They do, you know. “Hey, Mr Beard,” they’ll say, gaily demanding that I fetch their still-fluffy underage lungs some fags from the corner shop. “Oh go on,” they say, trapped in their dilapidated schoolyard until the scandalous hour of 3pm.
“No,” I say.
But today, a disturbing development. “Ha ha,” one of the lovable ruffians vouchsafes unto his peers, “I thought he looked like Mr Beard!”
Looked like Mr Beard? What fresh dismissal is this? I thought I was Mr Beard. Are they confusing me with myself, or is there one who lays claim to my identity? Now I worry that my face furniture merely elicits sighs of nostalgia; memories of a happier hirsutitude; hints of yesterbeard. With whose beard does mine share a humourous congruity? Ou sont les barbes d’antan?
Dammit, I’m Mr Beard.