In honor of all of you out there growing that moustache for Movember, I’ve put together a little list of the greatest nosehairs that ever hit the literary scene. Got some other good ones I missed?
No list of literary ‘staches would be complete without Mr. Clemens, so let’s get it out of the way up front. This moustache is robust and full-bodied, but you get the sense that it’s all business—it even looks like a frown. This moustache has no time for tomfoolery and japes, and one senses the shame it feels over its bearer’s propensity for humorous writing. Please, Mark, you can hear it urging, let’s have some dignity.
This moustache is an iconoclast if ever I’ve seen one. This one has the courage of its convictions—while some moustaches might kowtow to the societal pressure that facial hair should match one’s head of hair, this ‘stache, to paraphrase the great poet Lindsay Buckingham, goes its own way. It asserts its individual identity, and the playful turning up of the edges are like a wink. That’s right, this moustache tells you, you might not approve, but I know who I am.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur’s moustache wants to spread its wings and soar. It’s been beholden to its bearer for too long, and it longs to fly the coop and be on its own. But we all know Doyle and his moustache are too close to part ways, and you sense that the moustache knows it too. Like a kid with big hopes caught in a small town, it’ll sit by the window and watch the world go by, dreaming, always dreaming.
This moustache clearly comes from a planet with an entirely different gravitational pull, so that here on Earth it finds itself drawn to the ground. It tries with all its might to stand tall and make Gustave proud, but it’s pulled down inextricably. No matter how hard it tries, this moustache will go through life with slumped shoulders and a hung head, dragging its feet as it slouches through the days. Also, it kind of makes Gustave look like Droopy the Dog.
Old Friedrich’s ‘stache doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going. This moustache has simply taken on too much, and it finds itself scattered, pulled in ten directions at once. It wants to juggle everything, to have it all, but it just can’t get its life together. Sometimes, late at night, it catches a glimpse of itself in the bathroom mirror, and it sighs, thinking, Well moustache, is it worth it? Will you ever have that family you always said you wanted? Will you ever see the Himalayas? And it goes back to bed, but it lies awake for hours, wondering how a nice, decent moustache like Kurt Vonnegut’s manages to present such a respectable face to the world. Then it makes plans to pour sugar in Kurt Vonnegut’s moustache’s gas tank tomorrow night. That’ll show it.