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Monke: No-Shave November itchy, but rewarding

When our publisher, Harvey Brock, asked me if I’d ever heard of No-Shave November and Movember, I laughed and told him of course I had as I consider myself at least somewhat tuned into trends.

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Then he asked if I’d ever tried it.

As a guy who had never gone past the so-called “sexy stubble” stage of facial hair, I told him I never had. It’s partially because I always had a job where keeping a clean look was necessary and also because I never felt I could actually grow enough hair on my face for it to look decent.

Maybe I wasn’t so trendy after all.

But, when you hate shaving in the morning, as I do, and your boss gives you a free pass to go grizzly — you take it! And, in case you haven’t seen me since the beginning of November, I did.

The stubble was cool for a few days. I didn’t look too bad. Then, after about a week, it got all weird lookin’.

I considered bowing out of the race and shaving but figured I had better wait it out. It turned out to be a good decision.

After a little more than three weeks, the beard doesn’t look bad — aside from the bare spot just below my lower lip that refuses to grow.

In case you have ever thought about growing a beard but never tried, I must warn you: beards are itchy. Everyone tells me the itch goes away and that I should use conditioner to wash it. I do and it helps — for a while. Then it itches again.

I tell them the itch will go away for good once I shave it.

I constantly find myself rubbing above my upper lip where my mini-mustache now grows — it itches, you know — and wonder if I randomly touched my face this often when I was clean-shaven.

But it’s all going toward a good cause, so I’ll deal with it for a while.

For every day I go without shaving, I am donating $2 to the American Cancer Society.

Many Dickinson business leaders are doing the same. If you see one of them today and wonder why he looks a little more grizzled than you’re used to seeing them, odds are he’s participating in No-Shave November and maybe even Don’t-Shave December, if they really like their beard.

While I’m pleased my beard is helping raise money for cancer research, it’s probably a good thing that Sarah doesn’t mind it at all. In fact, she thinks I should keep it, even though I intend on shaving it off.

So, if my barber is reading this, he can get his hot-towel shave kit ready because I’m coming to see him sooner rather than later.

Monke is the managing editor of The Dickinson Press. Email him at and tweet him at monkebusiness. To read his past columns and features, visit

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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