Competetive Mustache Growth

It is now the beginning of april, and the competetive mustache growth season is about to be in full swing. Although it has been many years since I have competed in an actual sporting event, I am this year going to be a veteran mustache competition competetor.

See The Competition Here!

This preformance last year got me to the semi-finals winning me a can of chicken (yes there is canned chicken) and a disposable razor. Hopefully I can outdo myself and present a figure of unequaled dirtiness. (Any suggestions are welcome)

For ginandtacos viewer enjoyment, I am going to present a diary of me seeking the goal of mustache man 2004.

Jump to a day:
|April 10 |April 11 |April 13 |April 16 |April 22 |April 25 |April 26 |

But first:

A bit of history

Throughout history, the growth of hair on the upper lip of a man has signified his entrance into the prestigious ranks of the dignified elite. However, in modern times the mustache has fallen from grace. Although it would seem perfectly natural for a man over the age of 40 to have a fine growth of lip hair, for those of us younger there is really no excuse. In our generation the mustache is only prominently displayed by homosexuals, nascar/ WWF fans, child molesters, and non-american computer science and physics students. Much like the ever-curious mullet, the mustache seems to transcend traditional cultural barriers to exist in many forms for many people. It is nearly impossible to define as a single entity in any context other than the disgust it invokes.

To wear it with pride places you into a unique category of person who either seems to care little about what those around you think, or are truly clueless about the image you are portraying. Often I am inclined to think it is the later. I am reminded of one particular, absurd, waxed mustache I saw at a Man or Astroman concert. This creepy fellow was so insanely proud of his preposterous growth that he seemed completely unaware of the fact that he was serving as a large joke for my friends and me. In fact, he took the comment, "That has to be fake….right," as a compliment to his growth ability and continued to sit with us for several hours despite several table moves. In retrospect we should have probably been more blunt with the clueless individual.

–"Excuse me sir, your facial hair makes you look like an Irish boxer circa 1890 who engages in perverse sexual practices, possibly with kittens or sheep."–

That said, and considering the fact that I am several days into growing one myself, I think it is only apt to point out that there have been many fine examples of this facial hair demonstrated throughout history.
Tom Selleck for example. Mr. Selleck's portrayal of Magnum PI was integral in making this television show one of the greatest crime dramas of all time. Tom Selleck's mustache was integral to this role. Sure he had the Ferrari, the Hawaiian shirts, the chest hair, the frequent Vietnam War flashbacks, but it was really the prominently displayed mustache that made the character.
When McKinley was assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States in 1901. Although leaving behind him one of the most shameless legacies of American Imperialism, damn he sported that mustache well. It basically jumps off his face. It tells the casual observer that yes, he has in fact hunted large game in Africa, and yes, he does have the head of exotic animals he has killed mounted on his walls.
Hero of pseudo-intellectual prostitutes worldwide Friedrich Nietzsche sported one of the most powerful and awe inspiring mustaches the philosophical world ever encountered. It is conceivable that it was this prolific upper-lip growth that caused generations of fucking tools that quote philosophy in coffee shops in an attempt to get laid to overlook Nietzsche's "advice your mom would give you before your first day of kindergarten" philosophy and closet fascism. This was truly one of the mustaches finest hours.

So now, you might wonder why, with my obvious high regard for mustaches, that I am growing one once again. The answer is quite simple, honor….and possibly a case of beer. In other words, I am once again crossing into the underground, fast-paced world of competetive mustache growth. Here are the rules of the game. On the 5th of April I had to show up at the bar with a clean shaven upper lip. On the twenty-sixth of April I will need to once again show my face at the bar, hopefully with a powerful mustache. (One can only hope) My goal is to present you, my three avid readers, with up to date information on how the contest is progressing.

Very early am, April 10th

Well, the contest started on monday evening, and it is now very late on friday or very early saturday depending on how you look at it. I could present some elaborate story as to why I didn't start this diary until 5 days into the contest, but really the truth is that I had no digital camera until today. I suppose I could have documented my upper lip hair in text, but there really seems to be no point. Further, this is really the first point after I was clean shaven where I have exceeded normal bounds of shaving etiquette. I am beginning to look more than a little bit swarthy, and am feeling a bit uncomfortable about it. Typically I like to fancy myself to be fairly clean. I guess I will have to get over that….

Presented for your approval are two mustache comeptition competetors I found this evening while drinking.

Mike Rieger.

This year Mike is a new comer to the competition, but already you will notice that his mustache seems to be progressing quite nicely. He has the distinct advantage of having dark mustache hair. This he ascribed to his "Latin lineage" The rest of us pale northern Europeans are going to have to play catch up. Our naturally blond upper lips create a much less profound impact. This is not to say that northern Europeans don't grow mustaches, but rather that it takes them many long painful years to obtain a full one.

Mark Newton

Mark shows some signs of the blond stache, however he does not suffer from it nearly to the degree that I do. It is also important to not that Mark is also going for the ever popular, "beard then mustache" approach. This can be due to a variety of factors, however typically can be traced directly back to either having a job/ girlfriend. For whatever reason neither of these look too kindly on the mustache variety of facial hair. Mark is a past competitor, I know from experience that he can grow some thick facial hair and will be one to watch this year.

Now I am feeling pretty dirty about this facial hair at the moment. I decided that the only possible recourse that I have is to drink Old Style and express my hatred for various local bands. Suprisingly it made me feel quite a bit better about myself.

As one can probably tell from this photo, I was succeeding marvelously at the tasks I set before myself. Well, the drinking of Old Style was going fairly well at least.

This of course says nothing to the growth of my mustache. For this, I present this evidence.

I know it doesn't look like much now, however it really is reassuring to me that when digitally zoomed in my mustache actually seems to be present. For the moment I am happy about this.

I will write more about this when I have some more pictures and more to write. Currently I have two weeks and two days to get this mustache to grow in.

Around eight in the pm, Sunday April 11th.

This weekend was a bit insignificant as far as mustache growth was concerned. Due to my impending birthday and Easter I was at my parents house. Due to the fact that they were taking me to a fairly expensive dinner and I well….looked like a trucker who had been on the road for 5 days without enough amphetamines. Good times, anyway, I decided before going that I should clean up the neck and such making it look like I was actually trying to grow a proper beard.

Here is my post beard trimming

Much to my suprise for nearly 24 hours of being at my parents house they did not comment on my beard. This probably indicates that…. "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all"…

The other intriguing implication is that I apparently did a good enough job shaping my beard growth that they beleived that I was honestly growing one…I guess that is good.

As a side note, I am getting a bit frustrated by the ever increasing itch present on my face. This whole facial hair thing is not that much fun. So I crafted a calendar on the chalkboard in my apartment. It made me feel a bit better about myself.

2:35 in the am after drinking on April 13th.

My beard is really beginning to get on my nerves. It is itching horribly and I am beginning to look like an unemployed derelict. However, I can't really complain too much. I suppose that I knew this was going to happen. To my credit another man told me that I looked stunning this evening….I suppose I should be thrilled

I am not going show any pictures of myself this evening. I don't think there have been any serious mustache developements as far as I am concerned. I trimmed up the neck on the beard again, but these things are not really important.

However, I did catch up with this competitor this evening.

Barney is an exceptionally dedicated mustache competition competitor. It is possible that the competition was partially his idea. To evidence his commitment, I am fairly certain he is the only person to ever invite his mother to come and watch him compete. Unfortunately, last year he was disqualified for illegally applying mascara to his mustache hair in an attempt to thicken it.

As a side note, it would seem that someone decided to make profane hand gestures in front of my camera as I was taking the photo. This obscured half of Barney's mustache, hopefully you will be able to look at the visable half and get the picture.

hungover on April 16th.
Halfway There!

Last night was my 25th birthday. For reasons beyond my comprehension, every one of my birthdays seem to turn into some kind of drunken debacle you would expect from someone turning 21. Oh well, I guess this should just be chalked up to the life that I lead.

The obvious implications of my celebrating my birthday are

  • I am have a raging beast of a hangover today
  • Many good photos were taken last night

Lets start with some updates on some individuals I have displayed here before.

Mike Rieger.

Mike's mustache seems to be progressing nicely. Its fullness is nearly outweighed by its darkness. I feel that if he has the right stuff on stage he is going to be a serious contender this year, quite possibly a finalist or even Mr. Mustache 2004. Mike seems to be sporting a bit of a thin goatee thing on his face. The subject came up last night as to whether or not you can out-grow the goatee. I think the conversation was pointless since it is obvious that Mike's latin heritage gives him a whole different set of rules for acceptable facial hair growth.

Mark Newton

Mark is showing a very powerful beard at this stage in the game. The close up image of him is zoomed out a bit so that you can take in the full "grizzled" nature of his face. On the whole it looks like he will have substantial upper lip growth when the beard is removed. I am interested to see if he is going to adopt a similar mustache persona this year to last year (marlboro man) when in a true stroke of injustice he was eliminated in the first round.

Moose/ Barney

To begin with, that was me that is cropped out of the picture. I did not want my beard takings ones concentration away from Barney's stache.

It is at this point that I give Barney his propers for being one of the few competitors that has the nerve to remove all facial hair aside from the mustache. That said, I am getting a bit worried. It is low resolution, but the closeup of Barney's upper lip would indicate very little, or very light colored growth. Hopefully things turn around for him before the competition.

As for me, I had what is commonly referred to as "too good of a time" last night. I basically knew that it was all over when Tim Johnson handed me a glass of clear liquid that I promptly consumed. He looked a bit shocked and informed me it was the three wise men…I basically knew that it was going to go horribly wrong very very quickly from that point. Everything started out inocently enough.

I began my birthday at home. I tried to put on some nice cloths and cleaned myself up. This made me feel a bit better about the shady hair on my face. Unfortunately It has begun to itch horribly. This discomfort is a constant reminder to me that I am not a reputable clean shaven individual. (see attached figure)

I can only assume that all this itching is the result of truely prolific facial hair growth. However, it is not in my nature as a scientist to assume. On close examination it is clear that my mustache is coming in quite well. I am getting a bit nervous that it is coming in too light and not be as impressive as it could be. For this I am just going to have to wait and see.

As a final note, by the end of the evening I seemed quite proud of myself.

Very, very quickly after this picture was taking it began to sink in what I had done to myself. I was then a bit more frightened than proud.

April 22nd, nearly April 23rd

So, it is now April twenty-second. It has been since the day after my birthday that I last showed any progression in my beard growth. It has been a tough 6 days for beard growth. To put it simply, I have been tired and busy for the last several days. I could lie and say that it has been something more interesting that has kept me from updating, but it really isn't.

As can easily be read from the board behind me, there are only 4 more days until the competition. This means a couple things. First of all, I really need to get serious about getting a costume together. I don't want to put this off until the last minute and end up not being the best mustachioed man I can be. Second, I have precious little time for this to grow in any more.

The intense itching that I reported on the 16th has somewhat subsided. However, don't be fooled it certain still itches. In fact it was so horrible that I feel like I have removed a layer of skin underneath my beard scratching it. I have been getting so excited about shaving it off that last night a purchased a wide variety of balms and oils to make the experience as pleasant as possible. While purchasing these products probably dooms me to unflinching metrosexualdom, I am sure it will be worth it.

Lets get down to specifics. This is how the beard is looking today

It is getting fairly full. I am beginning to fear that people are now thinking me as that guy with the beard. As in: "Could you tell that guy with the beard to come over here." or, "who is Erik?" "Oh, he's the guy over there with the beard." I have also been told that it has red patches…I don't know about this I have not seen it myself but people seem to be sure about this. You know, this is all fantastic, but most of this will be shaved off on the 26th. The mustache is what is truly important.

The fear I have right now is that this mustache is going to stay too light and too thin to be effective. It really is quite thin, the flash from the camera I think is making it seem a bit fuller.

I can only hope I can pull it off.

Sunday Afternoon, April 25th

It is a quiet, overcast afternoon in Champaign, IL. Mustache competition competitors all around the city are sat about comtemplating the events of tomorrow afternoon. It is now a little more than 24 hours until many a mustache takes the stage and aside from gathering costume elements together, there is not much left to do. It is safe to say that we have as much mustache as we are going to grow. We can only hope that the application of waxes and appropriate shaving will carry us through the day.

That said, lets see how the mustaches are taking shape at this late hour.

Mark and me 42 hours before the competition

Mark and I were out at a Menthol show last night, letting pictures be taken of both of us. Trust me, I really was not as drunk as I seem in these photos. I am honestly not sure why I look so wasted in all of them. Oh well, I guess I was just not having a photogenic night.

I think that it has gotten to the point where closeups of the mustache are somewhat irrelevant. They are clearly there, and clearly visible. Let me point out that Mark has shaved a somewhat unique design into his face. This design is not all together different than his competition mustache last year. It will be interesting to see what form it takes tomorrow.

I however have not touched my beard since I last updated. After ordering the balms and oils I have decided to not let a razor touch my face until I have them. Consequently, FedEx tracking of the package claims it left the ramp in Indianapolis, IN at 6:28 AM on the 24th. This probably means that since about 8:00 am Saturday the package has been about two miles from my house. However, those bastards at FedEx require extra money to bring a package to your house on the weekend. Oh well, I will have it by monday.

Let me point out one more thing. I got a hair cut yesterday. I actually tried to call and shift my appointment to next week sometime. Basically my fear was that if I went in to get my hair cut with a beard, I would get a bearded man's haircut. (no, I have no idea if this is logical or not, but that is what I was thinking) The moral, if there is any moral, is that the woman that cuts my hair refused to let me move the appointment. When I told her the reason she informed me that if she didn't get to see my beard that she couldn't be held responsible for what happened to my hair. (I am not sure if that was the exact phrasing, but the sentiment was there)

Mike and Molly's mustache competition supporters Amy Couch and Valerie Deisinger (left to right) indicate their approval of the competition by pointing out their mustaches and more importantly by not breaking up with Mark and me (respectively) for spending the last three weeks growing mustaches.

This is truely disconcerting. This is a photograph of Mike Murphy, they owner of Mike and Molly's. The man's mustache is truely impressive. Lucky for all of us competing, I hear tale that the fact that he owns the joint precludes him from winning.

Well…..thats all for now, and probably the last update until after the competition. Wish me luck.

April 27th, The day after the competition

I have decided to give the actual night of the competition its own page.

Look Here If You Dare!

For all your mustache related needs, visit
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18 Responses to “Competetive Mustache Growth”

  1. Dave Says:

    And yet people still try to argue that there is a God.

  2. Brian Diers Says:

    Here here for mustaches and goatees!

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    I thought it was pride, but it turned out to be heartburn.

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  6. Jeremy Robert Furbish Says:

    Hi! I really liked your article about the mustache competition. I plan on participating in a mustache competition someday, too. It looks like a lot of fun. I posted a URL in the URL space in your feedback form, so you could look at MY mustache and tell me if I've got a chance.

    My mustache is a political statement. I am growing it in protest of the war/occupation of Iraq. This picture was from my campaign for U.S. Congress in Minnesota.

    Anyways, have fun with your mustache. It's a beaut.

    Jeremy Robert Furbish
    FSP – MN2NH2004

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