A Must Dash Encounter

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I was standing in the queue at Starbucks. It was long and all the other customers were seemingly dithering on purpose.

‘What would you like sir?’

‘Umm…’

‘What would you like miss?’

‘Err…’

Had they not thought about their order while they were waiting? Had they not considered the options while they were standing in my position? I fidgeted in agitation. I glared at each customer who caused to pause and shifted impatiently at each panicked expression that flickered over the coffee menu. I sighed heavily and cast a glance at the customers who had managed to make a decision and were sitting enjoying their mugs of mermaid juice.

At least I think that lady in their logo is a mermaid.

‘What would you like?’

Finally, my turn.

‘A cinnamon latte please.’ I glared at the others who had just gone before me; clustering around the other end of the counter waiting for their indecisive drinks and hoping, probably, that they hadn’t made a mistake. My clarity felt like power.

My Christmas in a cup eventually came, I mean I was in a hurry, I had somewhere to be, but I wasn’t about to rush out without first adding three sachets of sugar. Then I saw him. I was casually pouring in the sugar. Casually looking around. When I had to suddenly suppress a chuckle.

A man had taken a slurp of his beverage and had suddenly acquired a white frothy moustache upon his cleanly shaven face. I wasn’t sure if he was playing around or just hadn’t noticed. I mean how can you not notice the warm wet feeling of billions of bubbles on your lip?

His face drifted in my direction and I was able to see the majestic symmetrical smudge of white speckled with brown chevron plastered on his face.

He noticed me staring.

I hadn’t notice him noticing me staring.

He smiled.

I watched the froth smile.

I smiled.

Then he wiped it away.

My smile disappeared and I allowed my eyes to drift up to meet his. They were creased into a bemused expression and were brimming with expectation. I suddenly felt indignant and walked over to his table.

‘Here’s a napkin, you missed a spot.’

I then walked out. The hairless wonder watched me leave. Confused and slighted. I hollered back with no real intention for him to hear.

‘I preferred you with the tache.’

For a moment I admit, I had felt vulnerable. The joker had spoiled the joke. The spectator had now become the display. I didn’t like it. He ruined our connection and seemed to think I would still play along.

Like hell, fool.

Besides I had somewhere to be.

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The Moustache

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Is it me or has there been a sudden epidemic of moustaches lately? They are noticeably everywhere now and not just upon men’s upper lip; they’ve managed to integrate themselves into the fashion industry as well. They are on T-shirts, mugs, necklaces and rings; the amount of merchandise that surrounds this ‘tache’ is phenomenal. I mean who knew a little black symbol could create such an explosion of unabashed commercialism so quickly?

And how exactly did it manage to do this? One simple answer; Movember.

Movember was the pivotal point; the moment when the taboo became the trendsetter. Before Movember came along the idea of sporting hair on your face was considered severely unattractive, in Britain as least, women would see one and instantly feel nauseated. I certainly never looked at a man who had a moustache with awe, more, mockery and surprise. The moustache belongs to the weirdo’s, the rocker’s, the Dali enthusiasts and the upper class… upper lip – upper class… maybe there is a correlation there? Hum… anyway it’s not cool to have one, it’s unsightly and an instant turn off.

Or so it was…

A modern man’s ego is a precious thing; so delicate and easily unbalanced. Seeking approval from women was once their main priority, moustaches were off and beards were most certainly never spoken of, until…

A gauntlet was thrown.

The essence of man was called into question and a game of manly proportions had begun.

Thanks to some innovative marketing strategies the Movember challenge was born. It was created to raise awareness for men’s health, specifically for prostate and testicular cancer. For the entire month of November men must grow a moustache. Any man who was able to do this would be considered a true man and an invaluable asset to their goal to ‘become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.’

A truly brilliant idea and an obvious success story when you consider the momentum that it has created in its aftermath. Men do it to prove their worth and women support it because it is for a good cause… and now the opinion about this moustache has suddenly shifted. I for one am now converted, seeing my man with one didn’t make me ill like I thought it would… I liked it. I thought it was sexy. Yes. Yes I did and I supported my man so much that I made him keep his ‘tache’ a week longer than he needed to…

It’s funny how in other countries the moustache is revered and yet, for a long time, Britain looked upon it with a peculiar disdain. Now thanks to THE ultimate man challenge and hipsters it’s become acceptable, well, kind of… some women are still not wholly convinced… yet…

Men can wear one with pride now because it is visual proof of their manliness… and if they failed? Well there is always next year… let’s just hope puberty kicks in by then!