'There was a brief flirtation with the Full Zapata and then he tried for the Twirling Handlebar'
THREE weeks in and the going is pretty tough - quite literally. It started, as these things have a tendency to do, as a bit of a joke in the pub. Before we knew where we were, chests were being puffed out and positions were being taken. Lines were drawn in the sand. One throwaway quip about bumfluff and suddenly the whole boozer has come over all Jimmy Edwards.
Not that they're getting out their canes or black capes, before you get completely the wrong idea about where I drink (although, to be fair, you wouldn't have entirely the wrong end of the stick if you did - but not in this particular instance). No, I'm talking about Movember, when the men of the land show their macho credentials by growing - or rather attempting to grow - fine masculine moustaches during the month of November (geddit?) in order to raise funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer research.
A bloke and his 'tache is a funny old thing. Everyone knows a few guys who couldn't grow mould, let alone some bushy mouser. Which is where the pub conversation started. A friend of ours is blessed with astonishingly young looks. He may well be in his thirties, but he struggles to get served in most boozers. This is in no small part due to the fact that he only sprouts a very few facial hairs. All his drinking cronies reckoned that he wouldn't be able to join in for Movember. Gauntlet thrown, I think you'll agree. And so it was decided. If he was going to do it, they were all going to do it.
Now, Mr Turner generally visits the barber for a "proper" shave just once a week (they also set fire to cotton buds and pop them up his nose and in his ears), so initially I wasn't too concerned by the stubble. But then the stubble got longer and, well, stubblier. But the feel of it is the least of my worries. The shape of it is definitely not attractive.
There was a brief flirtation with the Full Zapata - but that left me breathless with laughter. Then he thought he would try for the Twirling Handlebar, in a Dick Dastardly stylee. But that frightened small children in the supermarket. Which is where we are now. It's a bizarre shape that defies easy description. However, the Movember site has a handy spotter's guide and after some research I can tell you that he's attempting to grow a Boxcar. But at present it just sort of perches atop his upper lip. It's not a good look.
Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike facial hair. I'm not, as the Movember website helpfully informs me, a pogonophobic (a person who has a fear of beards, apparently). Like most people I don't like those beards that look as though the blokes are storing snacks for later. When I grew up, there were plenty of beards and moustaches about. It did cause confusion as a kid. You would be kissed goodnight by a full, bushy Captain Birdseye and be handed your Sugar Puffs by Terry Thomas. That can screw with a young mind, let me tell you.
So, ten days and counting. I'm already lathering up the shaving foam. It's not entirely because of the shape. It's not just because of the prickliness. No, the real problem with Mr Turner's 'tache? For some entirely inexplicable reason, it's ginger.