Vol. 2, Issue 27, July 13, 2004
The Joy of Liquid Shrimp!

The Perils of not Waxing (Philosophical) Enough

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

It has been Argued, not entirely without Reason, that Moustache Wax is one of the Pillars of modern Diplomacy. For the bearded Diplomat or Business-man, a cool countenance during the most Grueling of delicate negotiations is utterly Vital. A gentleman may Compensate for many discomforts in such discussions: he may discreetly Dab at perspiration on his Brow if he has an appropriate silk Kerchief; he may mop a spilled Drink from his beard with his Cravat. But he may Not, under any circumstances, allow his Moustache to droop unbecomingly. There is simply no Way to recover properly from such a faux-pas.

I am a modest waxer Myself, preferring a light application of Bristol Portsman: its hint of the salty Sea complements my nautical Forebears nicely, and it holds up Well under duress. In addition, it is only Mildly flammable - an important consideration when smoking a Pipe. But then I am a modest Man, and have sensibly chosen a fulsome Beard to complement my appearance. But some of my fellow Club-members are Bolder in appearance, sporting clean-shaven Chins and mighty Handle-bar Moustaches, quivering like six-inch Whiskers on a tawny Lion as they chat in the smoke-filled Reading Room. And it was one of these fellows who found himself in a Dire situation as a result.

Colonel Baxter is a fine Whist-player, a fair mark at Darts, and - dare I say it - rather Successful with the ladies. He has one of the Smartest moustaches in the Club: its gentle Slopes and Curves an unparalleled example of aesthetic Geometries which has been of some academic Interest to a professor at the local University. This dapper Gentleman makes his living with various Import concerns; frequent negotiations are Key to the health of his concerns. So when I heard him pounding up the Stairs the other day I assumed merely that he was in a Hurry to attend one of these meetings. Alas, I was but half-correct.

"Watley, dear God, help me," he said striding into the room in acute Agitation. "My meeting with the Ambassador starts in twenty Minutes and it's gone, you see, all of it Gone!" The merest Glance told me what was wrong: his magnificent Moustache hung limply, framing his prominent upper Lip like the ears of a small Dog, swaying and Flapping as he spoke. There could be no Doubt: he was Bereft of Wax.

I dashed to find my own store of Portsman, but the modest wax was not up to the Task of taming the Colonel's mighty moustache. In desperation, we tried trimming a quill and hiding it within the Hairs, using it as a makeshift Skeleton to prop up his Mighty Wings: but the feather made him Sneeze, leaving us very much Worse off than before. In the space of a few short Minutes, we tried nearly Every viscous substance at Hand in my office upon his silvery Handle-Bar: to no Avail, alas. Moreover, we made the Important discovery that Paraffin Wax must be used with extreme Caution when smoking a Pipe.

And that, good Readers, is how, five minutes Later, I found myself Hurtling in a Limousine towards a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador as an impromptu Representative of the Colonel's considerable Trade Concerns, to discuss something about tea and Tariffs. Being so Presentable and Charismatic can be a difficult Cross to Bear: but I do my best with what God gave me, and thank Heaven that my own Moustache needs are so Modest.

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