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Lip Toupee

posted Dec 29, 2011, 11:10 AM by Peter Burke   [ updated Dec 30, 2011, 8:53 AM ]
  Working at the brewery- with an outstanding crew of employers, co-workers, and customers - keeps me feeling young.  It's not about how old you are (aside from being 21 to consume, see pryoblogs), it's about getting work done.  I'm not really that old in the grand scheme of things, but hanging with young nephews over the holiday caused me to pause and look back.  I am the youngest kid of my generation on both sides of the fam.  I recall it being tough to find common conversation threads with the older cousins; they were concerned with cars, jobs, clothes, and the cootie-infested other gender.  They had lost all touch with the newest Lego releases, animated cinematic features, candy, etc.  You know, the good stuff.  I chalked it up as a loss and looked forward to the days when I wouldn't notice the age gap so readily.  Just a few weeks ago, I experienced a relapse.  
  I was wearing my sales hat that particular fall day.  One of our New England states was looking to expand their Cisco portfolio, but needed a fairly large account in the state to agree to purchase our goods to make sense of it all.  So there I was, waiting in que to meet with a buyer.  Obviously I wasn't alone, and the waiting room was filled with other supplier reps.  There was a militaristic hierarchy here that I couldn't place at first.  I couldn't use age, because I knew as the apparent youngest person in the room, I wasn't ready to concede low man on the totem pole.  I couldn't use dress, the variety of suits and ties were hard to compare against each other, plus, yet again I would have conceded immediate low man.  I was comfortable not wearing a full suit, I feel that misrepresents our brands and image.  But there was certainly a ladder system, and someone was on the top rung.  Then it hit me, like a bolt of lightning.  A hairy bolt of lightning.  I was in the middle of a mustache marine corp.  
   A secondary scan, evaluating number of mustaches per person.  It was under 1, but there was a female present, skewing the numbers.  Recalculating based on number of potential mustaches.  Adjusting parameters to exclude goatees and full beards.  6 of 9 had mustaches, using the definition of groomed hair between the nose and top lip, detached independently from any hair occurring below sides of the mouth or sideburns.  Counting myself and another, 8 of 9 had facial hair of some type.  
  Re-scan, categorizing types, shapes, colors, etc. You'll notice my definition uses "detached independently." This allows for hair originating in the "butter zone" to travel down the sides of the mouth, and potentially off the chin.  These of course would be the Handlebar or Horseshoe varieties, with the dangling hair switching those varieties into the FuManchu.  There weren't any of those, disappointingly, but there were plenty of Chevrons and Walrus style. 

See style guide of the American Mustache Institute here  

  These soup strainers weren't grown yesterday either.  They had seen action, battles, and had weathered storms.  A proper mustache, and I'll include beards in this, can be a sword AND a shield.  It can be consulted for opinion or scratched for appearance of pause and reflection. It can keep cold weather off the face.  When teamed with another mustache, the power grows exponentially.  I say proper mustache, because some mustaches are not always perfect for every situation.  For instance, the hairy caterpillar (under the "pencil" styles of the AMI) can be distracting, because others may be confused - is that facial hair or some sort of stain leftover from your last meal?  Some mustaches have been associated with negative events- Adolf H. ruined the shortened Lampshade style for everybody.  
  Usually when I sport the mustache, it's for a charity event or other occasion.  I choose to keep a short beard, as it saves on razor costs, and I look like I'm 12 without one.  I do have to monitor some "wisdom whiskers" (grey hairs) that grow in my mustache right below my nostril, because it can be as equally distracting as the pencil mustache, other people think there's foreign matter hitching a ride.     
  I accepted my rank near the lower end of this particular lip-toupee lineup  What I lack in bristle I can back up with good beer.  This winter might be a good time for an ole' fashioned mustache growing contest.  We can figure out a grand prize - maybe a facial hair grooming kit.  The possibilities are endless!
  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well, stay safe