Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Columnists

December 8, 2012

Stick Miller: You be the judge

AMERICUS — I’ve been trying to make a decision on my own. I have weighed the pros and cons. I have argued with, mediated with, and counseled myself in the mirror. I think this one is going to have to go to trial.

Although I do not practice law, I do have a law degree.  With that and approximately $10 you can get yourself a super duper grandiose frappalatta dingdong at the world’s most overpriced coffee shop. Yep, I have the degree and just that little bit of warped lawyer mindset allows me to carry on this conflict in my head. It is a unique perspective which begs the question, “What is this guy talking about?” A few background facts might clear the fog a bit.

My youngest son, Mathew, has for several years participated in a very worthy cause. This organization, named “Movember” as best as I can figure, tries to raise money and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer research. I suppose you could say they have both sides of the question covered. I support his efforts, but because I lost a pretty good job due to my aversion to asking people for money, I’ve concentrated my efforts on the “awareness” part of the project. Here is how it works:

Men join groups for competition to see who can grow the best mustache. They become “Mo Bros.” Our wives and girlfriends sign up as “Mo Sistas” although my research yields no requirement that they attempt to produce any facial hair. In effect, we mustachioed guys become walking billboards for the movement and our job is to stimulate discussion and questions about the often ignored subject of men’s health.  At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate by attending a Movember party and then, I guess, with a mass “shave off.” My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

The “stache” does elicit comments. I simply tell people that Elise just hit me in the face with a toilet brush and I can’t get the last little bit of bristles out of my nostrils. Actually, I tell them about Movember and the movement and that we are raising money for men’s cancer research. That is about as far as I’m willing to grovel.

So here it is, December, and there it sits, right smack in the middle of my face. What do I do? Elise, my love, told me in her most gentle persuasive cherubic voice that it “is December now.” I asked her, “Do you like it or not?” Not one to offer an unsolicited opinion she said, “Since you asked, I think it is up to you.” That means “cut the damn thing off before I put an ice pick in between your eyes” in sweet wife talk.

Others, however, have told me that it adds to my obvious air of dignity, and it gives some maturity to my boyish good looks. If you think of the great Stars of the Silver Screen of the past, most were mustachioed.  David Niven, Adolphe Menjou, John Barrymore, Douglas Fairbanks, Ernie Kovaks, - all those guys sported some great facial hair. Then again, so does Gene Shallot and Wilford Brimley. Maybe my hairless lip is the only thing that’s kept me from well-deserved stardom for all these years.

Whatever the ultimate decision, I think I’ll leave it through Christmas. Maybe I’ll shave early Christmas morning as a gift to Elise, since I can’t think of anything else to get her. Or maybe I’ll wait until after gifts are opened. If she doesn’t get me something good, I could always cut just half of it. In fact, I think I’ve been called a “half stache” or something very similar on several occasions. Otherwise I’ll leave it to my millions of readers to chime in with an opinion.

When you spot me on the street, you can tell me what you think. Feel free to email me your thoughts. If I like what you have to say, I’ll heed your advice. If not, I’ll delete your message like a dangling participle.

Oh, and by the way, I haven’t sent my check into Movember yet. So if you want to participate pop me an email and I’ll tell you how to make a contribution. See, this fundraising stuff isn’t so bad after all.

Dang! I need to go wash my mouth with soapy water.

Boyce “Stick” Miller lives in Americus, Georgia. Contact him at


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