First It Took Over My Face, Then It Took Over My Life

I had had this crazy dream that I was falling into a deep hole I had dug to China in order to meet General Tso.


When I first grew a mustache, I was the happiest guy in the world. My mustache and I would go on bike rides, wake up early to buy the freshest baguettes, and comb the beach for the handsomest of seashells. We’d stay up all night talking, my mustache and I—not about anything, but about everything.

Women were secretly thrilled by the tenacity and grace of my mustache. Two high school girls even asked my mustache to the prom, but he politely declined, because they were, as he claimed, jailbait.

Men with mustaches would give me a knowing look as we approached on the street. Men without mustaches would tip their top hats and give me taffy out of respect for the majesty of my mustache. And life was good, until the night of June 24, when I woke up in the middle of the night…and my mustache was gone.

I had had this crazy dream that I was falling into a deep hole I had dug to China in order to meet General Tso. I was so scared that I had sweated through my nightgown and my sleeping cap. I reached for my candleholder but couldn’t find it atop the stack of ammunition I keep next to my bed. I was a-panic, all a-frazzled, and in desperation I decided to wake up my mustache, for moral support and maybe a back rub. When I tugged my upper lip, however, my mustache was gone.

After a few hours, I was able to cry myself to sleep. When I woke in the morning, my mustache was back. Even stranger, it smelled like perfume. “Zippity do daaaaaaa,” I mused to myself, eyeing my mustache suspiciously as we brushed our fangs. “Zippity…dooo…da!”

I chalked up the incident of the mysterious missing midnight mustache to my own confusion. Maybe I was still half asleep or half dreaming, and my mustache had been there the whole time. Stranger things have happened: Horses have sexed donkeys, ballots have gone missing, mummies have driven go-carts. The world is a weird place.

And then I received my credit card statement. Mustache gel: $20. Mustache silk tie: $50. Mustache lube: $23. There were additional charges at bars and restaurants all over town, not including a $315 charge at Condom World…for Mustaches. I had never been there. No sir, I am no pervert. When I brought these charges up to my mustache, he growled and told me to get him a goddamn jar of moonshine.

“Mustache,” I said. “You don’t drink.”

“Shut your ugly head!” he said, sounding drunk. “You don’t know what I do!”

“You’ve been using my credit card,”  You’ve been spending all over town. You’ve been fraternizing with loose women.” I was trembling and crouched in the corner of our apartment, holding a rolling pin for protection. Suddenly, my mustache jumped off my face. I screamed like a castrato.

“Where are you going?”

“Out!” my mustache yelled, lighting a cigar and lumbering toward the door.


“Get off my case already!” my mustache roared. “I bust my hump all week and I gotta come back to you and face the goddamned inquisition!”

He slammed the door, shattering my Faberge egg. I ran to the refrigerator and started shoveling handfuls of ham and ice cream down my gullet. I was so upset, betrayed, and swindled by my good friend and mustache, with no one to turn to but the fleeting solace of a pork and dairy binge.

When I calmed down, I called up my good friend and confidante, Tom Selleck, on his emergency line.

“Magnum,” I said into the tin can, “I grew a mustache and it stole my credit card.” It was a long distance to Tom Selleck’s private island and my voice had to carry over thousands of miles of yarn, so there was a slight delay before he could respond.

“Idiot!” he said finally. “A mustache? You might as well have invited a vampire into your home!”

“But you had a mustache and you seemed so happy,” I responded into the can.

“Imbecile! That was the ’80s, and that was a hologram. I wasn’t happy at all.”

“What?” I whimpered, confused.

“Just because I wore a Hawaiian shirt doesn’t mean I was happy. I spent two years in rehab after I got hooked on a goatee.

“Brendan,” Tom Selleck said to me. He could tell I was about one inch away from a violent feeding frenzy. “You know I love you. You’ve always been a great friend and a huge inspiration to me. You saved my life on more than one occasion; the wolverine, the plane crash, the cannibal cults. But you gotta grow up. Mustaches will only make you look like a pervert and get you into trouble. They serve no logical purpose. You didn’t pitch for the Dodgers 20 years ago. You don’t eat krill, do you?”


“Forget it. Listen, change your locks, cancel your credit card, shave, and stop calling me every weekend, all hopped up on ham and ice cream with a new crisis that you want me to solve. I’m Tom Selleck; I don’t have time for your crap.”

“You know what, Tom Selleck, you’re right. I will follow my dreams. I will become an astronaut.”

“No. That is not what I am saying at all. You don’t listen…”

I hung up the emergency line, inspired. As an investigative reporter, the world needed me. I couldn’t sit on the sidelines, feeling sorry for myself because my mustache left me. I couldn’t shrivel up inside and turn my apartment over to a gang of feral cats. I needed to go where nobody ever, in the history of time, had gone. I needed to keep pushing the bounds of human knowledge, regardless of minor setbacks like a bill for mustache lube. I needed to investigate something so unknown that most people had never even heard of it.

Next month, to prove to my mustache that I am doing completely fine without him—ahem, it (and by the way I haven’t even thought about it the good times we used to have making up limericks and looking for animal shapes in the clouds)—I am going to the moon. That’s right, I’m going to the moon, mustache. What have you done, huh? Probably nothing. Stay with your whores, you whore-mongering scallywag. See if I care. I’m friends with Tom Selleck and I am going to be the first person ever to walk on the moon. So there! Who’s the idiot now, mustache? Who’s the idiot now?!

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