#170 Long & Scraggly
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I got arrested exactly 23 weeks ago to the minute (it’s 11pm here)
I got arrested on a Friday night, February 19, 2021, at exactly 11:00 pm.
I was on my way home after having way too much fun. At the supermarket. Choosing cat food. (Have you seen all the designer colors on the cans these days?)
I’m okay. Although I still couldn’t shave or lay out in the sun for awhile.
Getting arrested and spending several days and nights in jail would be worth the happy ending of the whole ordeal. This was the perfect example of a “happy accident” — there were actually two on that night. The story starts a year ago, or whenever the pandemic started.
No sun, no shave
Shortly after the coronavirus became a pandemic, my gym closed and so did my nudist club where I enjoy absorbing rays that feed ideas for my design projects. (Yes, that’s what my clients pay me the big bucks for — laying out naked at the pool.)
I hate shaving, just as much as I hate tying shoelaces. I own sandals and velcro workout shoes and slip-on dress shoes — no laces. The only reason I shave is so my face doesn’t get a tan line when I lay in the sun. (Oh yeah, that’s another reason I don’t go in the sun anymore — the face masks.) Honestly, I do not shave for client meetings, conferences, parties, you name it. Only to lay out in the sun. So…no sun, no need to shave. I grew a face full of long & scraggly hair during the pandemic.
Time for sunshine
Okay, enough is enough. I want to get back into the sun, even if it’s not at my club or the beach. I can lay out at home; it’s getting hot again. Besides, I jump every time I feel a spider crawling on my neck, but turns out it’s always just a few stray beard hairs brushing against my skin. And I’m tired of dunking my moustache in my coffee.
I found a decent pair of clippers to do the rough cut, and I ordered a 5‑star-review electric shaver for my pre-sun shaves. (After a year of bliss — no shoe laces & no shaving — I abhor the thought of using a manual razor again.)
Shave or shop?
Last Friday the clippers and shaver arrived by FedEx. (Great story about the awesome FedEx logo, colors, entire branding system, in an upcoming issue.) I was excited to finally get rid of this long & scraggly facial fungus, but had to decide whether to head to the market for cat food or squeeze in a quick trim. Man, did I make a great decision!
I knew subconciously that my quick trim would easily turn into several hours, so I skipped the shave and went to the store. Good thing, because with all those colors and flavors of cat food to choose from, I checked out just as the store was getting ready to close. But that’s not the best part of the decision — read on.
Fly right through—not
Driving home just before 11 pm, there was a police checkpoint up ahead. No problem, everything’s in a nice little folder in my glove compartment, and I’ll be feeding the cats in fifteen minutes.
Driving sober: ✔
Current registration: ✔
Proper insurance: ✔
Valid license: ✔
…or so I thought.
“Sir, your driver’s license is expired.”
“What? No it’s not.” I really meant that.
“Expired December 20th.” Whoa — I totally forgot to renew it on my birthday!
I have hardly ever been so surprised, in such disbelief. I don’t want to blame everything on the pandemic, but it has caused days, weeks, months, to run together in a blur. (As my friend says, “Everyday is Blursday!”) I had not thought about my driver’s license renewal since getting the notice in the mail a few months before its expiration. And quite frankly, I hardly remembered it was my birthday last December.
So here I was in the middle of the night (almost) with the prospect of my Jeep getting impounded if I couldn’t get someone to drive it home for me before 2 am.
If anything upsets me about the whole scenario, is that they will not allow you to drive home on your own, with something like a “go straight home and don’t drive again until your license is renewed” permission. It’s not like I would be driving under the influence, or the headlights were out, or anything else that would make a short drive unsafe. Hell, one would drive as careful as possible! To call a couple friends — yes, it takes two, one to drive their own car back home while another drives my car with me in the passenger seat — really bothered me. Good thing they’re good friends. Or were.
Once I got home I fed the cats, worked through the weekend, did not drive, and showed up to be first in line at the DMV Monday morning. In fact, I stayed up all night Sunday so I was sure to leave on time. I arrived at 4 am, and the next car to show up wasn’t until 5:30! Somehow, I was wide awake, and sorted a bunch of papers that I brought with me. Also cleaned out the car while I was waiting for the place to open. They opened at 8 and I was out of there by 8:20 with a new driver’s license.
Since the DMV is 25 miles from my home, I made several stops on the way home, spending nearly all day on an extended errand. When I got home in the late afternoon I hit the bed and was asleep instantly. (After I fed the cats again.)
Saved by the cats (and police)
I use the term happy accident a lot, but this incident is the perfect example, or two. Dark clouds (two of ’em — running late and being arrested) with silver linings.
- If I didn’t have to buy cat food, I would have shaved off my beard last Friday. I would not have encountered the check point and would have shaved off my beard Friday night.
- If I wasn’t running late, I would have shaved it off before I left.
- And learning that my license was expired, I realized I couldn’t shave it off at all…until after I visit the DMV.
I can’t shave it off until I renew my driver’s license — and I almost did! (I want this long and scraggly beard in my DMV photo. Why? Let’s just say it’s why people call me Chaz the Spaz.) As soon as I get back from the DMV it gets shaved off. My face will be bare and naked for the sun, finally — and no mask required if I’m tanning at home.
So as soon as I get home, off with the beard.
…or so I thought.
Still can’t shave
I still had the beard and moustache 3 months later. You see, I wanted the latest & greatest Real ID version of my driver’s license, with my horrendous beard and moustache (which was very long & scraggly by that point — again, Chaz the Spaz). The license I got right after the arrest was a normal driver’s license, not a Real ID. You need to bring a lot of paperwork for that: birth certificate, several documents to prove your address, and Social Security card. That last one was the hang-up. I brought everything with me on that Monday, but when I pulled out my SS card it was my Costco card, which looks very similar. I always keep my Social Security card in my wallet, but it just wasn’t there. So I couldn’t get my RealID. Just a normal license so I could legally drive.
It took over 3 months for my SS card to arrive, but when it did I raced (not really, officer) to the DMV, got there at 5am this time, still no one else in line, got my RealID, and raced home (I think I really did) to shave this mop off my face. And lay in the sun.
Okay, you’re dying to know why I want the beard on my driver’s license, aren’t you?
Just to mess with anyone who asks for my ID and then does a double-take between the overgrowth on my license and my live in-person clean-shaven face. (Clean-shaven for me includes a few days’ stubble.)
I don’t like it when I’m asked something, I give them an honest answer, and then they still want proof. That’s calling me a liar. So screw ’em. They want to mess with me, I’ll mess with them.
Gonna get some sun. Well, not right now. It’s going on 11pm.
Production notes for #170 Long & Scraggly:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Fonts: Variex, Helvetica
Photo: iPhone selfie (Chaz’s beard, not the ampersand)
Note: “&” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11x17-inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.
Chaz DeSimone is the creator of AmperArt and owner of Desimone Design. He was adding serifs to letters when he was just a little brat scribbling on walls. Now he’s a big brat and his entire career is design, so long as each project requires the most sophisticated, logical, captivating results. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project, pick his brain, or just talk shop.