Movember, the month of the moustache
Movember is here, so Itchy catches up with Atters, the aficionado of sub-nasal love-wands...
November – the month of the moustache – is upon us. For 30 days and 30 nights, those able and willing to grow an upper lip appendage will do so, all in aid of prostate cancer.
Itchy caught up with Michael 'Atters' Attree, a longstanding committee member of The Handlebar Club and Honourable Scribe. In 2007 he was elected Honourable Chairman of The World Beard & Moustache Championships and was compere of the event. He is a satirical writer, comedy performer and Editor of Roguishness in The Chap magazine.
1) How long is your moustache from tip to tip?Purlieus to purlieus it's just under a modest seven inches.
2) How would a smooth-faced fellow begin to grow a handlebar moustache? Are there any vital first-steps to follow?
Drink a few bottles of absinthe. If/when you wake up – you will have a full set of whiskers... then shear the beard section off. In short – don't shave (or touch) your upper lip for two/three months. Then and only then, topiary and groom your new oeuvre to its desired glorious style by waxing the ends.
3) Why would one grow a moustache instead of a beard?
For me a beards generally herald the arrival of unwashed fair-weather bores such as the 'socialist' Beard Liberation Front (all two members). Moustaches however herald the arrival of wondrous mavericks sporting sub-nasal love-wands. If you've got it flaunt it I say (and by God I certainly do!).
4) When do you think the heyday of moustaches was, and how popular would you say they are at the moment? Reckon we're looking at a revival on the horizon?
I would have to say the late 19th early 20th in Europe (more importantly Britain of course). There does appear to be a small new wave of gentrification happening in Britain at the moment among our younger young bucks and coves. I would like to think that my work last year as Honourable Chairman/Master of Ceremonies for The 2007 World Beard & Moustache Championships and my ongoing 'official' work as Handlebar Club Committee member, Moustache Grooming Editor (The Chap magazine) and winning a European Moustache Championships trophy for our country in Milan a few years back has managed to civilise our nation facial hair wise.
5) Apart from moustaches, obviously, what sort of subjects do you tend to discuss at your meetings?
Totty, pipes, booze, totty, the RAF, prosthetic limbs, totty, the next AGM, who's died, totty, backache. Admittedly we have a spectacular ability to bore all 'outsiders' with tales of the empire and various deceased comedians. Rarely do we discuss moustaches...
6) How old are your youngest and oldest members, if you don't mind us asking?
Not at all! Of late is has continually varied. The older members keep shuffling off this mortal moustache coil and 'posh' teenagers join for 'a laugh', come to one meeting, get their photo taken on their mobile telephone and then we never see them again. But twenty two years is the more consistent young age and 200+ is I imagine the age of some of our veteran members. But believe me, their handlebar moustache keeps them young whatever their age!
7) What do you think of Movember, where people grow a moustache for charity in the month of November?
Both I and the HBC are a big fan of Movember. I truly cannot think of a better idea then the nurturing of the tash in raising money for the betterment of mankind. Both I and my Club are regularly involved with various charities who utilize our moustaches too. And why not I say!
8) Do you have any moustachioed idols?
Terry Thomas (naturally), Sir Mortimer Wheeler (British archaeologist), Baphomet (ancient horned deity), Dick Dastardly (nice chap but had bad publicity), 'Dominus' Atte Ree/Attree (medieval Lord of the Manor, be-whiskered ancestor and a corking namedrop).
9) Do people you don't know ever want to touch your moustache?
Yes, and that's delightful so long as they ask first. Naturally if a woman rudely lurches out for my extremities crowing 'is that real?'; I usually grab her hooters and parry with a 'Yes. Are they?'. That's politics isn't it!
10) Do you ever get moustache envy?I must admit I do. Every man, beast, woman and child would love to sport a smasher like mine.
11) Who had the best moustache: Groucho Marx, Lord Kitchener or Buffalo Bill?Ah yes, a trick question here. Bravo! Well, Buffalo Bill was an American of course so (as far as be-whiskered panache is concerned) that rules him out. Groucho Marx was also American of course but I'm fully aware that his vulgar lip weasel was also greasepaint! Now Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener's? Ah! What can one say? British...
12) How often do people tell you that they must dash? Are there any other lame facial hair-related jokes that you get on a regular basis?Yes, the banal wit of the media excels at them. I briefly contemplated shaving when This Morning's Phillip Schofield remarked 'Atters, you look fantash-tic!'
For more information on Atters see:www.handlebarclub.co.uk
And for info on Movember see: