In 2007 I participated in Movember, the re-badging of the month of November. Movember raises awareness around men’s health issues and funds for carefully selected beneficiary partners that are also charitable organisations, with a focus on prostate cancer and depression in men. Since its inception as a formal charity in 2004, Movember has raised over $30 million globally, significantly increased awareness of prostate cancer and depression in the community, and is continuously working to change the attitude men have about their health.
During this time I kept what is probably my first attempt at a blog, sending it out by email to those that had sponsored me with photos of my mo’s development. In preparation for 2008’s Movember, please enjoy revisiting What I Did in 2007…
Day 1 – Monday 5 November
Yes, yes, I know I’m a few days behind the correct start date, but I had an event on the weekend that I wanted to look my most hunk-monkiest and a thin layer of face fuzz usually does the trick. Unfortunately it didn’t this time… now that I think of it, it never does. Hmmm… perhaps the beard isn’t the right way to go. Note to self: stay sober next time and take notes.
Shaved the lot off this morning. Sigh – I’d forgotten all about that tingling sensation of the spring breeze on a man’s most sensitive part – his upper lip. Strange how work colleagues stared this morning – wanting, needing, yearning – and then ask if I’d got new glasses or something. Been trying to think back when was the last time I went sans stubble and I ran out of fingers at August 2005. Let’s just say it’s been a while. I’m pretty sure that many of the staff have never seen me without.
My dimples are now on full display – I fear being pinched by old ladies. Also I’ve lost that razored jaw line that I use to create, so now my 30-something flabby cheeks are exposed – a dread a future of St Bernard jowls. A man can hide his sins behind a beard; without one he is as bare as a… well, as a shaved face.
Interesting on the trains and the streets. Every now and then I spied 5-day old bum fluff. In this present hesitant unmasked state I felt some solidarity knowing that there were others who were also prepared to take the month of Movember on the chin.
Day 7 – Monday 12 November
Had my first shave this morning. I’ve done a pretty piss poor effort in growing so far. Seven days after my full shave, I still haven’t even grown respectable stubble. A friend told me was that my facial hair has gone into shock, after being allowed to grow freely for so long and to suddenly be (umm) cut short. As you can see, there’s not that much difference between the before and after shots.
Off to work with the new look Clyde face. Mostly furrowed brows. One person asked if I had started growing my mo yet. Personally, I think I look like I’ve just eaten a pie and have smudged tomato sauce all over the place. I keep expecting my mother to spit on a handkerchief and dab at my cheeks.
Going to a dance party in two week’s time where I’ll be surrounded my some of the beariest of the Sydney Bears. Fingers crossed I’ll have something remotely decent by then.
Day 14 – Monday 19 November
Is it me or is the hair on my cheeks growing faster than the hair on my lip? For such a hirsute creature I’m doing a crap job at this moustache growing thing.
So I have put myself on a moustache growing diet (or for those in the the moustache growing diet industry – a mo gro di-o). I have a print of The Laughing Cavalier covering the bathroom mirror. I light candles to the spirit of Rob Burgundy. I have sat through the first two seasons of Magnum PI (unfortunately this has also flamed my past interest in Hawaiian shirts). Nightly, I watch a hour of seventies porn (admittedly there’s nothing new there). My iPod is loaded with the Village People, Lionel Richie, ZZ Top and “Weird Al” Yankovic (admittedly, again, not much difference to the usual playlist, just with less Bucks Fizz and Bananarama). I eat a diet of muscles without first removing the beards. And I’m working my way through the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe and Nietzsche – I’m presently up to “The Good and Evil of the Tell-Tale Heart” (that’s what I mean when I say “collected’).
But nothing seems to be working.
So I’ve resorted to dire measures. An overly short haircut was step number one. Step two was the purchase of Just For Men – Beards under plain wrapper. But all of this is nothing compared to the level I sunk in the short days past…
It was Saturday. It was late. I was stumbling home from a jolly night of too much drag queen and not enough beer, and so had picked up a chicken kebab to keep me company. Down the dark alleys to my place I went, until I heard a “psst” from a blackened corner. I stop and watch a youth with a tick appear in the light of the moon. He was wearing a hooded jacket with SLAPPY HAPPY emblazoned across the front. The youth was just in jeans and a singlet.
“Hey,” said the youth, “wanna buy some hair growth formula?”
I took a step closer, checking first to see if anyone was coming. “I’m interested.”
The youth tapped the tick on its antenna and it scurried around for the youth to retrieve a small vial from the tick’s jacket’s hood. Throughout all this I remained calm – I’ve lived in the Cross all my Sydney life after all; doing deals with large burrowing insects was nothing new to me. Besides, I’d read Kafka.
The youth flipped the lid and poured out a few small pills. I stepped closer and, after first wiping a kebabby hand on my t-shirt, reached out to better examine the wares. The youth ducked back to the shadows, either protecting his product or from the stench of garlic sauce of my breath.
“T’s good stuff mate,” says the youth, “I mean, my mate thinks he’s some sort of blood sucking creature. How’s that for a trip?” Looking from the tick to the youth, I couldn’t tell which one was worse.
But eager for the wares, who was I to argue? I handed over my money and hurried home with two tablets in a small self sealing bag. Slamming the door I flicked on the light to examine my magic hair growth pills of happiness …
… you think he could at least had the decency to scratch the Panadol label off first!
Of course, this all happened during a week where I received a somewhat disturbing chain mail package containing a little wax man amulet that “promises” me a long term relationship and condom free intercourse. Even though both the police and the gay anti-violence protection group have failed to react, since getting the figurine I have had threesome sex, discovered 50 bucks of free alcohol, and received a 25% discount off the purchase of underwear, so BRING ON THOSE SUPERSTITIONS!!!
Day 17 – Wednesday 21 November
You know those moments when you’re sitting on a cold marble floor watching two women dressed in black unitards throw an 8 foot wide balloon around a room which is being projected with images of a bronze-painted woman, while another plays a violin in conjunction to a backing track of guttural screams? Only too well? Don’t we all. I sat there thankful for my glass of straw (unthankful when it was empty mere seconds into the routine) and realised this is why we go to art galleries. Who needs a water-colour landscape when you can have interpretative dance? Anyway, in between thoughts of trying to work out how I could slip the room without being noticed (a difficult task considering I was sitting in the front) and trying to self-intoxicate via my remaining fumes of Old Spice, I pondered what should be the next step of my moustache. So I thought I’d leave it up to you.
There’s two options: 1 – Go the way of the Village People’s Leatherman (as I’m presently wearing my mo) and let it drape down the face like a set of stage curtains; or 2 – go the way of the Village People’s Construction Worker and shave off the dangles.
The other question is: does it need a bit of colour? Rusty Brown, Earth Brown or Dark Brown? Actually, considering we are talking men’s hair dye here, it probably comes in shades of Brown, Brown and Brown.
What are your thoughts?
Back in the gallery, fifteen minutes later, up went the lights and we all clapped politely… all except one lass behind me who took it upon herself to scream “Bravo!” Over the speakers came the offer to return in five minutes and bounce the ball around yourselves. I hurried back to the wine, forced half a glass, then went and soothed myself in an aloe blend of Heidelbergs and Cossington Smiths. That Tom Roberts, he knew where it was AT!
Incidentally, please let me thank all you wonderful people out there that are sponsoring my mo – these entries are especially for you (so you know you’re getting your money’s worth!). But it’s never too late for the rest of you…
Day 21 – Sunday 25 November
Well, the construction worker won the night. In hindsight I should have given the mo a colour, a quick dose of Just For Men. I don’t think it matters that much. I didn’t shave the curtains till after the election party (there was something on the telly, I think it was Idol – Just text the word “GREEN” to 1900 864 586) so the above pics are taken about midnight, just before I walked out the door to the Underbear Party, where I was helping with the cloak check (amongst other things).
The glasses went within two minutes of walking in the door – I couldn’t see a thing! – so they spent the entire night clipped to the side of my smalls. The hat lasted a minute or two more before that got too heavy, so in the end the mo was probably not as necessary as I had first planned.
The other pics (as you can probably guess) are of me when I got home, sometime after 8 (I think it was). Somewhere in between helping with the clean up and leaving the party there was breakfast with some of the others so it probably was about 8 then when I walked through the door. I was very tired and have spent the entire day asleep on the couch.
Now that I’m up I should get something light to eat. Turning on the computer I have also discovered the that BBC translation of Jane Eyre, an event I have waited a year to see, started half an hour ago. Bugger. Will just have to get the DVD (Rochester is one of the spunkiest characters ever written. Jane, on the other hand, is an up-right duck).
As I type this there are explosions outside. Could be one of three things: (1) We’re at war; (2) The winner ofIdol has just been announced; or (3) Howard has blown up Kirribilli, taking Janet with him.
This Wednesday is the Gala Parte (with a little line thing above the “e”) for Movember. A field of mo’s as far as the eye can see. It will be a Pogonophobist’ nightmare! Should be fun…
Day 24 – Wednesday 28 November
The night of the Mo Gala Parte
(The Penultimate Update)
THE COMEDY OF FELLERS
A Night of Bad Planning and Facial Hair in Three Acts
Not by William Shakespeare
Two friends, both alike in beardity
In fair Sydney, where we set out scene,
Plan to meet and enjoy the mutiny
Of razors, blades and top lips clean.
This tale for who your patient ears attend,
Begins at the hour at what the work day end.
1.1 The Grand Quarters of Clyde
Gasp, I say, what hot day this be,
And here me wet like the first guest of Hell.
A date tonight – a planned meeting
‘Tween myself and kindly Benson,
(Aside) Thankst made to Brad for walking the dog.
Yet still tis only count of half and five,
‘Tis not till the stroke of seven that I meet the man on the Town Hall steps.
A half-hour refreshment is awarded me,
And so I enjoyst the Antiques Roadshow with its many coloured glass and finery.
(A clock strikes six)
Ah, the hour is upon me.
Luck that twice I have seen this episode of The Simpsons
One wonders what eps one hasn’t seen?
And such to toilet:
To clean thy skin;
To sheen thy cheeks of stub;
To preen thy shirt pressed.
How dost I look?: gorgeoust onest thinkst.
Time now to Benson meet – ah, musn’t forgetst ticketst.
(he checks satchel)
I’ve left them at work.
The fear now, what to do?
A plan! I ringst work.
Surely some poor soul still there.
A chime, and then another,
But Hark! The phone is answered!
Imelda! Praise be the Lord that you remain!
I’ve done something rather silly,
And perhapst you can relieve me?
For save! A plan does hatch,
And so to Benson I must dispatch.
2.1 A Traveller’s Station
Enter Clyde and Benson
Oh Knave! I chortle with glee.
Of all the Luck!
The Lady does not visit me tonight.
I poke and smirk:
Thy Rouge Rogue;
Thy Scarlet Harlet;
Thy Crimson Son of Crime.
These three and three again
I name thee.
If truth be told,
Bit of a dickhead, aren’t you?
Aye, I take this label,
On my head I wear a dick.
Yet we arrive now Sydney North
With trust in Imelda I hold our fate.
2.2 A Spot Back of Work Building
Pray tell me kind Sir,
Why must we search through these leafy shrubs?
The fair Imelda has placest thy tickets
Aside for only our eyes to see.
Search yonder noble Son of Ben
For an internal envelope the shade of a robin’s egg.
(He finds the envelope)
Behold! The Prize!
Saint Imelda be praised!
And now this league to the Gala go.
What shall it become nobody know.
3.1 A Luna Park
Enter Clyde and Benson, and guests and gentlewomen in fine livery
Alarm! What sights I see!
And I to boot.
Never have I such gaiety witnessed with myne eye
Men – all ‘stached – dressed in bright colours.
There, to my left, stand five Ron Burgundys,
And now, to my right, the Australian Cricket team.
Over yonder “FedSex” delivery boys
And attendants who have come to clean the pool.
Aside stands a gathering of Fred Flintstones and Bjorn Borgs,
While further still Fat Spartans parade.
All around gather sailors, porn stars, Hefner wanna-bes,
Surf life savers, and suits both flashy and gaudy.
Some men in drag, others dressed as hunters.
All bright and colourful and strange.
Yes, and if you think about it,
Just a little bit gay.
Aye, there’s the rub.
3.2 A Slippery Slide Ride.
Enter Clyde, Benson and KPMG Party
Aye, I corr.
Check out that ride attender,
The one in fronst in the KPMG running shorts.
A see him.
What captures thyne attention?
Zounds! Ist my friend blind?
Canst onest seest hist arst?
Notice the rear on that thing?
What beauty. What grace.
Ist like two halfs of a watermelon shoved in his britches!
Aye. There is theatre in his globes.
Alarm! His Globes are the Theatre! (think about it, think about it)
(Ponders) His rump does linger.
(Aside) If only I to linger near his rump.
Comest, let’s to an ale.
3.3 A Luna Park
Enter Clyde, Benson, guests and gentlewomen, and Surf Life Saver.
To thy health!
You know, afraid, I muse,
Beer really does taste like crap when drunk from a can.
In all heart I agree.
(A trumpet blasts)
Alarm! They announce the prizes.
(Aside) Pity I can’t read the screen
Due to such poor projection.
Yet there is no pity of what I see.
Be where myne eyes do march,
To that Life Saver. Surely he jest
For no life myne he save, but breath he take.
Yeah, ’tis pretty good.
Pretty good! You jest as well!
Is that not the most perfect Titus Andronicus?
Yarks! He clencheth!
Surely this a man who can walk a mile
Carrying a pizza box and two beers.
Like I sayst, my seriously in needst of a root companion,
‘Tis all a bit gay.
Those gorgest creatures of the same mold made
As gay dance party Muscle Marys.
All lookst and no touchst.
Sigh, my Sage, I am in your debt.
While your words do touch my heart:
I must not touch their souls.
(Aside) Yet my kingdom for a roam.
Here ends this story full of mo,
Of a feller and his Bro.
The Round-up – Wednesday 5 December – The final entry for Movember 2007
Sigh. The end of Movember. All the mo’s have gone. Me; I went clean-skin on the Saturday and am slowly growing the old beard back.
In all, during the month of Movember, 96,640 Aussie Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised an amazing $10,948,540! Thanks to you, I was sponsored a whopping $510 – well over the Mo-Grower average! So let me say again – thank you, thank you, thank you.
Next year, I hope to see you all again and hopefully not just as sponsors – but as mo-growers yourselves…