D’ya hear yer man

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Unofficial moustache growing project

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to grow a moustache and during November I’ve decided to give it a whirl.

To assume I’m taking part in the annual moustache-growing fest known as Movember would be incorrect, however the fact that I’m cultivating a moustache while others do the same to raise funds and awareness for men’s health is no coincidence.

I’m using Movember as cover for an unofficial moustache growing project. It’s not that I’m begrudging of charity or the important work that’s being done to raise awareness, it’s just I am missing one of the key requirements needed to take part in Movember, ie, the ability to grow a moustache. I’ve always been a little light in the facial hair department and my encounter with puberty did little to change that.

In fact, the more I think of it, I feel more than a little cheated by puberty. Like most teenage boys, I looked on with a mixture of fear and awe as my face started to sprout hair from places that had previously lain fallow. By the time I’d reached upper sixth I’d begun to get a handle on my facial hair only to be given another follicle-related dilemma when my hairline began to exhibit the opposite trend.

During my university years I tried to cover up ‘the big recession’ with a unkempt Indie mop, but I was fooling no one. I’ve never been so glad the day I finally took the razor to it and embraced my status as a slaphead.

In total, I reckon I only experienced six or seven years of optimum hair growth when both the hair on my head and on my face multiplied exponentially.

But even during those glory years, and in the preceding years until now, I’ve never been able to grow a decent moustache.

But rather than let my losing battle with hair retention get the better of me I’m going to make one final attempt to go moustachio.

Just as those taking part in Movember are instructed to do, I entered the month of November completely clean shaven with the aim of ending the month with something hairy and intimidating on my upper lip.

Admittedly it hasn’t got off to the best of starts. On Monday in work, the fifth day of my bid to exercise my moustache demons, no one noticed anything different about my face. Even when I pointed out to people I was growing a moustache I was met with disbelief that my feathery upper lip was in fact displaying five days growth.

But the genius of my plan is that it doesn’t matter how things work out with my attempt.

As I’m not actually taking part in Movember there’s no pressure to succeed in growing a tache fit for a king.

Nor do I have to worry that people will laugh at my pathetic attempt to sprout whiskers because, although I’m not taking part in Movember, strangers will assume I am and give me a large degree of leeway.

Even if it does work out and people start to notice a darkening of my upper lip I’ll not be keeping the tache for any longer than 24 days.

I’ve never actually wanted a moustache, I’ve just wanted the option.

In Northern Ireland, taches proved to be quite popular during the Troubles in the 70s and 80s. It’s probably a good thing that a moustache-based fundraising event didn’t exist back then otherwise it could have been hijacked by paramilitaries and used as a means of racketeering.

Speaking of rackets, our noisy little daughter turns one on November 24 and that’s the key reason why I’m not going the whole hog with my attempts to grow a mo.

A first birthday is a momentous occasion and the last thing I want is to be pictured with Lucy on my knee, reading her ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, while she reels in horror at the very malnourished caterpillar on my upper lip.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser of how to cook a 9-minute egg with a 4-minute and a 7-minute timer was: 1. Flip both timers over and start cooking the egg. 2. When the 4-minute timer runs out, flip it over (4 minutes elapsed, 3 remaining on the 7-minute timer). 3. When the 7-minute timer runs out, flip it over. (7 minutes elapsed, 1 remaining in the 4-minute timer) 4. When the 4-minute timer runs out, flip the 7-minute timer over. (8 minutes elapsed. 6 minutes remained in the 7-minute timer, but flipping it over leaves one minute’s worth of sand on top. When it runs out exactly nine minutes will have elapsed.

Here’s this week’s teaser: What seven-letter word has hundreds of letters in it?