Check for Food: While eating, make sure you're constantly brushing your hand through your beard especially when eating things that are crumbly or runny. Constantly watch the eyes of the person(s) you are eating with and take notice when they focus slightly below your chin. At the end of the meal, make sure that you do a thorough once over, and look for something like a mirror or window where you can check yourself out. If you're with a trusted pal, he can always let you know your status.

Don't Challenge: If you have little or no facial hair, don't claim that you could grow more than someone who has a beard. Yes, it's true that some people grow faster than others, but when you have nothing to show, you haven’t earned the right to make statements you can't back up. The only beard competition is to be judged at the International Beard and Moustache Competition and, until you are there, keep your comments to yourself.

Best Beard Statements: Don't tell someone they have the “best beard you've ever seen” especially if there's a bigger beard in the room. Compliments are nice, but make them sincere.

Touching the Beard: You are more than welcome to touch, stroke or even bite my beard, but please ask permission to do so. Also, remember that it is hair and to touch it with care. Yes, I condition it. Because, after all, it is hair; and that's the best way to keep it healthy.

Don’t Stroke Your Beard if You're Not in Deep Thought: Don't assume the philosopher’s pose if you're not thinking long and hard about some of the world’s oldest problems. If you're stroking the beard, make sure to have some thought-provoking topic to discuss, or you may be caught off guard. These are just a few key points that will help you understand how to conduct yourself in a bearded environment. I encourage anyone who has thought about growing a beard to do so, anyone that has started growing to keep going and anyone with full growth not to cut it. I've developed a test to establish if you're the owner of a decent-sized beard. Take something like a pen or pencil, stick it in your beard. If it holds, you are well on your way to a nice face warmer. Happy growing.

++Each week, Protest the Hero's Tim Millar (guitars/vocals) and Arif Mirabdolbaghi (bass /vocals/lyrics) will be offering dispatches from the road. Check back next week for more random information!++

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