Fresh Takes Opinion — 20 February 2014

Travis Danner

Special to the Express

The ol’ pushbroom. Lip luggage. The crumb catcher.

All those are phrases for something that will give you a pronounced advantage in life — a mustache.

That may sound flippant or ludicrous to you but I mean it with all sincerity. The key to living a better life is a nice thick set of whiskers right below the nose.

Ladies, you too.

Well, OK, maybe ladies don’t want to grow mustaches, but they could if they wanted to. And really, I have a more serious point to make about people, in general, and it relates to mustaches.

Great facial hair requires dedication and bravery. One has to be willing to let something of yourself out that will alter the way you appear to the outside world. One has to be willing to be awesome.

History illustrates again and again that those who dare to be different, those willing to present themselves honestly to the world and those who grow mustaches — those are the people who conquer, who endure and generally do pretty badass stuff.

The first known portrait of a man with a mustache is of a Scythian horseman thought to be as old as 300 BC. That means that for more than 2300 years, the mustache has endured and ancient Iranians knew even then to revere and immortalize lipholstery in pictures.

Artist Salvador Dali thought enough of his mustache to publish an entire book focusing on it.

In the early 1970s, the then-owner of my beloved Oakland Athletics, Charlie Finley, paid his players to grow mustaches. That team went on to win three World Series titles in a row.

There’s no way that’s a coincidence.

Who is the most famous video game character in history, who has appeared in over 200 different games?

That’s right: Super Mario with his super ‘stache.

Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain, Ron Burgundy — all winners, all rocked the lip fur.

What do all these men have in common besides the mustache? All of them were difference makers. Changers of history. They all bucked tradition or started their own and they all looked rugged, handsome and distinguished while doing so.

To me, a mustache is about finding something about yourself that sets you apart from everyone else, and cultivating it — constantly working to make it better. It’s about showing the world that you’re not willing to be just another face in the crowd. At least not a face without a mustache.

A quality mustache requires quite a bit of upkeep, from grooming to trimming to keeping it clean. But in this world, nothing good comes easy and one’s hard work will show on their face when they have finely maintained face furniture.

The world is full of people content to be just like everyone else. Sticking out is hard. People are perfectly happy to blend in, live a non-mustachioed life and never live up to their true potential.

I can’t tell you how many conversations I get into due to the caterpillar on my upper lip. Sometime I feel it’s more popular than me, but then I remember that’s totally understandable because my mustache is pretty great. People may think that I get sick of it. I never do.

As a matter of fact, since I’ve embraced my soup strainer, my life has gotten dramatically better. I’ve become a better writer and a better person. That may sound like a joke. It’s not.

If you’re looking to get ahead in life, throw caution to the wind. Find something about yourself that makes you different — something distinct about yourself that gives you an advantage in this cavalcade of conformity we call America. If that thing is a mustache — congratulations, my friend. You win.

According to Reader’s Digest, the average man with a mustache touches that mustache 760 times a day. That’s because he knows he’s reaching out and touching greatness.

 

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We are the award-winning student newspaper of Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif.

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