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A Gentleman’s Moustache

| by Victor Cherubim

( November 13, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) They say small is beautiful, but perhaps, not with moustaches. A moustache is not only one of the decorative pieces of facial hair found underneath a man’s nose but often it is a symbol of strength and courage as well.

In the month of November in America is a time for football, homecoming, Thanksgiving and moustaches. In Australia, in Melbourne in particular, people grew moustaches in the month of November 2003, rechristened as “Movember” to raise money for good causes, for men’s health. The “Handlebar Club” a men’s health charity in England has been in the news recently.

There’s nothing more entertaining than being let in on private conversations in the corridors of a Gentleman’s Club. Much hilarity erupts among English Gentlemen’s Clubs, in the Army Mess, in Posh Pubs and Clubs. A book published by Bantam Press includes “fly on the wall” imaginary conversation that could have taken place between a Reporter and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Reporter: “If there’s a leadership contest after the election, will you stand?”
Boris: “Are you mad? Of course I will”.
Reporter: “Who will do your Mayor’s job, then?”
Boris: “Oh, I don’t know. It’s not that hard, really. You go out and talk to people about traffic and how wonderful London is. I’m sure the deputy can stand in for me for the last year”.
Reporter: “Who is your deputy?”
Boris: “You know I haven’t a clue”.

Of course, everyone knows that Boris hasn’t a Handlebar moustache, but he does ride a bike.

I suppose, many in Sri Lanka are already looking forward to the unexpected tele-a tetes, between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and perhaps, his Common Candidate, clean shaven Karu Jayasasuriya?

Who said a man with a moustache has an edge over one without? While “Rolex is more than a sign, a commitment,” says the full page ad. Moustaches have always been considered a symbol of strength, of courage, of virility rather than vitality, of chivalry, manliness as well of snobbery.

A stylish moustache on a Man’s face has never been out of fashion. Many will remember the various styles of moustaches seen on American Wild West films. We saw an amazing variety, shapes and sizes of moustache. We had “pencil” moustaches on David Niven, “walrus” or fuzzy moustaches on Frontier Outlaws, “Handlebars”, “Free-styles or Fu Manchu” on yet others. Hardly can we dismiss moustaches as an “art by itself”. Hollywood, in fact, nearer home, Kerala, is home of “Moustache Man.”

Wearing a moustache, or cultivating one, is more than a hobby. It was not until Gillette invented the Blade, that moustaches did “grow” out of the ordinary. But Barber’s Razors continued to do an awful lot, not only to trim, but tidy bushy moustaches. Today once again, for an unknown reason, men with clean shaven facial contours are resorting to the “navy look” of not only sporting moustaches but also beards, at least during “ Movember.”

Why have one moustache, when someday, the fashion may dictate two?

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