Ottawa Bus Stop Beard Burning

—Urban Beardsman

Guys know that growing a killer beard is an exciting and fulfilling experience, but also comes with a list of caveats. For example, you should undoubtedly be prepared for food to get stuck in it after a meal. So you’re going to have to accept that the stares you get after lunch might be because half of your turkey club is dangling midway down your beard like a Christmas tree ornament. You will also certainly and constantly be faced with the joy of strangers sticking their grubby hands in your beard, most likely without even having asked for the go-ahead to do so, instead opting to go the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” route. But one thing you can rest easy knowing is that no one is going to set fire to your beard.

Just kidding, that’s a possibility too.

Stewart Everitt, founder of Ottawa, Canada’s Ottawa Facial Hair Club is currently in the process of growing a new beard from scratch, after a large potion of his original five year-old beard was burned off his face with a small blowtorch at a bus stop.

See, this is why everyone hates public transportation.

“I went to get off the bus, and there was a bunch of people coming on through the same door. I felt a little rustling and then my beard buzzed,” said Everitt in a report from and

“People touch it and grab it all the time so I didn’t think anything of it. But once I was outside I smelled it and felt that it was singed and really thin in the middle.”

Everitt says the flame “likely came from a powerful mini-torch,” since he was left missing about four inches of his beard, and a “regular cigarette lighter doesn’t burn hair that quickly.”

Are you telling me there are people walking around the streets of Ottawa with mini-torches on hand? Is no one concerned about that part of the story?

Everitt says by the time he realized what had happened, the bus was pulling away and he didn’t get a look at who was responsible. Citing that there hadn’t been any other reports of mini-torch wielding pyros scorching guys’ beards in the area, Everitt decided to chalk it up to an accident. After shaving off what was left of his beard and beginning the process of re-growing it, Everitt pointed out that since the flame didn’t burn his skin – and a beard can always grow back – he didn’t want to make a big deal about the incident.

As good a sport as Everitt is, there is still an issue that needs to be addressed. Even in the most innocent accidental version of the event, we’re agreeing that someone was in a large crowd of people brandishing a lit mini-torch in close quarters. So at its worst, this was an intentionally malicious act aimed at igniting someone or something for a laugh, and at its best, it was a mind-blowing act of sheer stupidity.

Neither of those scenarios seem all that acceptable. And that is why I don’t ride the bus.

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