The ‘stache.

When I started my law enforcement career, I was — how to say this — fresh-faced.

Bluntly: I looked like a teenager.

This plain-and-simple fact of nature caused a couple of problems with people who didn’t believe I was old enough to be a deputy; people who were certain that ‘Candid Camera’ was lurking about; and the general all-around hell I caught from co-workers and other fellow peace officers.

One day, while pondering the inequities of the situation, it struck me that I was the only officer in twelve counties that didn’t have a moustache. A dim memory revealed that a moustache made the wearer tend to appear older, and they gave an air of authority to the possessor of said lip-spinach.


It was so obvious: I needed to grow a moustache.

Three weeks later, certain facts of genetics raised their snickering little heads. It wasn’t that I couldn’t grow a moustache — my Norse/Celt ancestors had gifted me with a truly impressive soup-strainer.

Unfortunately, it was ash-blond. As a matter-of-fact, it was a shade of ash-blond that couldn’t have blended better with my complexion if I’d planned it.

And it was … undisciplined. More of my moustache wanted to grow up towards my eyes, or sideways towards my ears, than wanted to grow mouthwards.

With the constant combing I was giving it (training to grow south rather than every other direction), I would have thought everybody and their blind cat would have known I was cultivating a glorious moustache, but this hypothesis was brutally dispelled by my mother.

I had met her for lunch and we were about half-way through the meal, when my mother — still talking to the person at the next table — dipped her napkin in her glass of water, caught my chin in one hand and proceeded to scrub firmly on my upper lip with the hand holding the damp napkin.

It was obvious that something needed to be done.

A friend of mine — although mysteriously afflicted with the coughing fit that had befallen my mother earlier — suggested that I go see a barber and get some ‘moustache wax’.

Voila! It was beautiful!

The barber even mixed and prepared the wax right there in front of me, matched to my hair colour and everything.

Flushed with success, I hared off home, ensconced myself in the bathroom and applied the wax according to instructions. The transformation was awe-inspiring. All of a sudden I was the proud possessor of a moustache that would cause every Colour Sergeant and Regimental Sergeant-Major who had every been in the British Army to weep bitter tears of jealousy.

Every magnificent hair in place, and all coloured a beautiful, vibrant strawberry-blond to match my hair.

Funny, I hadn’t realized that my hair was possessed of a … flourescent … quality, but maybe I had just not noticed, it being above my eyes, instead of below my nose — which was obviously the explanation.

Proudly, I stepped forth from the bathroom into the bedroom, where my ladyfriend was — for some reason known only to the distaff side of the species — stripping the bed.

“Hey, darling,” said I, turning to show my moustache to proper effect.

‘Hey, baby,” replied the Object of My Affections, somewhat distractedly as she ruthlessly yanked the pillowcase off the pillow, “There’s a hairbrush in the bed somewhere, and the damned thing’s been scratching me for about a week…”

Her voice trailed off, no doubt in awe as the munificent masculinity of my magnificent moustache overwhelmed her delicate sensibilities. She gazed in wide-eyed wonder until that damned coughing fit caught up with her, too.

Coughing fit over, she stated, in stunned admiration: “You’ve got a … moustache…”

“Yes,” I said, proudly, waggling my eyebrows at her rogue-ishly.

Her hand flew back up to cover her mouth, “It’saverynicemoustache. Bathroom!”

Pleased with the world in general, I tapped my Stetson onto my head (canted at a proper rakish angle) bid my lady a fond au revoir through the bathroom door and went to work.

..To be continued.


And may the Lord take a dump on him from a height.
There I was ...

18 thoughts on “The ‘stache.”

  1. Ack, I’m glad I wasn’t drinking cofee when I read this. When do we get to read the conclusion of the story?

  2. Ash-blond, strawberry-blond? You’ve either been talking to Holly, or your mother did love you enough to get you the 64 count box of crayons.

    And please don’t leave us in suspense for long!

  3. OH. MY. GOODNESS!! I’m surprised you didn’t wax the EYEBROWS as well, ‘Dog. At least they would have matched. 😀
    Your lady-friend was very tactful. Type A personality that I am I would have probably said something along the lines of “What the heck is that on yer face, Man??”
    But, on the other hand, maybe she SHOULD have said something…if what I THINK happened at work, actually happened. I can’t wait to hear?? (or read, as the case may be)

  4. To coin a phrase “I feel your pain.” Upon noticing my first efforts towards facial hair display, my father informed me that if I slathered it in cream, the cats would lick it off for me.

  5. When I was 17 the hottest chick I knew read the following to me,
    “But a mustache, oh, a mustache is indespensible to a manly face.”
    (Guy de Maupassant)
    After two weeks of not being noticed, I used my Mom’s mascara. Worked okay until I drank some Coke and wiped my mouth…went downhill from there.

  6. I was still getting stopped to check if I had a driver’s license when I was 22, and old enough to drink (21 in NJ) when I was 27. Yes, I looked younger than some of my students, way back when. The first parent/teachers’ night was a real laugh. My dept head told me to wear my jacket and glasses in class all the time, so I’d look older. And try to get a cup of coffee in the cafeteria! Since I needed to shave at least twice a day, it was easy to come in the second year with a full beard. [One of my brothers, on the other hand, really doesn’t have to shave more than 3 times a week even now, and he’s 59. He took to the Danish side of the family.] This did not go over well 1967. But at least the color matched my hair. [Last time I had the beard off was 25 years ago, just to see if my chin was still there.] Hurry up with the rest of your story, please! OldeForce

  7. ..To be continued.

    Lord I hope there’s no pink gorilla suits involved!

  8. I knew it! Red haired kid wasn’t enuf pain in … of neighbors, he became a cop.
    Red cops are worst!

  9. A bunch of years ago, I shaved off my full beard for halloween. One of my team said, “Rob, you’re not 40 after all.” Thanks… I was a mere 1/4 century at the time.

    I asked all the ladies whose opinion I valued – er okay all the ladies I wanted to value ME – what they thought: “Beard or no beard?”

    Even my mother said to grow it back. There was no dissent – “Grow it back.”

    So as a community service…

    Hey is this going to turn into another Ratel story? I am so ready for another.

    I am tryin’ to figure out how a waxed mustache can devolve into the smae kind of chaos.

  10. Lawdog I hear you…

    One time after wearing a mustache for many years, I shaved it off. Took my mother better part of 3 months to finally notice…

    I finally regrew it and a beard to go with. I threaten to shave both off every now and then, my wife just tells me she will cut her hair short if I shave my beard and mustache.

    My current project is to let the beard grow just to see how long it will get. I’m giving serious thought to braiding it up dwarven style currently.

    Back to mustaches, mine tends to get rather unruly also. The worst seems to be when the hair gets stuck in the poptops on your favorite soda. That being said, my mustache has a date with the trimmer today.

    I don’t have the coloration issue though, other than the way to much of a mix of grey in there. Everyone keeps asking why all the grey as I am just in my low 40’s. I just point at our three small children…

  11. I grew a moustache in college; the correct word for that one would be “scraggly.” Kept it off for a few years, then during my second try at college, a.k.a. “graduate school” (from the Latin for, ‘Didn’t Learn to Stay Out the first time he went through), I grew a full beard. My grandmother despised it; she said that it made me look “like an old man.” Well, that’s the point, Gramma; I look like a little kid without it. Shaved it off and went without for many years.

    Finally, when I became a certified firefighter–at the age of forty-two–, I felt like I had enough sand to grow the moustache back. All of those Celtic and Norwegian ancestors cheered as it grew in, lush and full. There’s always been some blond and some red in my beard. That’s true for the moustache. The blonde whiskers are close enough to the grey ones that have appeared that the effect is to make me look serious, even though I might never achieve “distinguished.”

    One of the most brilliant phrases that I’ve ever seen you write, LawDog, was in your explanation of Court Guns and Barbecue Guns at THR on February 17th, 2003–Post No 61 at the following link:

    It reads, in part, after a description of Court Guns,

    “A BBQ gun, on the other paw, requires that you start with a revolver — Smith and Wesson or Colt. Anything Brazilian is liable to get you laughed at. Polished stainless at a minimum, and pony up for full engraving.

    Now, look in the mirror. Is your mustache over 50% grey? If so, go for pearl grips. 49% or less on the grey-meter, and you’d best stick with ivory.”

    What made me chortle with delight (my particular gift is to belabor the obvious; I don’t have your light touch) was the preumption that ‘of course the reader has a moustache.’

    Myself, I’d best stick with ivory, though the day approaches when I’ll have the option of going with pearl. OffTopic: I did see the movie “Patton” as a boy; it’s going to remain “ivory” for me anyway.

  12. The grips for my BBQ gun ain’t gonna be ivory or pearl… I’m thinkin’ stag or maybe elk antler.

    mustanger98 on THR

  13. Had a beard for several years. Definately added years to my appearance; problem was I didn’t need them. My hair was not silvering majestically at the temples, it was turning grey in preparation for falling out and the beard had more grey than my head.

    The good thing after shaving it was I could talk to people I’d known off & on for years for a few minutes before they stopped giving me strange looks and recognized me.

  14. Yep … some folks can grow a proper mustache ….

    And some folks end up with a lip full of bum-fluff.

  15. Heh. Several years ago, I shaved off my beard, but not my soup strainer, just prior to a road trip with a friend. Her first response to the new look was, “When’d you grow a moustache?” It’s since darkened up a bit on it’s own and doesn’t fade into the background when I grow the beard out.

  16. I have tried growing a mustache 3 times. The first time, at 18, I realized very quickly that it was a no-go and surrendered after one week.

    The second time I was 23, and after three weeks a female coworker looked up at me from the machinery we were inspecting and asked, "Are you growing a mustache?" I thought real hard for a moment, replied, "I'm not sure." Then I shaved whatever it was off that night.

    The last time was when I was working away from home for two months. I chickened out and shaved it off before coming home.

    Never again, I think.

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