Alright, man. You may not want to hear this. You may not want to believe it. But enough is enough: I think I speak for all of us when I say that your goatee makes you look like an evil submarine captain. There, now it’s out in the open. You know that it’s true. The first step is admitting it.
No, it’s not an unusually specific analogy. Just imagine an evil submarine captain. Not a fat one—a fat, evil submarine captain would have a scar and an eye-patch. I’m talking about a tall, lanky guy. Are you imagining him? Yeah? I bet he has a goatee. Your goatee. Because it’s you. You’re looking in a mirror. And it's actually not a mirror. It's a porthole.
Shocking, I know, but we’re all here for you, and we’re going to get through this together.
Why did you grow that thing in the first place? Thought it would make you look cool? Well you’re wrong. There’s nothing cool about submarines, except maybe for bathyspheres, but that’s all.
I liked the old you. Sure, you kind of looked like a kooky bus driver, but there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s just who you are. I bet that this whole evil submarine captain thing is just a phase, and soon you’ll get over it.
But I really can’t wait any longer. This phase has gone on long enough, and that’s why I’ve gathered all of your friends and family to talk with you today. Just shave it off. Please. For the sake of our friendship. Seriously, remember when we ran into each other at the coffee shop yesterday? You said, “What’s up?” but honestly, all I heard was “I am armed with a dozen nuclear-tipped warheads, and I will fire on major cities around the globe unless my demands are met.” Also, I refused to give you a ride home because I was worried you might hijack my car and drive it off a pier.
I can’t even watch funny movies with you anymore, man. It’s your laugh. Maybe I’d be able to tolerate it if it just sounded evil. But it’s worse than that: there’s a sort of echo to it that I never noticed before, and I always feel like I can hear heavy machinery and salvage equipment whirring in the background. You may be sitting in the chair right next to me, but you sound like you’re sunk hundreds of feet beneath the waves, just like that damn goatee is sinking our friendship.
You think we can just talk on the phone? Wrong. I know that goatee is there. I can hear it in your voice. And suddenly our small talk about the football game on TV turns into a coded negotiation for the safe release of the sailors being held hostage in your living room. Come on, let those men go. Some of them have wives and kids. How many families must your goatee destroy before you get rid of it?
The old you would never do something like that. But then, I guess you’ve changed. You think I don’t know that you hang out at the docks every night? I’ve been following you, dude. But I don’t even have to do that to realize what you’ve become. I know that you’ve been taking baths instead of showers. I hear you whistling sea shanties while walking down the street. You’ve even stopped eating “hoagies,” and started eating “subs.” It freaks me out.
I think I’ve made my points clear. I’m sorry if this seems like a lot to handle, but we needed to do this before you got worse—if we waited any longer, you might have grown out your sideburns too, and well... then we’re into maniacal-zeppelin-pilot territory. There’s no turning back from that.
But at this stage, there’s still hope of recovery. In fact, I signed you up for a special support program. Don’t be afraid: they’re not going to ask you to shave the entire goatee off at once. You can start by getting rid of the beard part, and then the mustache will just make you look like a regular old submarine captain. But you can’t stop there. You need to have willpower. When it comes to removing a goatee, if you fall off the wagon, there’s no hope of getting back on.
Because in this case, the wagon is actually a submarine, and if you fall off then you’re going to be eaten by a shark.