I am happy to say that my own personal Cookie Duster has reached maturity. I know this because I stopped shaving for three days and at the end of that time, a mustache could still be discerned. It is an official mustache, and I feel I should throw it a coming-of-age party or something. A Bar Mustache. It's an important time for a guy, when people don't need to be told that you have a mustache, even if you're talking face to face. Sometimes it's nice to eschew the razor for a weekend, then shave on Monday morning and enjoy the contrast.
The Chaplin-Hitler Reversal
Well, it doesn't take much for a fellow's mustache style to fall out of fashion, does it? One little world war, and your carefully tended "Chaplin" mustache becomes the laughingstock of the free world! I would wager that 'round about 1939 a number of men felt a new chill on their upper lip. What a turnaround. The time from Chaplin's first feature film (The Kid, 1921) to Hitler's position as Chancellor in 1933 was only twelve years, but one hundred eighty degrees in public opinion. Now I can't recall seeing anyone in modern times (!) with a similar mustache. Except for maybe the main guard in A Clockwork Orange, but I'm not sure if he had the full square or just a shortened version of the Cop Mustache. Groucho Marx's greasepaint mustache was definitely rectangular, but too wide to be confused for the Chaplin/Hitler model. It's a shame that this mustache has acquired such a bad association. It certainly looks easy to maintain!
I've noticed that many people seem to have the wrong idea of what actually constitutes a Fu Manchu mustache and a Handlebar mustache. i think the main fault lies in the tiny amount of men who actually have these out-of-fashion Dusters. It's hard to remember exactly what the terms mean if they have fallen into disuse over the years.
A Fu Manchu mustache is a
style made popular by a series of adventure novels and
films of the 30s and 40s. Its main characteristic is the
length of the ends of the mustache. It is crucial to note
that the ends of the Fu Manchu do not touch the
face. The wearer lets the ends of his 'stache grow
extremely long, sometimes braiding them or attaching
small beads to the end, as the gunfighter Gallandro did
in Alan Deam Foster's Han Solo and the Lost Legacy
(sorry - this has stuck in my mind since childhood). Mike
Piazza does not have a Fu Manchu mustache. It does appear
like one, but it is not the True Fu Manchu. It is a Faux
That's the end of another Cookie Duster. Stay tuned for more important news and views about the Hair O'er the Lip. Drop me a line with any questions, comments, or 'stache reports - XianRex@mustachesummer.com - and I'll make you a star.
I must dash off to another showing of Tombstone, so until next week, Make Mine Mustache!
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