The other day I dreamed that my moustache fell off. It wasn’t an unreasonable thought – even for a dream. That, after all, is what happened to the hair in my head. Oddly, I didn’t even dream that it fell out. It simply fell out. I woke up and pinched my upper lip. Relieved that my moustache and I hadn’t parted company, I went back to sleep

When one has a dream about a traumatic event such as losing one’s facial hair, one has to tell someone. I told my 10:30 Hi/Lo fitness class at the West End Community Centre. This is my most empathic and sympathetic class. I share all my deepest secrets with them. They front row, showing their usual empathy and sympathy, laughed at me. One said, “Why don’t you shave the damned thing off then?” while adjusting her posture to stretch her latisimus dorsi. “It looks like a rat crawled up on your upper lip and died.”

I can’t remember what led me to grow a moustache in the first place. That was over thirty years ago, and those turbulent sixties when everyone practised do-it-yourself pharmacology leave me at a loss for an explanation.

I think it had something to do with vanity. In the sixties, everyone had a beard and moustache, I not only had a moustache, I had a handle bar moustache. When I shaved the rest of my face, my moustache curled up at the ends like bison horns. My flaming red handle bar moustache, of course, made me irresistible to women. Some women described it as fine, and some described it as luxuriant. One went so far as fine and luxuriant. With kudos like that, the moustache stayed.

Over the years, as my hair fell out, the moustache took on a life of its own. It changed color. It went from flaming red to flaming red with a little salt and pepper mixed in. I told my Tuesday class that it gave me that certain air of maturity. A participant in the middle row was drinking water when I stated this, and she started choking and spewing water all over the place. She then excused herself for laughing so hard.

Instructors: be careful not to show signs of maturity in the middle of a class unless prepared to administer the Heimlich maneuver.

You won’t believe what I just did. I went into the bathroom with a ruler and measured the significant body part in question. I held the tip of one horn at one end of the ruler and uncurled it. It extended a full eight inches. If it fell out, I would be just another old bald guy trying to lead an aerobics class. With my moustache in full inflorescence, I’m just another old bald guy with a big growth of facial hair trying to lead an aerobics class. Who would you choose as your instructor?

Here are a few men I admire with moustaches like mine:

1. Retired hockey players Lannie MacDonald and Eddie Shack

2. Retired baseball pitcher Rollie Fingers

3. Dead writer Mark Twain

4. Live writer W.P. Kinsella

5. Dead singer Jerry Calona

6. The Man on the Flying Trapeze.

Here are some people who have moustaches that aren’t like mine. Instead they resemble pet caterpillars or tooth brushes used to clean typewriters:

1. B.C. Premier Glen Clark

2. Motorcycle policemen.

Yesterday I told my sweetie I was going to get a haircut. Those remaining hairs were becoming a little unruly. “Why don’t you shave the damned moustache off too?” she asked while adjusting her posture to stretch her latisimus dorsi. “It looks like a rat crawled up on your upper lip and died.”

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.



  1. Sharon Says:

    So funny, Mike. Are you competing with the bears for facial hair grooming?
    I love mustaches like Tom Selleck’s, but handlebars are gross.
    Doesn’t the wax melt in your aerobics class and join your previously mentioned pools of water?

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