Friday, September 19, 2008

Open Challenge to Sir John Varvatos and Sir Ryan McGinley


Imagine the year is 1611 in Charlestowne and your nearby pig sty emits
foul odours which drift and wash over my humble home.

Imagine the year is 1626 and you have played a nasty trick to trade a
great northern port property the size of one man's giant
Knickerbockers in exchange for some crappy Wampum.

Imagine the year is 1732 at home in Olde Towne Alexandria and you refused to dance the Virginia Reel at my fête.

Imagine the year is 1826, in rural Georgia and you have plucked a
peach from my Peach tree without permission.

Imagine it is 1850 Missouri and you have looked at my daughter with
and eye full of longing.

It is the same thing today in 2008 to take a honorable and genteel 'staching of a french fry in Boston by one lovely, unfamous girl of the Commonwealth of Virginia and to snatch the Conceit, imitate the 'stache, poorly I might add, by a couple of hipsters, or models, or hipster models, and then have a silly, woolgathering, Lower East Side boy barista-cum-MOMA famed artiste make the Dagguerotype it to sell $500 sweaters. It is despicable. You, sirs, are Scoundrels and Thieves who do not dare walk among the goodliest of us who 'stache privately, pennilessly, and without the rewards of Profit. These dishonorable 'stachings must have an end!

There can be no rapprochement with Rascals who sling injury such as
this! PorkMoustache is a forum of Integrity, Virtues, Talent, and
Patriotism. This gold-lined potato lip hair cannot stand!

Sirs, we challenge you to a Duel. Neither politics nor fashion can
absolve Gentlemen and Ladies from the necessity of a rigid adherence
to the laws of honor and the rules of decorum. Meet on the Bannerman
island by the old Castle ruins at dusk. And, you greasy cowards, do
not dare to wear silk shirts!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

'stache #60 - the maple bacon lollipop moustache

Maple bacon lollipop moustache. Could there be a more magical 4-word combination? (Answer: quite probably. I dare you to submit it.)

San Francisco had only recently been a small Mexican village when, on a misty summer morning in 1848, a colorfully garbed prophet named John Sutter ventured into the Mission shouting hoarsely that he possessed the long sought recipe for gold. Local residents gasped in awe at the alchemic mixture of bacon and candy swirled in a sucker atop the stranger’s lips. At once chewy, savory, and saccharine, this treacly delight is a dangerously delicious lip morsel. Indeed, it proved so for Sutter, who was promptly stampeded by a mob rioting to sample his sweet stache. Word traveled fast, and before you know it, there was a full-on gold rush and the West was won.

The bacon lollipop ‘stache is generally worn by bartenders and Californians. Kiddies, beware this tempting porcine candy on the mouths of strangers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

'stache #59 - the corndog moustache

Lennon and McCartney. Peanut butter and Chocolate. Penniless drunks and fortified wine. Throughout history, two seemingly separate but independently splendid single items have joined together to make better, stronger and occasionally timeless newly combined entities. (The aforementioned pairs joining to become The Beatles, Reese's Cups and New York Times Op/Ed Columnist Bill Kristol, respectively.)

Such was not the case, with the corndog, however.

Born of proud parentage (the corn moustache being responsible for much U.S. westward migration and the hot dog 'stache being a proud reminder of World War II on the homefront) the corndog moustache is — how do you say? — totally nasty.

Rarely seen outside of midwestern carnivals, the corndog 'stache embodies the worst of our great country, namely, food on sticks, processed corn, and low quality meat tubeage. I mean, you could wear it, but, I don’t know, it’s kind of gross.

(In the above picture, we note that while one PorkMoustache friend wears the corndog 'stache with a blend of disdain and irony at the Indiana State Fair, another PorkMoustache friend at Coney Island's Nathan's does not.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jimmy Carter and Warm Ham - A Historical Porkmoustache Interlude

It is among our nation's greatest moments when the rabble majority
vote to elect a peanut farmer from small town Georgia to preside.
That was the case in 1976 and the living was good, until 1977,
when one of many gasoline crises befell the nation. Gas prices crept
up to a startling $0.85/gallon and sometimes average Americans had to wait in the gas station queue for over an hour. Wintertime household electric bills were sometimes in the tens of dollars. It was devastating!

The future looked bleak and heat was hard to come by. American
children made fires from their Lincoln Logs. Teens burned the
flag…although that seemed to be in protest of something, rather than
to keep warm. And mothers and fathers looked to each other with
furrowed brow, anxious for some financial reprieve, or at least a
little hope.

Luckily, Jimmy Carter, fearless leader and meaty innovator that he
was, found a solution. Or at least he is credited with the heroics of
the day, but we all know that behind every great man (before the men
of the Nineties) was a great woman. One afternoon in the White House
where the thermostat was kept at a chilly 62 degrees, as Rosalynn
sipped her Coca-Cola she noticed her usually rugged husband looking a bit under the weather, sniffling beneath his favorite pulled pork
barbeque moustache. It was then that she realized the problematic
pulled pork was just too light a lip hair. The man needed a warmer
moustache! As a good Southern woman, she did not badger the man into growing one, but simply planted the seed of the idea so that he might think he thought of the idea himself. And her little plan worked.

Later that week, after growing out a handsome, thick pork moustache,
President Carter addressed the nation, "With my fellow Americans in
turning down the thermostat, I will grow Smithfield ham moustache to keep warm."

'stache #58 - the fish skin moustache

Essentially the Japanese equivalent to the hardtack moustache, the
fish skin moustache came out during hard times. It was a sad wartime
'stache typical of men on the front lines, and even those at home, in
solidarity, pushing broom. However, on or about July 10, 1973 "to
slap skin" or "to slap me some skin, brother" became popular catch
phrases of the American youth and the fish skin moustache found its
niche among the sugar snap pea 'staches, avocado 'staches, and
vegemite 'staches of the Seventies cool kids.

The fish skin moustache may be worn in winter months, as it is preserved well.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

'stache #57 - the kohlrabi moustache

Though spotted throughout all the Swiss-German territory in the latter half of the 20th century, the kohl rabi moustache was the violet light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel that was East Germany. The cabbage variant’s flexible bend, sensuous curves, and bright purple hue meant that it stood out sharply from the distinctive Stalinist architecture and the black-and-white attitudes of the citizenry. So when the stout, swollen German ladies of East Berlin started to get the itch for a little loving, it is said that they laid the hardy winter cultivars across their upper lips in what can only be described as a mating ritual. This bedroom secret was quite unknown outside East Germany, so President Kennedy’s ignorance of the root’s sultry uses should be forgiven and his brazen statement “Ich bin ein kohlrabi” should be understood as a well-intentioned symbol of hope rather than a nasty innuendo. There are still some snapshots of the great American leader standing startled giving this speech with a bit of this purple root on his lip which he thought he was wearing in solidarity.

The kohlrabi moustache, which sometimes goes by the name, the Purple Danube, and its ‘staching, known as “paddling the Purple Danube” may be worn in tender, private moments.

'stache #56 - the beef tendon moustache

While American adolescents of the early 20th century restricted themselves to simple ‘staches like green pepper moustaches, musselmoustaches, lime moustaches, and only dreamt of one day resting an entire roast chicken under their sensory-deprived snouts, around the globe Samoan teens wildly threw marinated and sautéed beef tendon atop their mouths, or so reported the young anthropologist Margaret Mead in her 1928 Coming of Age in Samoa. Typical of most Americans, Mead left home for college in the big city and the world’s truths announced themselves to her so that she, like all other bright 18-years-olds, found herself the sudden owner of all life’s answers. In Samoa, she found the youth’s sexual development uninhibited by the shackles of Christianity and monogamy and manifest in this cartilage lip ornament. Franz Boas, a deeply sentimental wearer of a great many moustaches himself, found no reason to correct his ambitious and newly liberated student. Of course, this was long before 'problematizing' texts was popular in the classroom.

The Beef Tendon Moustache, not unlike Margaret Mead’s dubious contribution to anthropology, is controversial, unstructured, and messy. This beef tendon for ‘staching came from a dingy midtown Szechuan restaurant known for its (nonsexual) spice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'stache #55 - the mustard moustache

It was the 1980s. In lower Manhattan on Wall Street, the yuppie elite was just barely developing under the nose for haute couture. Brokers and analysts, stressed by time pressures heretofore unknown to the American people, desired a moustache they could grow "on the run." Said to be double inspired from both the many hot dog/pretzel carts in lower Manhattan and the popularity of neon colors, the bright hue of the yellow mustardstache quickly became a work-appropriate way to stay in fashion. Equally as becoming on women as men, many professionally ambitious females of the financial sector ‘stached the yellow sauce as an outward symbol of closing the gap with their male colleagues on issues such as organizational seniority, shares in Fire Island/Hamptons summer houses, and disposable income. (The mustardstache was at once so startling and so empowering wore by women, it proved to be far more successful in breaking the glass ceiling than Kennedy’s 1963 Equal Pay Act.) It can still be seen today on women at the highest levels of management in the public and private sectors who came of age professionally during the Eighties.

In the 1990s, the mustardstache fell into disuse when classic yellow was thought to be a bit too proletariat, but it is classic. Moreover, it is excellent when dining on meat....a little flick of the tongue to flavor the meat with the salty spice of the mustard...heaven!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

'stache #54 - the pork taco moustache

Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin' home every day,
Beatin' the hot old dusty way to the California line.
'Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin' out of that old dust bowl,
They think they're goin' to a sugar bowl, but here's what they find:
Pork, wrapped in tortilla with chopped cabbage.
Under the nose, Mexicans carry their biota baggage.

-Woody Guthrie, Do Re Mi, 1937

The Pork Taco Moustache, now very popular, has a cruel, ne'er-before-told history.

While the 1848 Treaty of Hidalgo Guadalupe gave Mexican-Americans the right to wear a moustache publicly and freely, it gave them no means to practice this right. Though Anglo Americans deftly rested pork products of all kinds on their lips –- bacon, pork loin, pork rinds, ham, ham hock, pulled pork -– without discrimination, the Mexican-American could hardly place a bit of herb below the nose without facing ridicule. But in the Latino social clubs south of Loredo, the pig of Texas BBQ fame crossed the so-called Tortilla Curtain, and the pork taco moustache was born in secret. In the late 19th century the Confederacion de Bigotes Independientes, Grandes e Ordinarios de Tejanos Extrajaneros (C-BIGOTE) was formed in Texas to lobby for equal moustaching rights, but, obviously, none were awarded, and the pork taco moustache remained sub-rosa. This ironic twist in moustache history does not go unnoted, since many moustaches were used originally as the clandestine mask itself.

But back to the story. Many moustached Mexicans fled to California looking for a Chicano safety far from the Tejano hate. Here, the pork taco was 'stached freely and openly, even in the presence of gringos from the 1930s on. In Pastures of Heaven, John Steinbeck's fictional character Tom Breman visits the makeshift restaurant of Maria and Rosa whose father, Old Guiermo -– a wearer of thickly packed pork taco moustaches –- has recently passed. After the popularity of Travels with Charley, Americans started to pay attention to the strange and often angry ramblings of Steinbeck, and soon Anglo-Americans realized that Chicanos had 'stached in peace in California for decades. This was a huge shock to the 1960s East-coaster who had had never paid any mind to the silly West coast before.

The pork taco moustache can be worn in warm months and should never been worn in secret again.

'stache #53 - the cilantro moustache

Once considered a low-brow garnish 'stache of the 1980s, the cilantro 'stache is now considered pure high-brow, er, high-lip-stache. In the early 1980s Mexican/American tensions were high and cheap meal improvements popular, and the cilantro 'stache fell from the already low standing among the parsley moustache to an even lower, racism-driven standing of immigrant moustaches.

The Americans, long known for foolishness and unreasonable racism, were, not surprisingly, wrong. (Though arguably all racism is unreasonable, the American anti-immigrant racism is especially unreasonable considering the deracinated pasts of its citizens.) After a twenty-five year post-modern, meta-identity battle among the Mexican-Americans, Americans, Mexicans, and sometimes Chicanos, the jury is in: Mexicans aren't just cool, they're haute cool. And so the cilantro 'stache climbed its way up the social ladder out from under the fluorescent lights of the supermarket, southern shopping malls where smoking is still allowed indoors, and used car lots into West Village cafés.... like this one, 'stached at Alexandra on Hudson street.

The tony cilantro moustache can be worn in spring and summer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

'stache #52 - the octopus moustache

During the long, unseasonably hot summer of 1824, New York City’s theretofore underground gang culture burst into the nation’s consciousness via a series of unusually bloody and unusually public skirmishes between rival cliques. While the Octo-boys and their sworn enemy squidstachers had previously seemed content to live-and-let stache, as various crews had previosuly coexisted with little problem, a perceived slight one night outside a West Village haberdashery sparked full blown gang warfare, events later made into a major motion picture by Martin Scorsese. (Not "Gangs of New York." A different one.) Regardless, the rival squid and octopus stachers fought all summer long, leaving a trail of firebombed buildings, orphaned children and countless singed tophats in their wakes.

Of course, the octopus 'stachers being limited to eight men per unit, the squidboys eventually prevailed, controlling New York City’s gritty underbelly for generations, eventually folding upon the advent of a particularly vicious group of pork belly stachers ("the gritty underbellies," they were called) came on the scene in the mid-1950s.

Although the octo-boys have not roamed the streets for 150 years or more, the octopus 'stache is still technically a gang symbol, and one should wear with caution.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'stache #51 - the white anchovy moustache

When Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark on their three-year journey to document the moustaching habits of the peoples west of the Mississippi River, he anticipated receiving word of all manner of exotic 'staches unknown in the cultivated East.

His disappointment was therefore acute, when, rather than tales of 'staches made of Woolly Mammoth trunks and Sabretooth Tiger tails, the intrepid explorers instead informed Jefferson of the wee anchovy moustaches worn by virtually all of the varied Indian tribes of middle and western America.

While the reasons behind the native peoples’ 'stache of choice have been lost to history, that the anchovy itself was in obscene abundance in American rivers in the 18th and 19th century is beyond doubt. A passage from Clark’s diary sums up his wonder at seeing the waterways teeming with the tiny gray fish:

"Rivir is again thicke with the anchovy. Cannot see rivir bottom, due to obscuration by meddlesom fish. To ford river is to beg to come out with pantaloons full of little fish. Kind of gross. Also, shocker: Lewis is sad and despondent for, oh, I don’t know, 700th day in row. His poor attitude does not make Voyage of Discovery go any qwikker."

Despite Clark’s distaste for the feel of the tiny fish against his legs, he would soon adopt the native habit of wearing the anchovy as a moustache, an affectation he, Lewis and even their pup Seaman took back east, sparking a craze that had the effect of all but eliminating the North American anchovy. Indeed, the anchovy pictured above, though worn proudly in Virginia, was caught off the coast of Spain. Sad.

Anchovy moustaches are not worn during the summer months, when their odor might offend.

'stache #50 - the alfalfa moustache

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

In this white stache
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

-- Original “skinny bitch” Sylvia Plath canonized the alfalfa stache in the closing stanza of “Lady Lazarus.”

The staple lip adornment of the raw food movement, alfalfa can be found en masse on the mouths of womyn at radical bookstores, juice bars, yoga studios, and G8 protests. It is spotted most often in cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Burlington. Also a common sight in southern California, the sprout ‘stache enjoyed short-lived mainstream popularity when Madonna wore it to promote Ray of Light in 1998. Recently, skinny bitches have reclaimed alfalfa’s radical roots and it has become a ubiquitous fashion among vegan ‘stachers.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

'stache #49 - the bacon fat moustache

On pirogues weighed down with lead, salt, bacon fat, and thousands of Rush’s pills, Meriweather Lewis and William Clark set out to discover this great land we call the American West. Things were good, in the beginning, before the men (and Sacagawea) endured the long winters, capsized boats, and the plagues of disease that brought on burning and itching of the groin. In these early days, they had plenty of food to ‘stache and they refused to share it.

Here, from Clark's journal:

Aug 26 1804, Satturday, Mandans
came to a handsome village beyond the Hills. I walked up and smoked a pipe with the Chiefs of the Village and they were anxious that I would stay and eat with them. After jurking the Meat killed yesterday and prepareing the Elk Skins for a Toe Roape, York made up the presents for the Cheafs of which we had Several presents for each of buttones and ttwinee. We had from the Indian women Corn boil’d homney. aside the Chiefs explained they did not like buttones and wanted instead the fatty Bacon which sat above the Lip of myself and Captn Lewis. I said we not not even Speek of giving away our Bacon fat moostaches and instead pleeded York to make entertainment with his dance. our men very chearfull and celebrated the success of the day we each had a drammel of whiskey and a taste of Mandan woman, and we Set our Leaveing Drewer & Shannon to hunt the horses which was lost with directions to follow us keeping on the high lands

And from Lewis:

Aug 27, 1804
Capn Clark thinks he is so damn cleaver with the Cheafs but the Mandins are angry. they dserv too the fatty Bacond lip. Why, even Seaman wears one. Ah, the ennui I Feal.

The bacon fat moustache is appropriate everywhere all the time. It is hailed as a great moustache of wealth, both of wallet and of brotherly love.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

'stache #48 - the London Broil moustache

London Broil Moustache is a poseur ‘stache of the nouveau riche and American bourgeoisie. Its first known use was in "The Great Gatsby," where through the protagonist Nick Carraway, we learn of the filetestache's prominence on West Egg:

“The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, with thin filete on their lips, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering, as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house."

And later, we hear the definitive East Egger to West Egger insult, ironically delivered by Tom Buchanan:

“'I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make you believe his London Broil moustache is actual filete!”

The London Broil moustache, obviously, one of many conspicuously costumed moustaches, was a loud, brazen, show-offy version of the standard beef 'stache of the rich: the filete. So, it is not so surprising that the londonbroilstache was also popular with users of the affected accent of the early 1950s, the New York Honk. While the true old money upper crust could be heard whispering, “Faire le bruit de cochon!”

The London Broil moustache should not be worn.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

'stache #47 - the vegemite moustache

Misoneists step aside as porkmoustache boldly marches into the modern age of maybe-they-shouldn't-be-edible moustaches, the short American century. The story begins in 1912 when Clarence Birdseye, the first of many great Americans from Brooklyn, was on a fur-trading expedition in Labrador, in the Northwest Territory, where it was so damn cold, fish froze instantly after being caught and retrieved from the icy waters. (It should be noted that Birdseye was a man of many moustaches. "I have more 'staches than the law allows", he once explained. "Some are sissy. Some have hair on their chest.") From there it only took him 12 years to develop the flash-freezing process and American culinary history flew into mechanization and processing, from the meaty jungles of Chicago to a future of soylent green. So this series celebrates moustaches comestible of food items that wouldn't have really been food items without modernity.

Enter the vegemite 'stache, invented in 1923, a beefy, savoury, malt-based, spreadable 'stache. Its origins are in Australia, which should be noted is the only nation which began as an island penal colony, and it is its long term isolation (the island broke away from Gondwana approx 140 million years ago and 90% of Aussie wildlife is endemic) that makes this moustache unique. But the 'stache traveled the world quickly with the high numbers of Australian travelers and expats, wooing dumb American college kids with their funny accents, saying, "Vegemite, Australian for Moustache."

The vegemite moustache may be worn with or without packaging.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Harry Truman and SPAM, A Porkmoustache Historical Interlude

President Harry S Truman, best remembered for his folksy phrases like “The spam stops here” and “If you can’t stand the heat, you better wear a canned meat,” popularized the spam ‘stache in the final months of World War II, when he stretched the square slab of fleshy pink pork across his own lips in solidarity with the boys at the front who, far from home, were resigned to suffer the indignities of lining their mouths with canned meat byproducts. First a fad among navy men at Pearl Harbor, the spam stache sensation set sail around the globe, and quickly became an enduring symbol of soldierly sacrifice. Truman, the son of a Missouri farmer and livestock dealer, had grown up raising the hogs he 'stached, and was thus surprised to discover his predilection for the strange sweet “meat” that dangled akimbo above his lips. As a haberdasher in his early years, and later in the army, he had sworn that the finest mouthpiece was simply a lipline of bacon, and yet the odd odor of Shoulder of Pork and hAM wafting beneath his nose enticed Truman to revisit his beliefs about the kind of moustache a hardworking American might wear.

Following the war, he busied himself writing up a doctrine about the need to contain communist duck 'staches and advocating the promotion of democratic lip-dos around the world. General MacArthur is credited with the military dictum, "In facial hair, there is no substitute for ham," which is why Truman ultimately had to fire him.

Truman continued to wear spam long after it lost sway with the public in the postwar years, though it enjoyed a brief resurgence on the lips of patriots and paranoids during the red-baiting hearings of the 1950s.

The SPAM moustache is now generally only worn in Guam and Hawaii, where it was recently spotted in a bastardized sushi roll 'stache.

'stache #46 - the roast chicken moustache

The year was 1928. The U.S. economy was in shambles. City streets were filled with angry out of work apple cart men waiting in bread lines. Those lucky enough to get to the front of said lines often typically found the bread to be the equally reviled pumpernickle or rye. The nation’s mood, poet Carl Sandberg wrote, was "really shitty."

The food moustache, too had fallen on hard times, with the limes and oysters of earlier in the decade giving way to apple cores, empty elixir bottles (not even food!) and in a pinch, live rats.

One can only imagine, then, the joyous disbelief that greeted presidential candidate Herbert Hoover, when he famously promised that if elected, Americans would see a "chicken on every lip and a car in every garage."

While the latter part of the decree met with little enthusiasm, as a concerned populace cast a weary eye on their existing garages, which were already quite full and in no condition to accommodate an automobile, the idea of replacing their rat lips with a tasty bird was a winner, and Hoover swept into office in a rout.

Of course, Hoover was unable to make good on his promise ("What am I, a chicken delivery man?!," he famously spat at one soot-covered urchin tugging at his sleeve to ask where his lip-bird was.), and the president’s opponents soon began to wear the chickenstache as a reminder of a promise unfulfilled.

Left unsaid, of course, was the difficulty in 'staching an entire chicken. I mean, a whole chicken worn as a moustache? Makes very little sense, frankly.

As for tips on wearing, one may wear the roast chicken moustache at historical reenactments of the 1928 presidential campaign. Otherwise, it is hardly worth the effort.

'stache #44 - the fried oyster moustache

“Fry up an oyster, boys, my top lip grows cold.
Fry up an oyster, boys, these streams are lined with gold.”

-Miner’s song, traditional.

“Had you told me, Jeremiah “Jack” Jackie Johnson, a ramblin’ Okie hobo, that I’d one day be wearing a mink shawl and sporting a fried oyster moustache, well sir, I’d have ask you to pinch me, for I would assume I was in the midst of a beautiful, corn likker-induced hobo dream. But that’s what California did for us, it made our hobo dreams come true.”
-From “Golden Hobo: The J.J.J. Johnson story.” 1876.

Upon striking gold in the California hill country, the typical 19th century prospector would head to the local food-stachery and order the priciest food moustache available, which, at 49 cents per shellfish, was inevitably the fried oysterstache. Word of a land where man could arrive one morning with little more than a shovel and the will to work and be sporting a 49-cent oysterstache by evening spread rapidly throughout the country, and soon the gold rush was on, as hundreds of thousands of so-called “49ers” left the crowded confines of the Eastern U.S. for Northern California.

While refrigeration and modern transportation have made the oysterstache far more pervasive, its rarefied and noble origins remain. Wear it proudly when the air turns cool.

Caveat Geritor: Beware the scallopstache being sold as an oyster moustache. Some unscrupulous 'stache merchants have been known to pass this fool’s gold miner’s 'stache off on the unsuspecting.

'stache #43 - the cornichon moustache

The story of the cornichon moustache begins in Paris in the sultry summer of 1789. All the city's upstanding poor, unemployed, and forsaken French citizens had the good sense to get pissed about the skyrocketing price of bread and revolt against the man. Except one: the thirtysomething, former chef of and cuckholded lover of Marie Antoinette, Jacques Herbert de La Fayette. He was wedded to the Ancien Régime (that's French for "the old school") and completely missed the revolution. Whilst all ze other san-culottes were out storming ze streets, yelling, shooting guns in the air, and burning the monarch in effi- .. no wait, that's not quite right, that was the American revolution, right, right, right. What I meant to say was, while the French were dressed in their finest clothes, gathered in a nearby tennis court, busily drafting a finely-worded constitution, de La Fayette was in a little basement room pickling tiny gherkin cucumbers as a substitute 'stache for the now completely unaffordable baguettestache.

This distinctly aristocratic moustache is reserved for the hegemony, their brethren, the occasional upwardly-reaching bourgeois…, naturally,and Europeans. It is not appropriate for Americans to 'stache this little pickle and continue to believe that they are keeping it real. Because they are not.

'stache #42 - the sweet potato fry moustache

Louis "Moses" Rose, not unlike many Frenchmen to come before and after him, was an undeniable coward. Born in Ardennes, France, in 1785, he rose up the ranks of Napoleons army only to illuminate the comparative toughness of the American and French armies. When Col. William Travis drew the so-called line in the sand at the Battle of the Alamo, 1836, a mere ten years after the notorious slawstache debate, all crossed the line – to their deaths – but Moses, who proclaimed, "By God, I wasn't ready to die! Not with sweet smells of this sweet potato fry under my nose!" He jumped the wall and worked his way through enemy territory crossing the San Antonio River to the Guadalupe River, all the while yelping "Ay! Ay! Ay!" and snacking on the orange sweet meat above his lip.

This sweet potato fry of cowardice was 'stached at the Kerbey Lane Café in Austin, Texas.

'stache #41 - the lemon moustache

Worn like a stag-horn, the inverted lemon wedge moustache was popularized in 1970s Mexico City. It was originally worn as an olfactory refreshment and nose guard when air pollution in the capital city began its rise to fame. It was particularly popular among the dissident, artistically uncompromising Infrarealist poets. Robert Bolaño, in the Savage Detectives, writes:

According to Arturo Belano, the visceral realists vanished in the Sonora desert. Then Belano and Lima mentioned somebody called Cesarea Tinajero or Tinaja, I can't remember which (I think it was when I was shouting to the waiter to bring us some cervezas con limón), and they talked about the Comte de Lautreamont's Poems, something in the Poems that had to do with this Tinajero woman, and then Lima made a mysterious claim. According to him, the present-day visceral realists walked backward. What do you mean, backward? I asked.

"Backward, gazing at a point in the distance, but moving away from it, walking straight toward the unknown."

I said I thought this sounded like the perfect way to walk. The truth was I had no idea what he was talking about. If you stop and think about it, it's no way to walk at all.

Other poets showed up later on. Some were visceral realists, others weren't. Some wore oranges, others limes. It was total pandemonium. ... then we sang a ranchera. That was all. The song was about the lost towns of the north, citrus moustaches, and a woman's eyes. Before I went outside to throw up, I asked them whether the eyes were Cesárea Tinajero's. Belano and Lima looked at me and said that I was clearly a visceral realist already and that together we would change Latin American poetry. At six in the morning I 'stached a lemon wedge, took another pesero, this time by myself, which brought me to Colonia Lindavista, where I live. Today I didn't go to class. I spent the whole day in my room sniffing lemon scent and writing poems.

This moustache can be worn in cities with heavy air pollution, such as Los Angeles, Beijing, Tehran, and Calcutta. The lemon 'stache is also popular with heavy smokers.

'stache #40 - the daisy moustache

Popular among Phishheads and users of crystal deodorant only, we introduce the daisy moustache. Here a brief aside as to what is "comestible." We do not judge. You'll note that we recognize the gummy worm moustache as an edible liphair, which to many is downright heresy. So, here is the flowery decoration of the face, proud and true, though there is really no use for the floral moustache since the days of hunting and gathering have come to a dramatic close with the invention of the plow.

Monday, July 7, 2008

'stache #45 - the chicory moustache

One of a handful of yeoman moustaches, the chicory is the reserved for the dandy farmers of the New England. In 1785, Governor Boudoin of Massachusetts discovered a flavorful new fad in European facial hair, the chicory moustache. He set straight to purchase the seeds from Holland and began to plant this bitter salad stuff. From there the chicory was quickly adopted by Northern yeomanry as the lip lettuce of choice in the warm summers (an exaggeration despised by Southern farm hands). Revived by old Woodstock hippies seeking a reconnection with Mother Nature and chicorystache is linchpin to this modern, backward looking, vegetable-heavy locavore movement. This leafy ‘stache comes to us from a farm outside of Fleischmann’s New York called the Cooked Goose in Roxbury, New York.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

'stache #39 - mussel moustache

Volumes have been written about the musselmoustache and its place in American culture, and we will endeavor to abridge the well-told tale here. Indeed, while undeniably handsome, the mussel 'stache is best known to students of American history as the first example of a truly successful, national advertising campaign, one which influenced the marketing of consumer products for generations to come.

Our tale begins in 1922 in Oklahoma City, where an ambitious young ad executive began to realize that the up-and-coming medium of AM radio could be used for more than simply broadcasting home remedies for gonorrhea and offering a roundup of the day’s cricket scores, as was its inventor’s intent.

What if, Stanley Sutcliffe wondered, the indiscriminately promiscuous cricket fan might also be encouraged via the power of the talking box to purchase a mussel or two for wearing?

(Note that Oklahoma City Mussel Co. was Sutcliffe’s largest client at the time.)

As all know, the power of the radio word was found to be a great success, and Sutcliffe’s innovative "Be a Mussel Man" campaign was soon heard from Seattle to Saint Petersburg, where the sporting of a musselstache typically inferred that the wearer both had a radio, and unfortunately, probably gonorrhea, as well.

Today, the musselstache infers nothing but the keen fashion sense of its wearer. Sport this timeless 'stache during months that carry the letter "R."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

'stache #38 - gummy worm moustache

Like all religious revolutionary 'staches, the gummy worm 'stache had sticky origins. In the middle of the night, November 1517, Martin Luther, cleverly 'stached a traditional German gummy worm, to sneak past the guards and nail his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg castle, thus kicking off the Protestant Reformation. In these brazen beginnings, no one knew about this clandestine 'stache naturally. But the religious fervor wore on Luther's nerves and he became, well, less than lucid at times and started frivolously wearing all types of candy moustaches. Things finally came to a head in 1521 when Luther was excommunicated from the Church -- as if he cared -- and was engaged in a screaming match with the Holy Roman Emperor, whereupon he ripped off his gummy lip scarf and slapped Charles V in the face with it. He was then declared an outlaw. That moment is now remembered as the Diet of Worms, and the moustache is, thoughtfully, remembered in the zen koan, not where he eats, but wear he and he is eaten.

The gummy worm moustache can be worn all year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A personal aside from Cornelius

Dear Reader,

Here at porkmoustache, we have endeavored to bring you nothing more than the honest and truthful history of the world's various food moustaches, a topic heretofore woefully unexamined. As your letters, phone calls, fruit baskets, and personal visits have attested, many of you do very much enjoy our works, and we are ever so gratified. Why, I heard just the other day from Prudence that nigh on 100 of you have signed up for our group through the facebook machine, which sounds very exciting indeed!

But I digress, friendly fellow 'staching aficionado. I break from established pattern in the description of the above kebab 'stache only because it is so evocative for me -— indeed, a food moustache I can hardly imagine my childhood without —- and I would very much like to speak personally of kebabs for this particular entry to our fast-growing field guide to food moustaches. I do thank you for your patience, and hope that it is rewarded.

Reader, imagine you are a seven-year-old boy, an only child at that, growing up on the rocky coast of Maine in the shadow of the Great War. Your house is warm, and your parents loving, but knowing nothing different, you imagine the moustaches formed of crab, lobster, cranberry and — when times are lean — kelp, worn by the men of the village to be the world standard. Frankly, you think little of food moustaches, as the wood needs chopping, the pots scrubbing, and old Jack, your faithful tickhound, would like to please fetch rocks, now.

My beige world was soon to burst in a techicolour supernova, however, reader, as one hazy July morning I was asked to accompany papa to New York City on a business trip, as papa had a meeting with a restaraunteur, which, if successful, promised to end the days of kelp moustaches for good.

(I will spare you the details of the meeting, but suffice to say, the cursed green seastaches would be worn in our home for years to come.)

What I will always associate with that faithful trip, however, is the 'staches worn by the scrappy young food cart vendors of the lower Manhattan. Reader, these boys were likely no older than I, yet what food they wore above their lips! Peppers, onions, beef, and tomatoes, all strung along a wooden dowel for neat 'staching. These were kebabs, I would soon learn, and the variations in a single 'stache could be nearly infinite.
Never had I imagined a world of such 'staches! (Confusingly, most of the kebab boys were selling fresh steamed Maine lobsters from their carts, an irony lost on my seven-year-old brain.)

A look back at my journal of that day captures the wonder in this pivotal moment:

"Say Ace, the city boys wear all manner of strange and exciting snacks above their lips. Oh, how I long to be a city boy and let the grilled meats and vegetables mingle beneath my boyish nose. Also, I am now more convinced than ever that Captain America would easily outrun The Flash were the two competing on a neutral track. Over."
I returned back to Maine later that evening, reader, but the memory of those brightly colored lipstaches never left. At the still tender age of 17, I struck out on my own, leaving the rocky coast for The Big Apple itself.

My first stop upon returning to the city I had not seen in a decade was to visit the first kebab-wearing lobster-seller I saw. Recognizing the kebab-lust in my eye, the young chap offered me the very 'stache he was wearing, and I proudly wore the same 'stache for sixty straight days in my new hometown.

And that friends, is what I think of when I think of kebab 'staches.

I thank you for indulging me, friends, and remember, let no one suggest that the proper food moustache lacks the power to change lives!

Monday, June 30, 2008

'stache #37 - lime moustache

Popularized by a certain class of women in the cocktail-soaked 1920s, the freewheeling young women wearing the citrus moustache were referred to in the society pages as “tarts,” a mildly derisive nickname that endures. Despite its flashy provenance, the lime moustache fell out of favor in ensuing decades, and is now considered the fourth most popular citrusstache, behind orange, lemon and kumquat.

Women may wear the lime moustache year round, though the risk of being tagged as a lady of questionable morals remains.

Friday, June 27, 2008

'stache #36 - duck moustache

“A wealthy man without duck on his lip is poor indeed.”

According to tradition, the duck moustache was first worn by the Chinese peasantry in the 6th century B.C. In 1266 A.D., Marco Polo’s discovery of the fowl lip-fringe in the court of Kublai Khan sparked an international duck craze that revolutionized global trade routes. It is now worn on six continents. Prized for its crispy skin and fatty texture, the duck ‘stache is truly a tasty delicacy. Peking duck, the national moustache of China, is carved and served with spring onions and hoisin sauce in a thin pancake. Keep an eye out for this moustache as a locus of controversy this summer in Beijing; human rights protesters are petitioning athletes not to ‘stache duck at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Dorcas ‘stached this sweet duck morsel, bathed in a traditional Japanese sukiyaki sauce, Wednesday night at Ten restaurant in Charlottesville, VA. Oishii! A waterfowl, duck is worn by omnivores, confused pescatarians, and liberal commie pinkos.

Theodore Roosevelt and his Pigs, Pigskin Library, and Swinefights - A Historical Porkmoustache Interlude

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, historian, naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, soldier, and all around tough guy, was also a taxidermist and lover of swine. TR was known for his heartfelt letters to his children, such as this one from Keystone Ranch, Jan. 29, 1901:

Darling Little Ethel,
You would be much amused with the animals round the ranch. The most thoroughly independent and self-possessed of them is a large white pig which we have christened Maude. She goes everywhere at her own will; she picks up scraps from the dogs, who bay dismally at her, but know they have no right to kill her; and then she eats the green alfalfa hay from the two milch cows who live in the big corral with the horses. One of the dogs has just had a litter of puppies; you would love them, with their little wrinkled noses and squeaky voices.

Delightful! And another, later from the White House to his son, October 17, 1908:

Dearest Kermit,
Quentin performed a characteristic feat yesterday. He heard that Schmidt, the animal man, wanted a small pig, and decided that he would turn an honest penny by supplying the want. So out in the neighborhood of his school he called on an elderly [man] who, he had seen, possessed little pigs; bought one; popped it into a bag; astutely dodged the school—having a well-founded distrust of how the boys would feel toward his passage with the pig—and took the car for home. By that time the pig had freed itself from the bag, and, as he explained, he journeyed in with a "small squealish pig" under his arm; but as the conductor was a friend of his he was not put off. He bought it for a dollar and sold it to Schmidt for a dollar and a quarter, and feels as if he had found a permanent line of business. Schmidt then festooned it in red ribbons and sent it to parade the streets. I gather that Quentin led it around for part of the parade, but he was somewhat vague on this point, evidently being a little uncertain as to our approval of the move.

After his term in office ended, TR and his son Kermit took off for east and central Africa, and it is quite difficult to imagine the man who wrote so fondly of Maude was the very same stalking and felling elephants and hippos. But here is evidence, from this letter from On the 'Nzor River, Nov. 13, 1909:

Darling Ethel,
Here we are, by a real tropical river, with game all around, and no human being within several days' journey. At night the hyenas come round the camp, uttering their queer howls; and once or twice we have heard lions; but unfortunately have never seen them. Kermit killed a leopard yesterday. He has really done so very well! It is rare for a boy with his refined tastes and his genuine appreciation of literature—and of so much else—to be also an exceptionally bold and hardy sportsman. He is still altogether too reckless; but by my hen-with-one-chicken attitude, I think I shall get him out of Africa uninjured; and his keenness, cool nerve, horsemanship, hardihood, endurance, and good eyesight make him a really good wilderness hunter. We have become genuinely attached to Cunninghame and Tarleton, and all three naturalists, especially Heller; and also to our funny attendants. The porters always amuse us and lug around our giant collection of books we felt we might want to read at some point or another on our trek around this great continent, while resting under a tree at noon, perhaps beside the carcass of a beast I have killed, or else while waiting for camp to be pitched. In total, the collection weighs about four tons but they say that it does not bother them in the least to carry it all. Did I tell you that the library is protected in the skin of dear little Maude and her pups and grandpups? I giggle to myself thinking of the great works of Tennyson and Shelley and Milton wrapped up in our piggies’ skins. When there is no clean water for washing our hands Kermit and I generally read Browning…

It was in these days that it became clear to everyone close to TR that his mental health was waning and his relationship to pigs was getting all too strange (and that Kermit was a dandy). TR's swiney emotional state began to affect all parts of his life. The famed 1911 rift with Taft — said to be based on Taft’s unwillingness to attack big business — ended with TR shouting, “Taft, you are such a pussywillow of a man. I do think you might wear hair on your lip! And I am as tough as a Pork Moose!” And from that day on, our nation’s great Rough Rider was known to wear giant pork chops hanging above his mouth.

'stache #35 - sugar snap pea moustache

A moustache of the poor, the sugarsnappeastache long marked the perimeters of urban decline and false promises...until, of course, irony and cultural referents brought it back to life. The first recorded use of the sugar snap pea moustache was, not surprisingly, in Stephen Crane's Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, a notable work of fiction based on kinda true occurrences of the late 19th century Bowery street urchins. In the story, Maggie's little brother Tommie, at age 4, 'staches what little dinner the family has to look the ripe age of 12 so he can pay rent at the flophouse one night when father is drunk and beating the children. In an interview in 1895, Jacob Riis mentioned that the snap pea was popular among the "other half" but they refused to be photographed wearing such a poverty lip legume. The shame was understandable, and the reasons why the real 'stache will never get in the books are well studied. It was the 1890s. The frontier had just barely closed, the government gave Americans free land and free gold, and, in the cities, a great deal of wealth was expected. So it was until a young Joan Didion, working diligently at Vogue, 'stached a pea here or there, that the sugar snap pea moustache quickly found fame amongst the waify girls and boys of urban centers.

This is a summertime 'stache. It should be noted that Fats Domino was a huge fan of this moustache.

'stache #34 - burrito moustache

For a truly mysterious 'stache with a south of the border flair, look no further than the burrito moustache. For centuries, the young and old have delighted in guessing the content of this 'stache, which historically could range from simple seasoned rice to all manner of pricy exotics. Indeed, burritostach guessing reached its peak in popularity in the 1940s, when no fewer than 35 burrito moustache mystery clubs could be found in the Mexico City phonebook. While x-ray technologies and flimsier burrito wrappers largely ended the craze, the burrito 'stache remains fun and mysterious.

For instance, can you guess the contents of the burritos pictured below? Chicken? Perhaps beef?

Sorry, friend. It’s halibut with mango salsa. You owe me 2 dollars.

Being relatively heavy, the burrito moustache is rarely worn outside of the home.

'stache #33 - french fry moustache

Perhaps the most variable of the all the tuber 'staches, the french fry moustache ranges from limp and oil-soaked to twice-fried crisp. Popularized during the War Between the States when the then-stylish potato moustache became simply too decadent for such trying circumstances, crafty southern soldiers were able to make upwards of 30 individuals moustaches out of what once would have been a single lipstripe. While the frying made for an exceptionally delicious 'stache, it was originally intended as a means to ward off insects, mosquitoes and horseflies notoriously repelled by fried starches.

Upon returning to their often devastated southern communities post war, the downtrodden southern soldier was often heartened to find much of the town wearing the 'stache in support of their brave boys. To this day, many south of the Mason-Dixon Line view the fry 'stache as a form of quiet rebellion.

The french fry moustache remains such a loaded symbol, we are hesitant to advise on its suitability for wearing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

'stache #32 - green pepper moustache

A true Depression-era 'stache, the green pepper was the only moustache to emerge from the reign of the sloppy, gin-soaked lime moustache days of Prohibition. The green pepper -- thin, hungry, watered down, but crisp and robust -- was seen 'stached everywhere from the bread lines in New York City to the Deep South tenant cotton farmers. In the outtakes of James Agee and Walker Evans' heady tome, there are several Evans portraits of Floyd Burroughs donning the green pepper moustache with a middle finger raised. Agee's caption simply reads, "New Deal, my ass. Eat my 'stache, Frank."

The green pepper moustache should not be worn.

'stache #31 - avocado moustache

In the 1960s, when young Californian men began hauling their surfboards south in search of the most killingest waves in the world, Belize was still under Guatemalan rule. En route to "hang ten", these gentlemen of the North often found enjoyable nights filled with cheap, delicious beer and voluptuous women in Antigua. Though the women giggled at their white skin and funny talk, they often complained about the lack of bigote, or lipcover. So, the Californians, acting as Californians are wont to act, quickly 'stached slices of avocado. The avocadostache, not to be confused with guacstache, has sustained as much notoriety as the Beach Boys; sometimes one might catch an occasional 'staching by a Patagonia employee.

The avocado moustache, like white linen, should be worn in tropical and semi-tropical climates only.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

'stache #30 - peanut moustache

Within the bailiwick of nut ‘staches, the peanut lip stripe—-an uncouth cousin of the cashew moustache—-is a classless classic. Allegedly of gypsy origins, the peanut ‘stache made its New World debut in nineteenth-century circus tents, balancing on the painted lips of clowns and carnies. Briefly popular on the stages of the Chicago burlesque scene at the turn of the century, it is now relegated to the sidelines of sporting events and monster truck rallies. The Republican National Committee, attempting to capitalize on the peanut stache’s blue-collar appeal, unveiled the GOP mascot sporting this nutty trimming at the 1984 presidential convention.

Peanut ‘stachers are sometimes derided as “monkey nuts” or “goobers,” derogatory terms considered obscene in polite society. This moustache is worn only by men (and monkeys).

'stache #29 - takoyaki moustache

Under Emperor Hideyoshi, 16th century Japan had become a pale, colorless land. But in 1598, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who despised Jesus and blandness, took power and ushered in the country's first Cherry Blossom festival in Kyoto and relegated the small Christian population to the dingier, less colorful city of Osaka. The next spring, Jesus lovers began shrinking the Pentateuch into tiny octopus capsules, or takoyaki, that would be worn as moustaches and later unraveled to reveal His Word. Tokugawa bedded down the lippy clandestine revolution in 1616 by outlawing all fish-based moustaches, and the style was thought to be lost forever. Until General Douglas MacArthur, of Little Rock, Arkansas, attempted to revive the octopus-ball style, and Christianity, in 1947, but quickly abandoned the look, having grossly miscalculated the smell of day-old octopus.

Christianity, one should note, also failed to take root, do in large part to Japan's love of Kawaii, or cuteness. The takoyaki 'stache may be worn only on grey or rainy days. This Arkansas native stached this octopus ball at Otafuku on East 9th Street in Manhattan.

Monday, June 23, 2008

'stache #28 - apricot moustache

The healthiest of all moustaches, the dried apricot 'stache is the conflict-free diamond of haute edible lip couture. Its popularity dates back to the wheatgrass and lycopene craze of 1980s Los Angeles when it is said to have first been 'stached by David Hasselhoff in 1983 when a mere two days of sobriety abruptly ended with a vodka-tonic binge and his daughter found him on the kitchen floor covered in health food. He picked up a lone dried apricot, pressed it to his upper lip and said, "ah, come on, honey, jump in my car!" It is still popular in some circles, but up against a fresh apricot or peach, dried apricot moustache is just, well, passé. But it's possible it could enjoy a renaissance by hipsters not unlike the American Apparel ugly glasses comeback of late.

The dried apricot moustache can be worn all year but its peak season is May to August.

'stache #27 - bánh mì sandwich moustache

The Bánh Mì Sandwich Moustache was first reported in or near the southern colony Cochin China, in the 1860s when the French defeated the Vietnamese army and gained control of area. In 1859, it is said that the French colonists arrived in this land of Khmer people waving baguettes, yelling for fancy cheeses, and complaining about being so le tired. So, as a form of grassroots resistance, the Vietnamese snatched up the silly French bread and created their own, made of a combination of rice and wheat flour. Inside they stacked their roast pork, marinated for days in fish sauce, with mayonnaise, pickled carrots, daikon, cilantro, jalapeños, and cucumbers. They flaunted this moustache to disrespect the French culinary sensitivity. More Bánh Mì Sandwich Moustaches appeared in seemingly unrelated events in Gia Dinh, Bien Hoa, and Dinh Tuong until it became the formal pièce de résistance of the colonized. In the 1980s, its cultural referent as a guerrilla tactic was lost, when the moustache was exported to the United States, unsurprisingly popular among the same groups of coffeehouse liberals that greet each other with "namaste", extol the benefits of Buddhism, worship Tom Robbins, and don Tibetan prayer flags on their porches.

This moustache should be worn indoors, but is often found at drum circles, generic festivals in east coast cities, and not surprisingly, directly outside the Bánh Mì Saigon Bakery.