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A Punchline for your Face

by Dylan Muhlenberg / 04.11.2010

Together with the marketers of beauty products I am responsible for making men wake up an hour earlier every morning. It’s because of me that men now wash their face using five-step grooming regimes instead of with soap. That whereas before their bathroom cabinet’s comprised toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, razor and deodorant it’s now overflowing with superfluous product that sheens, shines, lifts, holds, epilates, fertilizes… By helping to inflate male vanity to female levels of preening (and spending) I have been rewarded with sheltered employment where I do hardly any work and am lavished with press gifts. I am a grooming editor. Thank you for exfoliating.

Seven years in the position has taken its toll: the back of my left hand looks ten years younger than the right, which is from testing the texture of moisturisers, it is radiant, elastic, nourished and emits a warm healthy glow. Just like my neatly chiselled, well-groomed handsome face. My bi-weekly haircut costs R150, but my money is no good at the salon that insists on cutting and styling it for free. I have spritzed so many scents onto the inside of my wrist that I permanently smell like the cosmetic stand at Edgars. I chat up girls by commenting on the heart note of their fragrance, then keep them interested by divvying out some of my press gifts and beauty product.

So you can see why I take grooming so seriously, and I’m sure that you’ll empathise my utter contempt for my bald-faced brethren using the month of November to grow a moustache. A moustache is the mark of the well-groomed gentleman, not a punchline for your face. Which isn’t to say that I’m not serious about cancer…


In Std.4 I was asked to line up alongside my schoolmates and cough while a nurse placed a spoon under our balls, and years later a doctor tested my prostate by having finger sex with my bum. So yes, I’ve paid my dues, and without having to employ my moustache to fight these battles for me.

The only thing that irks me more than the contraction ‘mo’ is that instead of using a rubber bracelet or a satin ribbon for their cause, whoever came up with the idea of a ‘Men’s Health’ month decided to appropriate the moustache and in doing so turn it into a farce.

Mo’vember is nothing more than an excuse for the type of man who is forced to dress smart to the office – something he interprets as pleated, oversized chinos, blousey shirts, too wide ties and shoes that are big, black, sometimes buckled and made by Bronx – to ironically grow a ‘mo’.

The mo-bro’s then hyuck-hyuck around the water-cooler, comparing witticisms like ‘flavour-saver’ and believe that the hair above their lip entitles them to talk and act like a cunt.

And this is why I have such a problem with Mo’vember, and why I’ve decided to grow my nails in anticipation for Clawgust. And I’ll use these claws to go Wolverine on the first person who calls my attempt to camouflage a harelip a ‘mo’.

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