ballad of the ‘stache.
July 18, 2006, 11:05 am
Filed under: fun, misc.

it’s a pivotal time in my life, and something must be said. my life is about to change irrevocably.

i’m not talking about my move to austin. or the fact that i’m about to start school again with a bunch of kids more than ten years younger than me. not talking about moving in with my girlfriend, or the pack of four dogs that i have all of a sudden. no, i’m talking about the ‘stache.

yessir, the end of an era is nigh; there’s a giant caterpiller on my face, and it’s about to go bye-bye.

but first let me tell its story:

it all started a few months ago, with the gogol bordello show. eugene hutz, the singer/guitarist/frontman sports a very impressive handlebar, both ends waxed into a nice little curl. his russian accent and rockstar antics definitely made his ‘stache
something special. and it was remarked, by the lovely and compelling b., that i should grow one of those.

now, at first, i thought it was a joke. “ha ha,” i replied. “yeah, i should. that would rule.” but the subject was not dropped. her birthday–still a few months away– was mentioned. it was presented as a favor or a gift to her. it became, much to my surprise, a very real request.

now, i am under no illusions. i know the ‘stache is not “in” at this point, in any other sense than the ironic one. i know that a lot of this request came from the fact that mr. hutz clearly works out all the time, and plays shirtless most of the time, and does know how to rock, and so definitely could be considered “sexy” and “doable,” and that me looking like him could make my girlfriend very happy (though it has been remarked that if i ever asked her to change her look to approximate some chick i would like to fantasize about, i would probably get socked in the jaw).

but i have to admit, i was a little intrigued.

herewith the dry run:
finger stache

for most of my life, i have not been able to grow facial hair. and then just a few years ago, i started being able to do just about anything with the hair on my face, and i wondered (a) if i could truly grow one, and (b), if i could truly rock it just right. (b. assured me i could.)

research came next. i found websites with the complete “how to.” i learned that it would take two to three months. i read about waxing it, and that it was best to “keep from chewing it” as it grew out. and that was it for me. no way was i going to grow hair out so long that it could go in my mouth. for three months? hell no. i couldn’t commit to not chewing on my hair for three months.

then a funny thing happened. i stopped shaving.

i let the goatee get crazy long, and then about a month in, i shaved it down to a cowboy (what some call a “walrus”) ‘stache. just dropping down the corners of my mouth.

b. was pleased.

the experiment worked. i could rock this look, i saw. sure, a little “macho macho man” for the rest of the world, but as long as i didn’t wear leather, it was fine. worked very well with my cop shades, too. in florida, b.’s 14-year-old sister commented that she “couldn’t imagine” me without the ‘stache. (that was weird.)

one of the great things was how quickly the ‘stache could morph into something else. it could be ironic and fun, but with the addition of a hat of some kind (baseball, cowboy) suddenly the irony was gone, and i was an honest to goodness redneck. awesome.

two months in, and it was getting pretty out of control. down on my lip. getting dangerously close to food. it was time–to wax it.

‘stache wax is not so easy to find these days, i will tell you. it’s not at rite aid. it’s not at ralph’s. there was online searching. there was an old-timey beauty shop in the jew-y old hollywood part of town. where it came with its own ‘stache comb for only $3.99.

problem: it comes in colors. and the girl who worked there obviously didn’t know that. neither did i.


(clear was purchased a few days later.)

we moved to austin on her birthday. i fancied that moving to texas with a big cowboy ‘stache all waxed just so would definitely make a good impression on all the texans that would soon be our neighbors and peers. i bought a confederate flag head wrap to go with it.

unfortunately, we don’t really know anybody here, so if i made any impressions, i have yet to hear about them.

it was three months in now. her birthday had come and gone. we lived in texas a week. and i was starting to spend more time grooming the ‘stache than anything else. so i knew i couldn’t take it much longer. i initiated phase two: the handlebar.

this involves even more wax. and even more grooming. cause now that it doesn’t droop down over the side, it must curl up towards the nose. for a guy who doesn’t own a comb, and only checks his hair when his girlfriend asks him to, this is hard to deal with.


and so the end of the era. but before it happens, let me just say a few things.

it’s flexible. a walrus ‘stache can be village people, or cowboy, or cop, or hillbilly. a handlebar ‘stache can make me a wily villain, twirling it (which i can’t help but do all the time anyway) over the fair maiden tied to the railroad tracks, or a ringmaster (must have top hat). i can be a muscle man (must have shaved dome and unitard) or an extra on deadwood (must have soul patch, which i did for a while). i like that.

it is not good for allergies. a runny nose is a bad thing, because the old “flavor saver” thing that works so well for food works for…other fluids as well. (not that i’m happy about all the flavor saving either…you should have seen me eating an ice cream. seriously, i don’t know how sam elliot does it.)

also not fun standing next to actual ‘staches being worn unironically. i blend too much. this is happening more in texas than in l.a. (obviously.)

yesterday, i got my student i.d. picture taken. ‘stache immortalized. i think the end is nigh.

it was a good run. but i think i will leave the moustache wax for those that really need it.

cause i’m no magnum p.i.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

holy crap! it’s like i haven’t seen you in eighty years!!

Comment by monkey

it was a very fine stache. someday, when you are old, you will have to regrow it.

Comment by da janx

it’s totally hulk hogan in the middle pic. did you rip your shirt off next?

Comment by da janx

[…] i have rocked a ’stache in my day, a while back. it was work, and took some maintenance and dedication, none of which i ever have in abundance; thus it didn’t last too long. so a light lip scruff (not john waters but not wilford brimley either) would have to do. it was all about winning a little free loot and watching the facial hair go by anyway, i figured. […]

Pingback by whi « overthinking

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