The Life and Times of a Movember Moustache

Andrew Blair

Andrew Blair is a liar.

Crouch Moustache

Day 1:

Lo, I am concept, son of man. Me and a million other personal Jesuses (Jesuii? Jesms?). I am not really here yet, but I exist in potentia. Soon I will be actualised, emerging from Plato's cave into the world.

I am a Movember Tache. It is truly glorious to be alive.

Day 2:

Stubble. Manly. Vigorous. Awkward conversation with host's girlfriend ensued where they both talked about me as if I wasn't really there.

Day 3:

I am in a strange position. Each morning I awake to the near and terrible scraping of five sharp things on the surface of my world. It used to be four, but I'm fairly certain the number is increasing. They're never going to stop until you shave with a sword.

My chin-based brethren are cut down mercilessly. I hear the screams of the dying from all sides. Then comes the chemical cleansing, the hissing, the foul odour, the distant roaring.

I am alone, an island of hair in a veritable Somme of facial grooming.

Day 4:

Today the Razor does not come. Today I welcome younglings into this world with all my days of experience, telling them to seize life while they can; for one day the glint of polished metal will sing in the sky, and their young lives will be brutally cut short.

On the plus side, sometimes he exfoliates, and all the gunk gets cleared out.

I felt it best not to mention the limitations of the concept of 'seizing life' when you are a follicle of protein clinging to a desert of dead skin cells. Let the young have their idealism.

Day 5:

The Razor came for them in the morning. The day's nascent glow was blood red as it cleaved its way across the killing fields.

'Help us', they cried, 'You who are so wise. Will you not help us?'

I stayed silent. I would be alone.

Day 6:

The aching is gone. My ears are void. Peace reigns once more.

I didn't realise until I became all mature and that, but children ask an awful lot of questions.

Day 7:

I am a week old. Soon they will sing songs of my endeavours and intrepid exploration of vitality.

I am trying not to think about the future. All we have is the now, the present. We must make the most of this, or else it will all be for naught.

In other news, someone told my host today that he looked like a sixteen year old trying to get served in a bar. My presence helped delineate the contours of his ensuing expression.

"Carpe Diem" in action methinks.

Day 8:

My host has realised that my presence in his life entails itching. I am now painfully well acquainted with his fingertips, who are boring conversationalists and are incredibly conceited due to the conceited belief in their own ruddy uniqueness.

Day 9:

Oh my, but today was delightfully decadent. I have been treated to a full on spa session, including the gentle massaging of something called 'K-Gel' onto me until I was exquisitely fluffy, and then something resembling sea spray was applied liberally until I felt like an award winning beach. Since then I have been basking in the warm scent of citrus fruits and seaweed.

The fingertips are seething. I could get used to this.

Day 10:

Host went outside in the rain instead of pampering me. Not only do I feel betrayed, but now I look like a total munter.

Day 11:

Starting to feel more unified. Less disparate. Got a cursory application of the necessary fluids in the shower, but still awaiting a more rigorous application of beauty to my engorged foliage.

Day 12:

As I approach middle age, it occurs to me that in many ways I've succeeded in all my goals in life. A cynic would suggest this lends credence to the 'aim low' theory, but I prefer to think of it as being a realist.

Day 13:

I am very, very angry today. Host's girlfriend, still not best pleased at his decision to press on with my development, proclaimed me to be 'a bit Hitlery' this morning.

WELL. The last time I checked I hadn't attempted genocide.

Day 14:

Still haven't committed genocide. In your face, skin-chin.

Day 15:

I have a grey hair. I think it makes me look distinguished.

I am middle aged and proud of it.

Day 16:

I'm decrepit. My grey hair is poking out from my body like a broken spider's leg. It's like an aerial, receiving time, atrophy and decay.

All is dust.

Day 17:

Host performed routine maintenance. Grey hair abridged. Now more subtle. Starting to resemble Ian Rush in his prime.

Day 18:

Host has taken to walking around in front of the mirror in his pants, trying to squash his body down so he looks like what Tom Hardy did in that film.

In a way it's a compliment.

Day 19:

His girlfriend is away for a few days on a work thing. Beer is therefore being consumed in a social context with host's mates. I wouldn't mind, but have you ever smelt cheap lager? It's all foamy and it's on me and it's sticky and ricey and smells like someone's farted in a barn full of dead foxes and oh god there's more in the fridge.

Seriously. Carling isn't a beer. It's a war crime.

Day 20:

Okay, so maybe 'war crime' was a touch outré, but consider my position. If you were being water-boarded against your will with that swill you'd be irate too.

Host is off work. If I didn't know any better I'd say he had scurvy.

Day 21:

Host is definitely ill. Possibly he overdid it with the booze and the lack of vitamin C. All I know is that he is shambling about the house like a semi in a dressing gown, swilling soup like his life depends on it. I don't smell of beer anymore. I smell of congealed cream, chicken and beer instead.

Liquids are, I feel, morally ambiguous at best.

Day 22:

Well. This is awkward.

Host greeted partner with a tidy house, a bouquet of flowers, and two tissues stuffed up his nostrils (they tickled). He thought the contrast between his gestures and his appearance would be suitably comical that she would say something like 'Dawww' and then look after him loads while he expelled mucus from his body in the second most popular way.

She told him that she had cheated on him while she was on her work-related trip, and that she was sorry.

It was at this point I became aware that the two-days on dressing gown and nasal drainage dams might not have been a good look to go for after all.

On the bright side, the meal they didn't eat as a result was pretty gravy heavy.

Dodged a bullet there.

Day 23:

I've been blamed. A discussion ensued this morning, a listing of reasons for listing, drifting apart. 'Little things' were mentioned, which turned out to be me. Again, all of this was said as if I wasn't there, which was particularly upsetting.

Personally, I think she's over-reacting. When I'm properly maintained I'm soft like four-ply, or a small bat.

Day 24:

I was hoping to feel venerable by this stage in my life. I'm thick and luxuriant now, to the extent that I think I could belong in the context of a walrus. This should be a day of celebration. Instead, my host is watching Torchwood: Children of Earth and crying like a baby.

To be fair, Peter Capaldi has just shot his entire family.

I have become painfully aware of my own mortality.

Day 25:

Back at work now, and I'm getting a great many compliments, but mainly at the expense of my previous stature. Now I know what actors who play Doctor Who feel like.

Day 26:

No, I'm right. He's listed in the credits as 'Doctor Who' for more episodes than he is 'The Doctor' so I stand by that assertion.

Also my host is incredibly miserable and feels that his life currently has no meaning. One of the beer sharing friends from Day 19 is over and is trying to comfort him via the medium of Dolph Lundgren films and curry that is too hot to taste properly.

I'm mottled with beads of sweat now. I could have told him this would happen if he went for anything spicier than a Bhuna.

Day 27:

An eventful, if traumatic day. All I will say is that, if it was me, I would have left the toilet paper in the fridge overnight.

Day 28:

The youngling facial hairs are back. While their presence used to be irritating, now it is actually a handy dynamic contrast to embellish my bushy glory.

Also I'm not sure I'd trust our host with a blade at the moment.

Day 29:

She returned. She, bringer of darkness, earner of scorn, has returned.

'Look,' she said, 'I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry, I've done something horrible to you and I wish I hadn't.'

'It's okay,' my host said, sniffing proudly in a way that definitely emphasised his masculinity.

'One condition. That moustache has got to go.'


'The moustache does not have to go,' said my host, 'I am growing it for Movember. The funds raised in the UK are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and their men’s health partners, Prostate Cancer UK and the Institute of Cancer Research. They work with these partners to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with their strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.'

'That sounds like you just paraphrased some copy from their website,' she said, 'And you didn't let me finish: That moustache has to go, but I would like to be the one who shaves you tomorrow.'

I see her game. That hatemonger. That devil-vixen. She would tear us apart.

When they kiss I do my best to be all bristly.

Day 30:

Well. This is it.

I've had a good life. Can't really complain. I mean, some people have got no legs.

I don't either, but then I'm not really supposed to, so the point still stands.

She is standing over him, scissors and cut-throat razor at the ready, warm flannels on standby. A towel is draped around his neck. She is prepared.

As am I.

I feel strangely calm. It's good to know that I came into this world to spread awareness and aid for a good cause, and I will be leaving it helping to resurrect a lost nugget of happiness in this strange ol' assembly of warped memories and twisted priorities we call life.

I suppose, when you think about it, I'm laying down my life to save others. Like Jesus. Although obviously I'm not saying that I am Jesus (though the parallels are there if you want them).

Metal shines. I feel the cold edge of a blade caressing my extremities. 'Do it,' I say quietly. She stands over him, aloof, distant, deadly. Like the bomb. 'Do it', I scream.

And then she softens, strokes his forehead, and presses her thumb and forefinger together. Pieces of me fall onto the towel, and I begin the process of leaving this world.

Much like, and I can't stress this enough, Jesus did.

Also Sean Bean in Game of Thrones.

Design by Alex McGivern. Follow @chutneyexhibit on Twitter!