Good Morning, Officer

Good morning, Officer

I only realize that I have a mustache when I scratch my cheek. Though I don’t see them, my eyes pop open as I take the trip from my kitchen to my bathroom. That short walk involves both horror and recollection.

First of all, the recollection. It was after a few Becherovkas. Burke and I were talking about Marc Maron, a comedian we both like. We looked at his picture. Mustache and flavor saver.

“I can pull that look off,” I said.

“I like the beard,” Burke diplomatically countered.

“Should I do that?” I obviously had a bee in my bonnet about doing a stache.

“I like the beard,” she said again.

By the time she could just come out and say, “please don’t do it,” I am doing it. You know how it goes. I start by clipping the chops, cut away the chin hair so as to remove the possibility of a safe haven goatee. Two minutes after it started, it’s done.

Then there’s the reckoning. This morning, as I reach the bathroom and look into the mirror, I take it all in. I have a Tom Selleck mustache that stops at the ends of my lip. I’m a stocky dude with a full face, so I look like something between a 19th century fireman and a 1980s highway patrol man. I am acutely aware of my chin and neck flab.

Burke is still eating breakfast; she has seen the mustache and it wasn’t special enough to take her away from her omelette. I come back out, choose the more flattering of the two comparisons I’ve come up with in the bathroom.

“I look like a fireman!”

“You look like a cop.”


She then begins on what will be the joke of the day. ‘Good morning, officer, why did you pull me over?’


I have a mustache. If you are a guy who can grow facial hair, you have probably had one at some point, too. You understand. Women experiment with their hairstyle, men experiment with their facial hair. My great great grandmother experimented with both.

The thing is, I have to sell this mustache. I can’t be apologetic about it, tell everyone that it was part of an inside joke after 5 drinks. I’m not a 20-year-old hipster who can sashay around enjoying the confidence provided by irony and skinny jeans. I am in my forties, a mustache is a thing that happens to us. I have to meet students, go shopping, and be a person in his forties. I have to act like a man with a mustache, not a kid playing with his facial hair.

This morning, Monday, I decide to wear the mustache and own it. I keep a grim look on my face on the metro. The way a 19th century fireman might. A ticket inspector make his appearance. He flashes his badge and I glance up at him from my book. He nods at me, and though he has asked everyone in my vicinity for their travel card, he walks past me and leaves me alone.

He mutters something to me. If my translation is correct, it was something like ‘good morning officer.’

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)