Looking like a gimp for charity!

Ok, maybe not quite a gimp. But a stereotypical homosexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with homosexuality before I have any hate mail. Adam and Eve, Adam and Steve, whatever!

I thought it would be a good idea to take part in Movember this year. For those of you unfamiliar with what Movember is, it is the premise that you grow a moustache and keep it for the entire month of November and in doing so, not only have women going weak at the knees at the mere sight of your obvious measure of masculintiy, you get respect from your fellow man and you also raise money for charity.

The campaign raises money for the development of treatment and research for prostate and testicular cancer. A very worthy cause.

I wanted to have a go at it this year. But I’m not going to be one of those guys who tell everyone they’re doing it for Movember when in fact they aren’t even raising money for charity. They’re just using it as an excuse to grow a moustache and get away with it. Besides I did that last year. Well I managed a couple of weeks before getting fed up. But my friend Malcolm managed to grow the most amazing moustache I’ve ever seen. So majestic, so predatory. It commanded respect. It was so thick, so healthy looking and so shiny. But this is Malcolm we’re talking about. The guy grows facial hair so fast that if you were to talk to him and constantly blink it would be like looking at a flick book of a man growing a beard!

This year my friend Sam and I decided to go for it. We were going to grow moustaches for charity. I am however, raising money for a UK charity, Macmillans Cancer Support. I decided to try to raise money for more general cancer charity because I have had family and friends fight cancer with some success stories, some sad departures and a family member currently in a fight against it.

At first there is all the bravado and fun of it all. It is very novel and everyone has a good laugh about it. Sam has the advantage of already having a beard. He’s had a beard for so long, his wife had never seen him clean shaven and when he undertook the challenge, she was worried what he would look like. I on the other hand wasn’t even sure I could grow the tosh of choice. I did however know that it would be ginger.

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Undertaking a challenge of this size is a learning experience. You learn that there are many different styles and types of moustaches out there in the world. I also learnt that what I thought was a classic handlebar moustache was not a handlebar but actually known as a horseshoe, demonstrated beautifully by geriatric wrestler Hulk Hogan.

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People grow their facial hair at different rates. I felt a dent in my manliness when after a week people were approaching me and saying they thought I was doing Movember this year.

But it started to come, it started to grow and it started to show itself….kind of. With much coaxing, nurturing and welcoming it into the world. Do not be afraid furry one, I would say, lying in a dark room, underneath a glow lamp.

As I say, it’s a learning experience. Something else I’ve learnt is that my facial hair grows in different colours on different parts of my face. The tosh is a mixture of mousy, ginger and black drifting down to very thin, very blonde, almost transparent at the sides of my mouth and becoming bright ginger at the bottom.

I therefore have a tosh that can only be fully appreciated at a very close range or in certain light. It is indeed an elusive tosh. You kind of see it’s awesomeness and then in a blink it can disappear.

Sam and I work at the same company and it’s fair to say that Sam is getting a lot of sponsorship through work. More than me. But it’s probably because my attempt at growing this thing is so feeble. What chance do I have against a man who regularly maintains a beard? Especially when my attempt can’t be seen!

Why don’t I just keep the tosh? Why don’t I just maintain the Tom Selleck vibe?

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Good point but one of my colleagues thought that the idea of having a ginger horseshoe so funny that if I came into work on the last day dressed as a member of the village people with such a tosh, she and members of her family would make generous contributions to the cause.

Not only am I bound to the horseshoe moustache, I am now in the interest of charity going to go to work as a cowboy on November the 30th. Why the cowboy? Because I already kind of have the costume at home in so far as I have a checked shirt, jeans and a cowboy hat. Oh, and because all my leather biker gear got ruined in the wash!

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Oh dear.

But still we laugh our way through the first week and the second week.

By the third week, I am becoming more and more aware of the hypnotising powers and intimidating force my tosh is having. Just the other day I was at the dentist. Lying there with my jaw wide open, the dentist being the only person who can cause me pain, draw blood and still get paid for it. He was foraging for something but I don’t know what. The dental nurse, a young attractive lady was clearly mesmerised by the ginger sprouting hair around my mouth. So much so that she lost concentration with that suction thing and it caught hold of that little dangling punch bag at the back of my throat. Let me tell you, my life flashed before my eyes!

But there’s a fine line between the look of awe and jealousy and the look of disgust. I should know. My fiance has been glaring at my tosh with more and more disdain on a daily basis. Do you know what it is like having the person you love screaming in terror every other night from a nightmare? As you try to comfort them they tell you they were dreaming that you had a wiry, ginger, uneven, poor excuse of a horseshoe moustache and it was disgusting. Imagine then having to tell them that it was no nightmare. It was the truth!

I’m on orders that when I return from work on the 30th it has got to come off.

“HERO” is a term that is not banded about lightly. But what is a hero? Someone who risks their lives for others. I’m not saying I’m a hero but there have been many a time the past few weeks, so strong the determination of my good lady to remove my tosh, I’ve had to tell her to put the heavy blunt instrument down and back away. She even tried Rohypnol to render me unconscious so she could shave it off but it didn’t work. I guess I’ve built up a pretty good tolerance to it over the years. All those years of taking it expecting to get laid. It never happened. But of course, I’m doing it for Macmillans Cancer Support. Any time Mrs Grump gives me the look, I have a reflex response, “IT’S FOR CHARITY!!”

Now I’ve got a week left. It’s desperate to come off. It doesn’t help that with my shaved head and this tosh I look like I’d fit right in at the Blue Oyster Bar!

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I may get laughed at. I may get winks from camp men. I may get bullied by local children. I may even end up in the local premier inn for the last few days but damn it I’ll do this!!

If you want to look at the progress or even be generous enough to donate to the charity, you can at http://www.justgiving.com/dan-gallagher

I would be very grateful for any support.

Thank you

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