Throughout the first 28 years of my life, I had a protruding mole beneath the left half of my nose. It was about the size of an ear bud, and was lightish brown in color. Ever since my older brother started calling me “Mark” (short for “beauty mark”), I hated the damn thing. Eventually, I grew a goatee to conceal it, but I was always aware it was there, just … looming.
Eventually, I had the thing cut off. The wife (who was The girlfriend at the time) said, “If it bothers you so much, why not just have it removed?” Honestly, I’d never thought of it. But now it’s long gone, and I’m a significantly happier person.
Which leads me to Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Alongside his right ear, Beltran has a mole that would have eaten my mole for lunch. It’s large, it’s discolored, and it just looms there, sorta like a discarded M&M. I tend to think, as a mole survivor, I’m the only one who notices these things. There’s something about having a mole that makes you keenly aware of the moles of others. Yet, through research (aka: A Google search), I’ve come to realize Carlos Beltran’s mole has quite the following. There’s a Facebook page. There was a mock Carlos Beltran Mole Day. There’s this classic exchange between Boomer and Carton about, literally, Carlos Beltran’s mole (“I think (the mole) is his twin, who died in childbirth”). If one does a search of, literally, “Carlos Beltran’s Mole,” he is greeted by a wild 15,300 results.
Which leads, of course, to an important question: Why won’t Carlos Beltran just have the thing sliced off?
Here are my guesses …
A. Embarrassment. I actually felt this a bit. You have a mole for so long, then one day it’s gone. That’s basically an announcement to the world about, literally, the mole. So something you’ve always hated is more obvious than ever.
B. Money. I know Beltran makes millions, but the procedure could cost upwards of $600.
C. Respect. Maybe Beltran respects the mole. Loves it, even. Maybe the mole is his lucky charm, much like a rabbit’s foot.
Or maybe he just doesn’t care. Which makes him a better man than I’ve ever been …