Larson: Month of May creates hairy situations for all of us

Peter Larson

Dear brothers,

I fear that by the time you receive my message it will be too late. By the time this column is printed, picked up, dropped off and picked up again, hundreds of men across campus will already be awake and have made the decision to do away with their razors for the next 31 days in exchange for an intangible level of cool. The seriousness of this situation compels me to write. In the hope that the contract you have not altogether consciously entered into is not final until sundown, I beg the majority to reconsider. Tuesday was May 1, a wretched, wretched day of the year because it’s when the “Maystaches” begin to creep back out. At this point the upper lip that will eventually bear that creepy, crawly caterpillar of hair might be covered by only a dusting of stubble. It has not even been distinguished from the rest of the beard, which could still be mistaken for simple forgetfulness. But one week from now, you will know it when you see it. I do not know the exact origins of the Maystache, other than the obvious fact that it was a masked form of male rebellion against the clean-shaven powers that be. On-campus student groups like Mayfest have promoted the phenomenon in the past to help promote end-of-the-quarter events, including Dillo Day. And if you go to maystache.org, interactive marketing communications company Marketing Images (MI) accepts donations for its team of growers, ultimately directing funds raised to charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts, Locks of Love and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am not condemning the fundraising strategies of these charities – the end itself is rich with social value – but consider the cultural phenomenon that, in the process, they manage to annually resurrect, one that I think we all wish would stay dead along with William Howard Taft. What is so regrettable about the Maystache is its success. With a broad base of appeal among men shouldering the societal expectation of having a face like a baby’s bottom comes a lot of participation and a lot of unfortunate mustaches. If you’re no