Once, a few years ago, I decided that I would grow a mustache.
I spent two days on it and it was a disaster. It looked ridiculous and, though I was determined to see it through to the bitter end, I could barely look at myself in the mirror without weeping hysterically.
It was a mustache of the handlebar variety. Not the olde English bobby-on-the-corner-with-the-plastic-helmet sort of handlebar, but the vintage Nick Mason slash biker dude handlebar straight out of some ’70s drama starring Erik Estrada. Huggy Bear would have been proud of this kind of a mustache, were Huggy Bear to have worn a mustache, which I don’t think he did.
On me, though, it was an abomination, a terrible travesty of shame, so with a final hurrah (and a photograph to remember it by), I shaved it off.
The picture that I took of it — and the picture made it look a thousand times worse than it did in real life — ended up being the basis of a web page that I created, dedicated to the memory of my now departed mustache. My mustache — or Maurizio, as I named it — would occasionally post blogs and would respond to fan mail, were anybody to actually send any… which they did.
Here’s the thing, though: my mustache was getting more email than I was.
I took it a step further, in an attempt to see how far I could stretch a concept that I’d spent two days growing and only had a single picture to remember it by. I began Photoshopping my mustache onto other things, like the udder of a cow. I got endorsement from a company that made a piece of software that digitally drew mustaches onto pictures (sadly no longer supported). My mustache was, soon, getting more media time than I ever did.
The point I’m trying to make is that none of what I just said is unusual.