Monday, September 1, 2014

Fur Kills: Why I will Never Wear a False Moustache

It has taken me a while to write this post, because, as with other traumatic events I have shared, it was just too fresh. While it does involve fur, this one isn't Marvin-related.

Our schedule of Vancouver Pride events was tight... Lisa and I were only in Vancouver for two nights, and we had to cram in social time with as many of Lisa's friends as possible.

Lisa and I dressed as matadors for Dykes on Bikes in the Vancouver Pride parade. We went all out on those costumes. I probably wouldn't have dressed up at all, since costumes are kind of Lisa's thing, but Lisa made it clear that street wear was not an option for anyone riding bitch on HER bike. So I searched endless racks at Value Village, bought obscenely priced orange opaque tights at American Apparel and sustained several severe glue gun burns, all in the name of keeping my woman content.

We even dressed Girlie (Lisa's motorbike) up as a bull by cello taping a viking cap to her speedometer.

Since I had put so much effort into my ensemble, when Lisa's pal (our lovely host) offered up a selection of false moustaches the morning of the parade, I jumped at the opportunity to further enhance my costume. Quirky! Fun! FAcial hair for all!

Except when we go to the parade, I was distracted by our many fans. We posed endlessly for pictures with old men and Asian tourists in the hour we spent waiting in the parade line up. Caught up in our celebrity status, I forgot to put my moustache on.

The parade was pretty great. It turns out that secretly (although Lisa claims this isn't a secret to anyone else) I really like being the centre of attention. I really enjoyed cruising along, at the front of the parade in front of thousands of spectators, both hands in the air, cheering and waving and blowing kisses. What can I say? I got into it.

WHEeeeeeeeeEEE!!! (actually, we are not moving in this photo)
Later, at the after party Lisa's pal asked what happened to the moustache. I had stached it (ha!) in my pocket to put on pre-parade, so I whipped it out and attempted to pull the backing off to do some impromptu costume upgrades on the dance floor...

I had selected "The Hero". How appropriate.
The only problem was, the paper backing was on the wrong way, so when I removed the backing, the adhesive stuck to it and pulled off too..

This is when I learned something important: False 'staches only work if they'll actually stick to your skin. Otherwise they are useless limp scraps of synthetic fur.

I was disappointed and resigned myself to a moustache-less evening, until a friend Lisa's coached me in the delicate art of wearing an adhesive-less fake moustache. She showed me how, by curling my upper lip, I could hold the 'stache between my nose and upper lip temporarily.

This maneuver only works if you can hold your face still in this position, which is hard to do after consuming a fair amount of tequila. So the moustache kept falling off my face. Alcohol plus accessory malfunction equals general hilarity, and the floppy moustache scenario was pretty darn entertaining.

In an effort to remain the centre of attention and milk the laughter for as long as possible, I kept picking my 'stache up off the floor and re-balancing it on my upper lip. Each time it fell again, the false moustache trick became progressively more hilarious.

And then, in a final glorious display of my endless wit, I snort laughed.

Which would have been fine, if my rough handling hadn't severely compromised the structural integrity of my adhesive-less moustache. But it had, and the moustache fell apart, mid snort.

A rogue furry chunk caught a lift on my snort zephyr, and travelled up my nose and down my throat, eventually lodging in my windpipe.

Which is when I started to choke. Tears streaming down my cheeks, I quickly tried to wash the wayward moustache down with tequila, guzzling until I realized that adding burning alcohol to the fuzzball wasn't helping. The chunk was in my lungs. Or at least too far lungward to be washed away.

So I booked it to the wheelchair washroom, gagging on tequila and hair. Once I'd elbowed my way to the front of the line and locked myself inside, I tried to get the moustache to either come up or go down.

Ten minutes into my ordeal, dizzy and gagging and unable to get a breath, I had a moment of drunken clarity.

Spitting soggy hairballs into the sink, I realized something: This was how I was going to die. Locked alone in a wheelchair washroom at the Pride after-party, choking to death on a hunk of shoddily manufactured false moustache.

I panicked. I didn't want to die. Especially not like this. Meditating on how embarrassed my parents/Lisa would be at my funeral if I died this way turned out to be a good thing. The adrenaline released as I imagined the mortifying eulogies that would be delivered made me put extra effort into re-establishing air exchange.

Banging hard on my sternum with my fist (just like every first aid class tells you not to do), I managed to dislodge a large-ish fragment. Gulping for air like I'd just gone for a run with Lisa, I prepared to return to my friends (who I assumed would be panic-stricken by my unexplained disappearance).

After wiping most of the wayward mascara/snot/fuzz off my undereyes, forehead, inner nostrils, and cleavage, I rejoined the party on the dance floor. I fully expected to be bombarded by concerned questions regarding my twenty minute absence.

Shortly after the horrific mustache debacle of 2014. 
 But as I approached Lisa, she just smiled tipsily at me. Clad in a chain mail bra and sunglasses, she twirled around a few times laughing, then proceeded to hit me over the head with a giant inflatable glowstick. I quickly realized that no one, including my fiancee, had even noticed I was missing.

Makes you think, huh? I nearly died, and if I hadn't indignantly and loudly demanded post-trauma attention, no one would have even known.

I guess the moral of this story is that while the fur industry is pretty disgusting, synthetic fur is not without it's own set of dangers, and can also result in animal suffering (mine). It's a conundrum... I should write Pam Anderson and ask her, as a fellow vegan, what she thinks of the whole scenario...

Note to self: Anticipate the potential dangers of future costume choices... 

No comments:

Post a Comment