Are we not men?
An annual mustache growing contest is back, giving men the chance to explore their inner Tom Selleck. The competition is for a good cause, but when it comes to growing facial hair, some machismo is unavoidable.
Simon Durkin, who won last year’s ’Stache Bash, is more than a little confident he’ll out ’stache the competition, saying that not all upper lip hair is created equal.
“It’s all in the genes,” said Durkin. “The guys who are blonde and have wispy facial hair don’t stand a chance. My black Irish roots give me a leg up.”
Along with hereditary advantages, Durkin cites the old belief that certain drinks encourage hair growth.
“At our check-ins, we drink beer and picklebacks at the Bushwick Country Club,” the thick-whiskered man said of the popular whiskey and pickle juice concoction. “It’s the secret to growing.”
Contestants get just over a month to let their whiskers grow wild and see how long and thick they can grow it.
The guys had an official shave night on Oct. 1 and since then have had weekly check-ins — where most men showed up with unruly, not-yet-manicured growths.
“We get volunteer growers to shave off all their facial hair and then it’s just a regular mustache, corner to corner, no fu-manchu or handlebar or anything fancy,” said organizer Jeff Mathews.
“The weekly check-ins are social events more than anything, so that the guys can compare what they’ve got growing.”
For most, the Bash is clearly a casual event for charity, and a successful one at that, raising more than $2 million for DonorsChoose.org and the Make A Wish Foundation in its six years of growing.
The ’staches are judged by a panel of “mustache experts” who include “whoever we can round up,” said Mathews.
The bearer of the sweetest ’stache gets the glory, and last year Durkin did get a bottle of bourbon and a jar of McClure pickles — so a repeat victory may be in order.
’Stache Bash at the Littlefield [622 Degraw St. between Fourth and Third Avenues, in Gowanus, (718) 855–3388, www.littlefieldnyc.com]. Nov. 3, 7 pm, $10.