I know, now that the Democratic and Republican conventions are over, many people are looking forward to the election, which will determine who will lead our great country for the next four years – the Sincere, Smart Guy or the Silver Spoon, Magic Underpants Guy. However, before that important decision is made, there is another election that is in its preliminary stages, as we speak, and one that is near and dear to my heart.
Now, the voting I’m talking about concerns something just about as important as President of the United States. What’s that you say? Nothing can come close to voting for our president? Well, this election may not be that important, but it will greatly affect millions of men in this country. No, I’m not talking about Playmate of the Year, although that is pretty important. I’m talking about the voting for the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award, which will be presented at the American Mustache Institute’s annual Stache Bash.
If you think I’m putting too much importance on a mustache award, just listen to this; according to the AMI website, the “Stache Bash has been noted by Time magazine, the NBC Nightly News, physicist Stephen Hawking and High Times magazine as being on par with the Nobel Prize for Peace.” So, there.
Anyone who knows me or has seen my photograph in the newspaper knows that I am a fan of the mustache. I think the AMI, which sponsors the voting for the Goulet award each year, is a great organization; however, I think they need to rethink the name of the award. There is no one who exhibits the beauty and power of a mustache more than Sam Elliott, whom I consider King of the Mustache.
Now, before you write off the AMI as some kind of inconsequential entity, consider this - the AMI has not only been fighting discrimination against mustachioed men in America since 1965, but, according to its website, is “considered the bravest organization in the history of mankind behind only the U.S. military and the post-Jim Henson Muppets.” I wholeheartedly agree.
I grew my first mustache when I was a junior in high school, although hardly anyone knew it because I only swapped spit with the Mistress of the Manor – you had to be that close to spy the blondish, thin group of hairs that populated my upper lip. I tried coloring my hard-to-see mustache with mascara, but by the time I took the Mistress home it had somehow mysteriously rubbed off. However, she had one. By my senior year, it began to blossom, but it wasn’t until sometime during my freshman year of college that it began forming into the majestic piece of lip forest it is today.
Now, I’ve always favored the bushy style. I have grown several Fu Manchu-style mustaches, but always come back to the Mark Twain-Wild Bill Hickok-lip-hair-gone-wild variety. Over the years it has proven its usefulness. When a bottle is passed around, I can always get a little extra hooch just by sucking it out of my mustache, and after eating, I always have a snack readily available by just picking stray food out of my lip warmer.
In the 45 years since I first grew a credible mustache – we’re not accounting the mascara-aided freak of nature – I have been without a mustache only twice. The first time was when a nice drill sergeant suggested I shave my mustache by saying, “I don’t want to see one hair on your face you dirty, ****-for-brains, maggot-eating, ************* excuse for humankind.” And that’s the sanitary version. However, after finishing basic training, we mustache lovers were allowed to grow our lip hair back, sort of. We could have a mustache, but it wasn’t allowed to dip below the corners of our mouths or touch our upper lips. That’s what I refer to as a “civic club mustache.” Now, the reason I named it that is because during the 1960s and 1970s, many older men decided that having a mustache would be cool. I think the free love, mini-skirt thing had something to do with it. However, since they were bankers, principals, doctors, etc., they didn’t want to appear too radical, so they had these neatly-trimmed mustaches, that eventually became popular in adult movies; at least, that’s what I have been told.
The only other time I was clean-shaven came about by accident. I was trimming my beloved mustache when I made a grevious error and cut a gash into one side. As I attempted to even up my mouth caterpillar, it got shorter and shorter. The next thing I knew, I’ve had a “civic club mustache.” I couldn’t bear that, so I shaved the whole thing off so I could begin anew. When I walked into our living room, there stood my five-year-old daughter Bernadette, who had a stern look on her beautiful, little face. “Daddy, grow it back,” she said, then turned and walked away in a huff.
So, there is the story behind it all. I praise the mustache, I revel in the mustache, or to paraphrase another song dealing with hair,
Give me a lip with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there, hair, chin length or longer
Here baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy
Hair, flow it, show it
Long as God can grow, my hair