Monday, October 19, 2009

Moustache madness

A mini interview with Patrick Melcher at

Did you start growing your moustache because you wanted to win the 2009 World Beard & Moustache Championships?
No. I started growing a moustache ‘cause they’re awesome, and then some dudes were like, “You should join the moustache club in town!”
Did you join the club?
Yeah. I emailed them and they were all cool guys, so I went and joined the beard and moustache club. As soon as I joined they were like, “You gotta go to the championships in Anchorage with us! We went last year and it was amazing!” And I’m like, “I don’t even know you guys, dude! I don’t wanna spend a week with you in Alaska! Come on.”
But you went anyway and came in 2nd!
Yeah! I ended up placing!
How many other moustaches were you up against?
Well, there are twelve different classes. They divide it all up into special categories like: Sideburns, full-beard, natural full-beard, full-beard with styling… all these different categories.
What were you in?
Mine was called the Imperial category, and there’s all these specifics that came with it, like, you can’t have any other facial hair anywhere else except this one area of your face, and it can only go out from the corner of your mouth one centre meter…
So, they standardize it to make it all fair and legit?
Yeah, otherwise people would find ways to cheat.
Sounds pretty serious!
They are serious about it, man! Dudes who compete, like, these traditional Norwegians and these Dutch guys, oh my god! It’s their life! It’s insane.
And you just rolled up for the first time ever and came in 2nd! How many people were in your category?
In mine? I think it was about 55. But in the whole contest there were about 400.
Your moustache club must have been pretty stoked. What’s the club called by the way?
It’s called ‘The Bristly Chaps of Los Angeles’. It’s basically one of these fraternal orders of homies.
How does it all go down? Do you meet?
Yeah, we call a meeting and then we all meet at a bar.
How often?
When there’s a reason, like, if there’s some project happening someone will call a meeting and we’ll all hang out.
And what do you do?
Shoot the shit. Talk about our journeys and our adventures and our moustache lives. It’s just an excuse to go to a bar and hang out with dudes you wouldn’t normally hang out with.
That’s cool, but what happens if you shave your stuff off? Do you get kicked out of the club? Is there a beat-down?
No, you’re not out of the club, man. You’re just… you’re just demoted in rank.
You’re scorned?
Kinda. Everyone’s like, “Oh man, you shaved?” There are a couple of actors (in the club) who sometimes shave. They’re like, “I had to shave it for a part.” And everyone else goes, “Weak. You’re a sell out.”
What are the advantages of having a moustache?
You know, I’ll tell ya, and this may sound fake, but, no matter what you do and where you go, people really take you seriously! They take every word you say as incontestable truth! I can pretty much lie about everything. When somebody’s got a moustache you give them a little bit more respect. They’re to be feared an honored.
Right! I noticed people treated me with more respect when I grew a big beard! Why do you think that happens?
Maybe they recognize that you have the fortitude to grow it out and deal with it?
It’s very real what ever it is. I also found, and this is really weird, that black women were friendlier towards me when I had a beard.
I get that too!
Really? I feel racist.
I’m sure women of all races are down for it but, yeah, I think that’s true.
Does your girlfriend like the moustache?
She’s into it… to an extent. Once it gets a bit big and ridiculous looking- she’s over it.
What are some of the worst things about having a moustache? What sucks?
Getting food stuck in it.
Yeah. And, dude, sometimes I’ll be flossing and a strand will go in and act as floss. It’ll get stuck…
Between your teeth?
Yeah, and it’ll get ripped out.
Yeah. So, mostly it just eating, flossing, and making-out. Everything else I can deal with.
Do you get tired of people mentioning it and looking at it?
Yeah. It’s like being a girl with giant fake boobs. It’s kinda all they look at.
So what’s your plan for the next championships? Are you gonna come in 1st?
Hell yeah, man! It’s in Norway in 2011.
It’s two years away?
Yeah, so I’ve got some time.
What’s better- winning a skate contest or a moustache contest?
Man, I have to say the moustache contest.

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