The City of Duluth is overrun with beards, and officials are making plans to thin out the herd. The city is officially filled to capacity with beardos, with nearly 88 percent of its 20-35 year old male population now bearded. The remaining 12 percent is men who wear gym shorts all the time, no matter the activity or season.
While wearing gym shorts to sophisticated public events in the dead of winter is an important part of Minnesota and Wisconsin’s rich culture, officials believe the beard craze is harming the area’s female population. Every time beard percentages rise, the Northland’s lady percentages drop drastically. Incoming Mayor Emily Larson’s entire campaign was based on breaking up the sausage party.
“Have you ever been on a date with a guy who just won’t stop touching his own beard?” said Larson. “Just stroking it constantly, barely even aware that he’s doing it? It’s weird, right? What do you say to that? We need to be educating young men in our region and guiding them toward more positive outlets for their creativity.”
Northern Minnesota has always been heavy with beards, but the area’s beardo population exploded when the look became popular nationwide five years ago. The fad actually began downtrending in Los Angeles and New York for the first time this year, yet Duluth’s infestation continues to rise. The city’s first step in fighting it is to ban the importing of any bearded boyfriends from outside the region.
“Look, if you want to spend a fun weekend in the Twin Cities getting your beard on, go ahead, just don’t bring your trash back here,” said City Councilor Al Newman. “These hairy Bunyans from the cities fall in love with our finest ladies and gay men and end up following them back here and settling permanently. Did you see our public swimming pool this summer? Those poor children just wanted to learn to swim, and they came out looking like Chewbacca.”
Locals who have beards will be required to register and name them. Locals who aren’t currently bearded will not be allowed to grow one without a permit. Beard permits will only be awarded to men whose significant other has terrible taste and requires them to keep one for sexual purposes. Citizens who refuse these new guidelines will be deported. Police say this will be done in the most humane way possible.
“We’re doing them a favor,” said Police Chief Doug Fartsman. “These trendy guys don’t belong in Duluth. I understand they’re very friendly, but they also reproduce at a tremendous rate. We need to keep their population in check. The Brewhouse only has so many time slots for mediocre musicians who smoke way too much dope. We’re simply reintroducing them back into the wild in a larger place where they can thrive.”
Come Monday, police will double their patrols and equip each officer with a cordless razor. Citizens caught bearding without a permit will be shaved clean. Repeat offenders will be tagged and deported to Austin, TX. Any tagged beardos who return to the area will be euthanized. If this problem species continues to thrive, officials may set up a hunting season.
To avoid tomfoolery, beard permits will be outfitted with holograms and other security features to prevent forgery. Each permit will have a blue ribbon woven into the paper. When tilted back and forth, the hologram in the ribbon will appear to show Nascar driver Jeff Gordon transforming into the Brawny paper towel man. Some forgeries have already started circulating, showing Duluth News-Tribune writer Sam Cook transforming into a sparkly penis made of Japanese candy. Local police will confiscate those.
Police will also be on the lookout for beard paraphernalia. Artsy pocket t-shirts, boring Ray Ban knockoff sunglasses, flannels and hives full of trained bees are all stepping stones that could lead a person to form a beard. Young hipsters smitten with nostalgia can rest assured that they’ll still have a wide variety of other terrible ‘80s and ‘90s fashions to choose from, including hideously tacky patterned tights, Hammer pants and Adidas shower sandals.
Local hipsters are not amused.
“Hey man, like, it’s my body and my choice,” said Chad Sutter of Duluth. “I don’t need Mayor Whatever gettin’ all handsy in my business. Wait, that would actually be fine. But she should leave my beard alone, man! I’m pro-choice on beards. These female politicians don’t have beards, so why do they get to choose for me? It’s my beard and my decision.”
For many longtime Duluthians, the banning of scratchy face pubes is a landmark decision, but others fear it may cause locals to have sex less often. Fortunately, research shows that no one in Duluth is having much sex anyway.
“Look, we understand that young men need to get laid,” said Mayor Larson. “But at what cost? How much burden should the public have to bear for someone else’s twisted lifestyle choices? I’m no prude. I just think women deserve to know that there are boyfriend options out there that won’t shed all over their furniture.”