The beard itself began as unremarkable stubble on the pale face of a pre-pubescent Harrison Hardigan. Perhaps it was in an effort to impress the young girls at school, or perhaps it was a misguided effort to save money on razor blades, but one day on the school's lawn Harrison H. Hardigan swore in front of the flag, with his hand over the Holy Bible, that he would never ever shave his beard. He swore that no razor would cut through the hairs on his face. Among his remaining family members it is whispered that Harrison vowed the uniquely binding oath to spite his father, who was a barber by trade.
Several times during these years he attempted to shave the beard off, and when that didn't work he would attempt to turn the scissors and razors on his wrists. However his oath to the flag and the Bible held so firmly that the scissors and razors dulled against his skin.
Then came the unfortunate day when Harrison attempted to catch a young red haired woman who had fallen out of a dormitory window. Her bones shattered as he caught her in his arms. He shouted for help and was immediately arrested for assault. The woman’s parents asked the judge to lock the young man away for life. They assured the court that their daughter, still unconscious in the hospital, wanted Harrison to be put in prison. During the proceedings Harrison sat meekly in front of the judge, and would not utter a single word in his own defense.
Harrison spent ten years in prison. Upon his release Harrison struck out to find gainful employment. He worked a series of low paying jobs and was fired from each one. Once, while working at a construction site he had rushed to the aid of a fellow worker trapped beneath a pile of rubble. Harrison threw the stones and boulders aside with ease. The man’s life was saved but the stones landed on the houses and buildings in the surrounding area. The construction company was forced into bankruptcy to pay off the damages. The man Harrison saved would later complain about the loss of his job.
So Harrison began the lonely life of a vagrant. He walked around the country and begged on street corners. In every town he found the need for his strength. In Atlanta he pulled children out of burning houses. In Seattle he pulled a sinking ship safely to the shore. In Omaha he saved workers from a stampede at the stockyards. He stopped runaway trains, and cleared wreckage. He once held a collapsing building up for three days as the residents calmly moved their possessions out on to the street. Instead of gratitude Harrison was met with anger and hate. More often than not he was blamed for the catastrophes he had saved people from, and the townspeople would run him out of town in a great mob. At the back of every mob was a red haired woman.
One day, while Harrison was silently begging for change on a street corner, a man in a suit approached Harrison. He was an advertising agent and was putting together a promotion for a razor company. The idea of the campaign was to film homeless men shaving their beards. The commercials showed before and after shots of the men, who were given suits to wear in the second photo. The man in the suit contracted Harrison for the promotion, despite Harrison’s silent warnings and promises that the beard would not submit to any mortal blade.
When the time for filming came the production crew found that all of Harrison’s predictions came true. They tried every razor the company produced. None of the razors could cut through mystical beard. The advertiser called the company, who quickly sent a man in a lab coat to examine Harrison’s facial hair. When the scientist could find no way to cut the beard he contacted his supervisor. After a brief conversation the man in the white coat asked Harrison to come back with him to the company’s headquarters.
For the next several decades the razor company employed Harrison as a consultant. His job consisted of sitting in a chair while men in white laboratory coats attempted to cut his beard. Several options were tried, pneumatic scissors, diamond blades, focused plasma beams, and microscopically sharpened edges. Nothing worked on the supernatural hairs. Despite the all of their failures the company advanced man's understanding of shaving technology by leaps and bounds. NASA sent inquiries into the project and soon the company had a government grant to cut Harrison's beard.
When his vision cleared he was gripped with a sudden terror of words he began to speak without end. Narrating the events of his life he told her of the flag and the bible and the girl on the ground. He told her about the man trapped beneath the rubble and the long years on the road. He became lost in an endless stream of words until he was no longer narrating his life, but the events of every person’s life he had ever met. He told her childhood stories of the lab technicians. The histories of all of the towns and people he had saved poured from his mouth. In great detail he described the lives of people he had never met.