When boys begin to change to men often the first visible sign is the fuzz under the nose that has started to darken. This sign, the beginning of the horn of masculinity, is a young man’s pride. Often it is coaxed to grow by prayer, and often waxed with olive oil to make it darker for a better impression on the girls.
Maybe the reason for a mustache at all, is that our Maker meant it to deter flies. Much like a man’s hair in the ears and eyelashes and brows around the eye.
I’ve had a mustache, or something like a mustache, for a long time. I’ve had a full mustache, one that sits on top of the lip like a wide push broom. I’ve manicured a thin mustache, just above the lip, to emulate Clark Gable’s. I’ve had a mustache that swoops down and up to blend with furry mutton chops.
I’ve proudly displayed a formation of hair under my nose referred to a handlebar mustache. The maintenance of such a configuration is demanding, and requires frequent self inspection. This self-inspection borders on being feminine. If it wasn’t for the growth, the obvious symbol of masculinity, requiring a man to look at one’s self, carrying a small can of wax the size of snuff in one’s pocket, I would say it is a sissified ritual.
On one occasion I had run out of mustache wax. After a hot, morning shower a handlebar mustache needs wax! That morning I had to substitute for the wax. I, the ever problem solver, simply chose a dab from the can of brown Kiwi shoe polish. Good choice, until I got to work and sipped on a fresh hot cup of coffee. Let me tell you, melted shoe polish not only tastes horrible, but it tends to stain one’s teeth.
I have grown, trained and shaped a multitude of mustaches, however, I’ve have never sported one like Adolf.
Nowadays they have trimmers and special combs for a guy to primp with. In the olden days a straight razor was used. If you had two bits one could get a mustache trim and a haircut. I hate to think what a gal, fresh out of beauty school, would dowse me with? Also, what contorted stances she’d be in to trim a guy’s source of pride.
I’m not a linguist; especially not in Latin. Schnurrbart is German for mustache. Schnurr simply means to sniff or smell. Bart means beard. To decipher, or find a root word for mustache does not make sense. Mustache = must ache?
A mustache has long been called a soup strainer. Be as it may, I can vouch for it being a flavor saver. The beauty of a mustache is that it has the much touted ability to supply a lingering aroma of the most recent cuisine a man has enjoyed. I have for hours enjoyed the rich aroma of parmesan cheese, thanks to my mustache. I have savored the scent of barbecue sauce offered to my nose. I have been reminded with the bouquet of garlic and fennel flavors from a lentil soup for hours, until I decided my deodorant had failed. To make sure, I left my company and sniffed myself, washed the growth around the mouth, until I was sure my dabbing and spritzing had not failed.