Hairy lips, healthy balls

You know who else liked moustaches? I’ll tell you. Hitler. Stalin. Saddam. Gaddafi. Mussolini. That’s who. And here we are, being bullied into growing fanny dusters fit only for tyrants. Movember my ass. Having us walk around with moustaches for a month isn’t going to raise awareness of men’s health. All it will do is make women ridicule us even more than usual.

You mightn’t be so quick to put out a welcome mat on the doorstep of Casa Nostrils if it wasn’t called a moustache, a word that has the ring of the usual French nonsense about it. But what if you lived in Germany, where a moustache is called a schnorrbart? Would you want to be associated with Schnorrvember? Or, if you’re in Iceland, Yfirvaraskeggvember? Never mind if you’re from Slovenia. Those poor bastards would have to celebrate Brkivember. The idea of three vowels in one word is enough to drive your average Slove to suicide.

Normal people like me and perhaps you are not going to be pressured into cultivating a nasty habit that could well affect our political leanings and, indeed, our very sexuality. If Freddie Mercury had kept his top lip clean, he’d be living as Farrokh Bulsara in a trailer park in downtown Orlando today with a wife called Blanche and three gifted but disturbed children.

Having said that, it’s interesting to note that gay bikers and heterosexual farmers alike are huge fans of the mouth brow. And yet if you had to walk into a bar and ask a biker if he’s a farmer or a farmer if he’s a bottie-bandit, you’d probably get your face broken.

I don’t have a moustache because, in my line of work, it’s important to be trusted. People need to believe that what I write is the truth. If I am to be taken seriously, my upper lip needs to be dusted with nothing more than anxious beads of sweat. Unfortunately, and I don’t claim to know how this came about, men with moustaches cannot be trusted. I might lie through my teeth, but at least I don’t lie through my moustache as well.

Don’t get me wrong. My face doesn’t always resemble a finely buffed piece of Carrara marble. If anyone ever makes a movie called Unshorn of the Dead, I’m their guy. Fact is, men who live alone tend to let themselves go from time to time. Especially those who make their living within the confines of their own home. Not that you can call this a living. Or even a home.

This means my entire head is covered in fur for at least three weeks of the month. Not thick, coarse clumps of it. I’m not Chewbacca. Once there is a beard involved, though, the moustache ceases to be a moustache. It simply becomes part of a general facial flocculence that has been the defining feature of many of history’s lovable rogues ranging from Santa Claus to Charles Manson, from Jesus Christ to George Washington.

I dislike my hairy face, but I like shaving even less. By week four I will catch sight of myself in a shop window and recoil. That’s when I buy a case of beer on a Friday night, turn up the music and have a one-man shaving party. Pathetic doesn’t come close.

But what really gets my goat, apart from the stock thief in number nine, is that we allow these shadowy organisations to influence our decisions based on nebulous notions such as men’s health. I’m not even sure such a thing exists. Obviously I’m talking from first-hand experience here.

I’m reluctant to do this because I don’t get paid enough to involve myself in research, but apparently the idea of Movember originated in a bar in Adelaide in 1999. What a surprise. A bunch of Aussies off their faces decided that everyone should grow a moustache in November. Even the women, presumably, what with Australia being such an egalitarian society.

“What if they don’t do it, Bruce?”

“Well, mate, we’ll cut off their goolies.”

“And roger all the Sheilas!”

A stray dingo must have walked in at some point because the members of the freshly formed Movember Committee decided they’d sell T-shirts and give the money to animal welfare.

Being Adelaide, there was no real rush to get things moving. The committee passed motions, water and out. The dingo eventually ate the treasurer and, in turn, was taken to the kitchen and converted into bar snacks. Such are the laws of nature.

Five years went by and Movember, much like the committee, was still struggling to get to its feet. Meanwhile, a far sharper group of spritzer-drinking Aussies got together in Melbourne and started their own moustache-based event. Being more cunning and almost certainly more sober than the Adelaide mob, they linked theirs to a campaign to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression in men.

“But, honey, what about the …”

“Shut up. Your lot doesn’t have a prostate.”

“I am depressed, though.”

“Of course you are. You don’t have a bloody prostate.”

So these new blokes formed the Movember Foundation which spread quicker than typhoid. More than $174-million has been raised around the world since then. I don’t know where it’s gone. I like to think some went to shelters for women traumatised by having to kiss men with moustaches.

In 2010, Movember merged with a testicular cancer event called Touchback. Quite frankly, I find the connotations of reciprocity disturbing. I don’t mind checking my own landing gear, but that’s where it ends.

Few South African men suffer from intellectualism and we should perhaps point out to the common herd that growing a moustache in November does not constitute adequate protection against prostate cancer.

Nor will the general health of men magically improve by a mass sprouting of soup strainers, no matter what the witches and warlocks of Limpopo province say. We might, however, be healthier if we didn’t have to work so damn hard. When I say we, I mean men who aren’t me. Men are becoming increasingly stressed by roadblocks and paternity tests. We get depressed by speed limits and flea markets. So let’s tackle the real issues first.

Movember’s main man in South Africa, Garron Gsell, if that’s his real name, says there’s a stigma around diseases that affect men, impacting on early detection and life expectancy. Never mind the bollocks. There’s a stigma around men, period. And early detection of a doomed marriage can also greatly improve life expectancy.

Gsell says the underlying message of this year’s theme is that “if you choose to live well and follow a healthy lifestyle … you can help shape your future”. In other news, if you wear shoes you can avoid getting thorns in your feet. Also, using an umbrella in the rain can help you stay dry. And not drinking a bottle of brandy for breakfast is good for you.

Finally, let us not forget that the biggest cause of depression among men is an inability to grow a moustache in November. Mo-shaming is a real thing. So if you do come across someone without a moustache, try to restrain yourself from smashing a beer glass into his face. He might not be a contumacious misanthropic iconoclast at all. He might, for instance, be unable to grow a moustache because he’s had radiotherapy to treat testicular cancer.

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142 thoughts on “Hairy lips, healthy balls

  1. “Welcome mat on the doorstep of Casa Nostrils.” THAT’S getting spread around Portland, Oregon, immediately. We have a surfeit of hairy lips here. And hairy everything else. Which does not explain the Utilikilts at all.

    The reason for the mistrust of ‘stachioed males is purely sociopsychological. The fur covers key areas of facial expression and makes it harder to read Mr. Man’s true intentions. Any dude talking smack will give himself away with body language, especially in the face and hands, if you know what to watch for.

    Knowing all this turns scary salesmen into delightful target practice for the average shopper. ‘Tis the season.

    Mark Bowden and Allan Pease are your tag team Obi-Wans.

    1. Actually it is a huge logical fallacy: this sentence forces you to think that people with moustaches can’t be trusted. “Why can’t they be trusted?” “Well, they have a moustache! Get them!”

  2. Nebulous notions such as men’s health, really? What would you say then about women’s health? In Australia where the Movember concept was brought into being, the push for breast cancer research money is sucking the charity dollar dry.

    There are four breast cancer foundations and every other product has a pink ribbon in the corner of the package that proclaims its (financial) support for breast cancer research. With all that money rolling in, you have to wonder why breast cancer hasn’t been eradicated. There’s even a company called Priceline that paints its shops pink.

    You can’t possibly begrudge support for men’s cancer research one lonely month a year. I suspect from your post that you do begrudge it. I’m tempted to wish you a nebulous notion, but I can’t quite get myself to do it. My father died slowly and painfully of a nebulous notion.

      1. Well, I am a very hairy person overall. If I would shave what is on my face (which I haven’t done in about 7 years) then my body would look like a gorilla with a naked head. The point is: my girlfriend doesn’t mind all the hair, because some people are born with a little more, and like I don’t force her to shave (which she does anyway, but that is her choice) she doesn’t force me to shave either. I think that includes nose hair.

  3. First I’d like to say that you use a lot of logical fallacies in your piece. I.e overgeneralization on the hitler, stalin etc. I get that these are also techniques to interest the audience, and to make it all somewhat more humoristic. But what is your overall idea by using these things? This is by the way a genuine question, not cynicism.

    That being said, I do agree with some of the points you made. And I did enjoy reading it al.

  4. I love no shave November bc I love when men have facial hair you know Jesus had a beard. Anyways I think it’s very manly for men to have facial hair! The scruffier the better but I guess that is bc I’m a southern woman and I think I can speak for all southern women when I say facial hair is sexy! 😘

  5. Reblogged this on Gil Shalev and commented:
    Sharing this pearl as I found it highly entertaining 🙂

    A ‘Stache should always be accompanied by some form of chin coverage. At the very least a goatee. The same is not true for a beard.

    Have a great weekend folks!

  6. An amusing piece – however just to remind you that Movember is for a good cause and in fact a charity which supports movements against cancer etc. Of course you can ridicule it but it is a good cause and to help men like yourselves.

    1. However, I do notice that charity movements like this lack an informative factor. I have talked to many people who went: “wait, movember is a charity?”

  7. Bad piece. Say it’s satire all you want but in the end you are just showing your true feelings on this topic. Daddy/Mommy issues? Probable. Masculinity/Image issues? Definitely.

    1. I don’t follow your blog by the way and neither do some of the commenters. I found it in my wordpress feed. If your view is not what it seems, I take back my previous statement.

  8. You could further your mustache shaving party by protesting Tom Sellick who got caught stealing water from a fire hydrant to to keep his estate green while everyone faces drought.

    Then the people who can’t handle satire might get off your back, yo?
    🙂

  9. Funny post but I don’t agree with everything that’s told there, I know a lot of people with mustache and I don’t find them described there; one of them my boyfriend. Anyhow I liked to read it all! Thank you for sharing

  10. Nah dude, I don’t hardly ever shave either. No shave, no shame.

    As for selective shaving, I agree that it’s best saved for special occasions rather than just the lower and outer parts of my face. And by special occasions I mean like those rare times I want to impress someone who cares–and I care that they care. That’s what makes it rare.

    Yeah it strikes me that razor blade companies are probably at the folicle/root of all campaigns to promote or even bring attention to shaving. Thus I think that castration via gillette would be a good way to raise awareness of corporate greed. Let’s save that one for the new year and call it Janeunuchary

  11. I’m sorry but that is not true. Many serial killers , murderers , corrupt people are clean shaved , bearded or whatever !! You cannot say that ” a moustache ” on a man proves that he is a ” tyrant ” or an ” untrustworthy ” man. You can’t just generalise this nonsense.

  12. I loved this, haha! I don’t agree with every part but I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times and I liked your perspective on it 🙂

  13. Enjoyed reading the sarcasm here. To people getting offended over “generalizations” – please note that this is Satire aka generalizations happen but they aren’t to be taken completely seriously…

    1. Hi boxing barber… what you mean is “you’re a moron” you spelled your and not you are. The apostrophe stands in for the “a”.

      1. Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit. Obviously the boxing barbers only knows his shit.

  14. Great writing. And it teased out a lot of strange comments. Perhaps people expect too much seriousness from satire. Some people. Not me. Keep it up. If I can find a way to follow you, I will.

  15. Really enjoyed this, and as a woman, put into words the vague negative ideas I’ve had about moustaches over the years. However, noticing that you are writing from South Africa, whoever would it be important to a man to grow a moustache in November (beginning of summer season)?

  16. What do you know about Stalin to put him in the same row with Nazis, “hairy lips” it’s a bs!! Stalin won the world war 2, (not the USA or GB) built strong economically independent country which scared the other world. Even though, he had to do some “clean up” in communist party this was a must at that time frame. Russia never had better leader after… Others only betrayed everything.

  17. Are you serious people can do whatever they want to do you cant just go around saying rude things about something you don’t even know about. I agree with Leon is this really what our generation has turned into, you could take your skill of writing and put it to use but instead you complain about stupid stuff like this it’s ridiculous.

  18. I can remember running into an old university mate twenty years after last seeing him. He had the most outrageous 70s mo going on. It was a shocker, but I held my tongue thinking it polite not to mention anything. Then later in the day remembered it was Movember and realised tash no doubt a bit of fun mixed with money-raising. Should have mentioned something after all!! You never can be sure in November in Australia.

  19. Personally speaking, I rather like the distinguished look of a well groomed man sporting a mustache and beard. I find they are as trustworthy as those without. I’m glad to see the trend and hope it becomes simply a way of life. Sport one if you want… It should be a personal choice.

  20. I totally agree with 10% of what you wrote. Mustache or beard is associated with bad, aggressive, different. Totally agree. But you didn’t have to dig into people s sexual orientation to prove your point. You are an amazing writer. You could have done better

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