Movember: The growing is the hardest part

Sidney Crosby: What's that thing on his lip?

Let's be honest here — for anyone growing a Movember moustache this month, the first two weeks are going to flat-out suck.

The first weeks of growing a beard is often bad enough — the dirty face phase, the itchy phase, the scraggly, wind-blown prairie phase — are all unpleasant steps along the long path to robust bearddom.

But a moustache is even worse. No offense to the Movember guys, but moustaches have been out of vogue since Huggy Bear sported bellbottoms and platform shoes. So by extension, the uncomfortable first stages of growing it are timeless agony.

However, there are options. There are ways you can participate in Movember and save face at the same time:

Don't go outdoors. Thankfully there are only 30 days in November, and usually they're cold, crappy days of rain or snow anyways. Thanks to advances in technology like Grocery Gateway and Netflix, you can live pretty comfortably without inflicting your embarrassing cookie duster on another soul. Just leave cash on the doorstep for the pizza delivery guy and you're good to go.

Hang onto the beard as long as you can. Oh sure, the die-hards will ride you for not being true to the 'stash, for not playing along as you should. But that's their problem. If you actually have to socialize in November, keep the five-o'clock shadow until your moustache is actually ready for public consumption. It's better to look like a homeless guy with a scraggly beard than a recluse from the 1970s with a pathetic moustache.

Wear distracting clothes. It's an old magician's trick — distract people's eyes with your gaudy, ill-fitting shirt and maybe they won't notice that crap on your upper lip. Bright, checkered shirts and neon-yellow sneakers work best for this. If you're lucky, people will be so offended by your wardrobe they won't give the rest of you a passing glance.

Wear a mask. There are a number of good reasons to wear a mask long after Halloween has ended. Maybe you're a member of the hacker group Anonymous. Maybe you're sensitive to dust or allergens. Maybe you're a huge Spiderman fan. Just do yourself a favour and don't wear it if you're shopping for jewelry or going to a bank.

Use a decoy. Yep, I'm talking about a plastic duck. Every time someone starts looking at you, wave the duck as far away from your face as possible. No one can avoid looking at some giant, plastic mallard swooping around! Then scamper away while they're still wondering what the hell that was all about.

Shave anyway: Hey, not everyone has enough testosterone to grow a moustache. Look at Sidney Crosby — I'm convinced that thing he grew in last year's playoffs was just hockey tape. You're just one of those guys who can't grow one. Well, you tried. Stupid genes!

Now, if you choose to stick with it, the good news is that the ugly phase usually lasts only 10 to 14 days. Then you can focus on grooming, shaping and preening your 'stache in a way that best suits your personality — if you still have one left after the first two humbling weeks of Movember.

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