There really is no excuse for the moustache. It's over, out-of-date. Except of course when it's ironic and for a good cause. "Movember" is prostate cancer awareness month and the mo its adopted symbol. A good cause promoted by a hideous piece of facial hair. Er, okay, I think I can work with that. Which is why I decided to grow one last Movember.
We'd been watching a lot of re-runs of Magnum PI and if anyone in the world can get away with the moustache it's Tom Selleck. The way my girlfriend eyes him up - or at least eyes up his frozen-in-time 80s avatar - that mo was adding a tonne of testosterone to the Magnum schtick. Stupidly, I always thought it was the Ferrari.
So I had a moustache role model who was cool. Someone to balance all the moustache role models who aren't: Dr Phil, traffic cops, Hitler.
What next? Oh yes, actually grow one. Which involves not doing something. Not doing something is very appealing to the male psyche. We're very good with inertia.
So I did nothing and after a week I had something vaguely identifiable as facial hair. I then reasoned that I needed to shave everything except the moustache bit to draw out the full glory of what would remain.
Which turned out to be a nasty, straggly, wispy arrangement that was unpleasant to look at. It made me look like I was permanently stuck in puberty. Or about to apply for a job in a bank.
I braced myself for withering comments, but my girlfriend, remarkably, made approving noises. I figured that must be some of Tom Selleck's residual hypnotic power over her.
Then I caught a whiff of something. Not completely odious, just a new smell, especially late in the day. Then I realised that it was the 'tache. I hadn't banked on that. If you have a lot of hair under your nose, a nose which has hitherto spent its life smelling nothing but fresh air and roses, then your sense of smell spots something different and fires off an angry memo to your brain.
Then I started to worry. Sure it was Movember but how many people knew that? Would they think I was gay? Or worse, would they think I was misguided? I checked in with a few friends who'd signed on for the month. Two were also sporting unsavoury, wispy mo's, one even more pathetic in its hair-per-square-centimetre count than mine. One said his girlfriend had offered to donate money to the prostate cancer research if he didn't grow a moustache. I lent him a Magnum PI DVD.
Was Movember catching on? A radio station in Ashburton tried to do its own Movember promotion and got a surly legal letter from the "owners" of the Movember concept in Australia. Everything's intellectual property these days, even helping.
I persevered. I wanted to see if it was physically possible to approach the giddy heights of the Selleckian lip forest. I wanted to perfect my "Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau" impersonation. I wanted to help some Australians build intellectual property.
Then I realised it wasn't the mo that was the problem, it was evolution. We have simply moved on. It's a bit like going for a drive in a Hillman Imp. You realise that compared to a modern car, they're rubbish. Same with the mo - it belongs in the It's So Over department with fob watches, garters and cravats. The last gasps of Edwardianism all, and they have no rightful place in modern life (except in the hands of throwbacks who choose such items as part of some kind of rebellious personal iconography, like a bow-tie wearing university lecturer).
It's no-go for the mo. It started with Magnum PI and ended up with something repulsive growing on my top lip.
Hopefully, with time, prostate cancer and the mo can both be deleted from society as a job lot.
Movember runs for the month of November. Proceeds raised by the Movember Foundation will be split between The Cancer Foundation of NZ for prostrate cancer research and support services, and The NZ Mental Health Foundation's 'Out of The Blue' campaign to help men experiencing depression.