THE Movember moustache growing has moved from the novelty game-for-a-augh stage to the deadly serious marriage-in-jeopardy chapter.
Eighteen days in and my upper lip has been enveloped in an ugly ginger fur.
The nods and smiles that greeted the early wisps of growth have gone. No longer do I get the comments of “oh, trying for a Movember eh?” or a cheery “good luck with the tash.”
Instead, I am conducting conversations where eye-contact is kept to a minimum.
Sporting a rusty Brillo pad under my nostrils has secured me a wide berth when walking the streets.
Women ushering children into doorways as I pass is increasingly the norm.
We live in a society that has grown out of love with the moustache.
You could blame Hitler. He pretty much put the kibosh on the under-nostril tiddler after the war. That style has rarely resurfaced.
The Seventies was surely the moustache’s heyday. I mean, how do you follow Peter Wyngarde’s monster in Jason King?
The Eighties saw the steady decline of the tash, brought to an abrupt end, I would argue, by Harry Enfield’s skit on the Brookside nasal bush. Tracksuit, curly wig, black moustache and cries of “calm down, calm down.” Not a great look.
There was no chance of a recovery.
A moustache in the 90s was only accepted as part of a goatee.
Today, the moustache is a rarity.
Rather than being accompanied by a beard, the moustache is so rare it would be no surprise to find it accompanied by a whispering Sir David Attenborough and his wildlife camera crew peeking out from the bushes. Moustaches in the Mist.
Moustaches are like the dinosaurs. They seemed to die out overnight.
So self-conscious have I become of my moustache that I find myself explaining its appearance on my face before engaging in conversation with people.
“In case you’re wondering,” I find myself saying, “I’m growing this for charity.”
It’s the sort of comment the quick-witted should come back with “And which charity are you growing the nose for?”
I don’t feel the need to explain any other bodily adornment. You don’t hear me opening a conversation: “In case you’re wondering, the tie was a gift.”
So far, I have been likened to Paul McCartney circa 1970 and George Roper off the sitcom of the same era George and Mildred.
The only compliment I have received for my tash came secondhand from my wife.
A friend of hers pulled her to one side and said she thought I suited a moustache. My wife, naturally, raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“But,” her friend continued. “Doesn’t it feel horrible when you kiss him.”
My wife answered: “I don’t know, we haven’t kissed.”
Given I’d been growing it for about 10 days, it was the friend’s turn to raise a quizzical eyebrow.
To which my wife gave the perfect response. “Well,” she said. “We are married, you know.”
l You can support Richard’s Movember efforts by logging onto www.justgiving.com/Richard-Ord100 and donating a penny a bristle, or a straight 50p or more. So far his wife has offered £10 for the lot to be shaved off immediately.
She fears he’s one step from the morphing into the full Tom Selleck Magnum PI look.
Hmm, now there’s a thought...