you stay clear of snowplows.

The idea can be traced back to cavemen, who never shaved but needed a month to celebrate. Later, hunters claimed the seasonal beard as a fashion statement more flattering than blaze orange.

Last year the Hotel Donaldson celebrated facial follicles with Movember, in which men – and women (thinking of you, Salma Hayek, in “Frida”) – raised money by growing a mo, Australian slang for a moustache, to fight prostate cancer.

Coming on the heals of the HoDo’s successful Bras on Broadway in October, which raised $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, the charitable bar bumped the male counterpart back to FeBROary. The Feb. 25 benefit will raise money for the ACS, to help men in the area living with prostate cancer.

The importance of winter warmth was raised this week when the lawyer for Gene Kirkpatrick, the Oklahoma man charged with hiring a handyman to drive up from the Sooner State and kill his son-in-law in Fargo, explained why they were fighting extradition to North Dakota.

Defense attorney Irwen Box told a TV reporter that it would be easier to meet with Kirkpatrick if he remained in Oklahoma and, “If it were in North Dakota, especially North Dakota in the wintertime, probably one of the worst places we’d want to be on trial in the United States as far as the wintertime is concerned.”

Ouch! Harsh words from an Okie-ttorney whose client is alleged to have bargained down a family hit from $100,000 to $3,000.

Maybe I’ll have to send Kirkpatrick an orange Snuggie so he doesn’t get too cold in his Cass County cell.

My advice to Box and Kirkpatrick – grow a pair, of beards. It’s going to be a long winter.


Readers can reach Forum columnist John Lamb at (701) 241-5533