What a stache!
Okay, guys, fess up. You occasionally like to give your wife a little bit of a hard time about how long it takes her to comb her hair and “put her face on” in the morning. Don’t lie to me; sure you do. If not, you have thought about it.
But what would your reaction be if the tables were turned and she said something like this: “That’s all right, dear, I don’t mind waiting an hour while you do your mustache.”
No way that’s going to happen if you don’t have a mustache, or even if you do. Right? What guy has a mustache that takes an hour to groom?
Ram Singh Chauhan, that’s whom. (Bad grammar, but it rhymes.) Ram says it takes about an hour a day to groom his mustache (and apparently he does so sans any cutesy remarks from his wife).
Those of you who know me know I have a mustache. Nothing spectacular or fancy. No handle bars to it. Not a little block of lip whiskers like Hitler. Not full and bushy. Just gray whiskers that blanket my upper lip and have been hanging around there being trimmed occasionally for 40 years or so.
But Ram Singh Chauhan has a mustache! He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the longest mustache in the world—14 feet long. Compared to his, mine is just a barely perceptible gray smudge on my upper lip.
Ram says it takes about an hour each day to groom his mustache. He combs and massages it, using a coconut-based hair oil. (With a 14-footer, you don’t want any split ends on your hair.) Then he carefully wraps each tendril (is that what you would call each side hanging down from his lip?) in cloth and coils them around his neck (sort of a giant five-strand necklace, just no beads).
Ram says he washes it every ten days (whether it needs it or not, I suppose). “My wife helps me,” he told the BBC News Magazine in an interview. (Nice that he gets grooming help from his wife; but, guys, I don’t recommend offering grooming aid to your wife. The best help you can be is to smile admiringly at the end result or maybe say, “You look great, Sweetheart.” Don’t say, “You look great today, Sweetheart.” That might be taken to mean that you don’t think she looks great other days.)
Ram says life is not easy with a long mustache. He notes, for instance, that sleeping can be uncomfortable. He offers no explanation except to say there is no gain without pain. (Rolling over during the night and getting tangled in your mustache might produce some lip pain. Or, there might be this plaintive cry during the night, “Ouch! That was my mustache in the cover you just yanked over your shoulder.”)
Ram’s wife, Asha, admits that she wasn’t always fond of his mustache and that they used to fight over it in the early years of their marriage. She says, “He used to take a long time to get ready [an hour now is not a long time?]…and also people used to stare at him.” Later, as he started getting recognition for his long mustache, she started to like it and to respect his commitment, she says, adding that now it is like a part of the family and she shares his pride in it. I wonder if that’s just a nice way to say that it’s easy to pick him out in a crowd?
That great stache is something to stash away in the Guinness record book, but it’s 13 feet 11½ inches more mustache than I want. But, Ram, I’ll be thinking about you each morning when it takes 15 seconds altogether to wash my mustache while washing my face in the shower and then hitting it a lick or two with a comb—no fretting with any coconut oil or worrying about split ends—and you still have 59 minutes and 45 seconds to go in massaging 14 feet of mustache. Oh, please be careful not to walk anywhere until you get it wrapped around your neck. Stepping on your stache could jerk your lip out of place.