By Geoffrey Rowan
TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2011 — Tonight, or in the chill gray light of tomorrow’s early morning, thousands of men will stand before their bathroom mirrors, blade in hand, and they will hesitate.
A small voice inside their heads will say: “Damn, I look good.”
Then a louder voice, from outside their head, a voice from the next room, will snap them out of their revery. “Have you gotten rid of that thing yet?!”
It is the end of November, the end of Movember, and for many that means the end of an itchy flirtation with facial greatness. Some, a few, will make the bold decision to keep their mustaches, eschewing the loving arms of their partner for god knows how long. These men, as Shakespeare almost said, will go forward with pride, conviction and probably some cracker crumbs, soup juice, or other little bits of food. To these men, we raise our cups of mead and say: “Good luck with that whole porn ‘stache thing you’ve got going on there.”
No, my fair sub-nasal caterpillar;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one fuzzy man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear, (well maybe it yearns me a little);
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet a splendid Fu Manchu,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more covered lip!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach for pubic hair around his mouth,
Let him depart to his bathroom sink; his passport shall be made,
And Aqua Velva to sting upon his face;
We would not groom in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to let his freak flag fly with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He who’s Salvador Dali or Charlie Chaplin outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will twirl his ends when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall remain hirsute of upper lip, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his balaclava and show his Rollie Fingers,
And say ‘These hairy tendrils I kept on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages, though maybe not in the marriage bed
What barbering he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Yosemite Sam, Gene Shalit, Groucho Marx, and Tom Selleck –
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we hairy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that wears whiskers with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed and clean shaven
Shall think themselves accurs’d they have naked faces,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That twirled his mustache with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.