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.