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.