Raffish Badboy in Dishabille
by, March 3rd, 2010 at 11:43 PM (26068 Views)
Entry Word: raffish*
Meaning: lacking in refinement or good taste <the dowager cringed at the thought of raffish
peasants in rough boots tromping all over her Persian rugs
Entry Word: badboy*
Meaning: A young man who has many characteristics of a naughty boy: he's independent and willful; he does what he wants when he wants; he doesn't follow trends, they follow him; he often looks scruffy, but hip; he's not looking for trouble, but there's a sense of danger about him. For these reasons and more, he's irresistible to women. He's a heartbreaker with five o'clock shadow.
Last week, as the Winter Olympic Games were waning, my identical twin brother--the raffish badboy John Thornton, AKA, Rusty Scupperton, AKA, Jimmy Bougar, AKA, Libby Ellen Spooner, and countless other aliases--texted me.
The gist of John's message was that he had found the perfect look for us, and that I would never guess what it was.
I immediately texted him back with a "guess" that I was virtually certain was correct: "The Apollo Ohno soul patch?"
Singletons often think twins have E.S.P., but in my case, it's simply remarkable perception and intuitive intelligence bordering on the uncanny. In our childhood, for instance, I was able to routinely ruin the TV show Mannix for anybody watching it with me because of my ability to identify the villain within a second of his initial appearance.
But I am getting off the subject.
Anyhow, John immediately texted me back with what I assumed would be congratulations for my perspicacity. Instead, he said that the Apollo Ohno soul patch was not the look he was pioneering for us, but that I was on the right track.
This is when I knew, with 100 percent confidence this time, that John was growing a pencil-thin mustache.
I also knew, with 100 percent confidence, that I was the identical twin brother of a fashion-sense spooky genius.
The pencil thin mustache was absolutely the look that we Thornton twins were born to sport. Sometimes, it seems, the best ideas lie hidden for years right under one's nose.
At this point in my "flowery, florid" commentary, let me intersperse a little "eye candy" pictorial for the ladies to keep interest from flagging:
Despite his album title, I don't think Mr. Buffet has really captured the thinness that is necessary for this particular mustache. And why is he resting his arm on a nuclear reactor cooling tower?
Sometimes a chick-magnetizing look must go out of style for several generations before it can be brought back to magnetize the great great granddaughters of the originally mesmerized chicks.
This appears to be the case with the pencil thin mustache.
I dare say that every American woman alive today had female ancestors who occasionally drifted off to sleep with the assistance of fantasies about Errol Flynn. Has his pencil thin time come again?
As the years passed, the pencil thin mustache's popularity waned to the point where you needed either a British accent...
or roles like Dr. Phibes to pull off the look.
The inimitable John Waters is arguably the most famous modern day proponent of the look, and by his own admission, he is not trying to attract actual women.
At the 2006 National Magazine Awards ceremony, John consoles me about my loss and shows me how to add a little panache to the monkey suit look by tilting my clip on bow-tie just so. Amazingly, it did not occur to me to ask him for pencil thin mustache advice because the thought that I would be sporting this look in less than four years had not yet entered my foolish little head!
A few notes before presenting tonight's final eye candy images.
1. At tonight's practice, our teammate Mark "Water Rat" Cox was swimming right behind me on a set of 4 x 200s on 3:00 descending. The reason Mark was behind me was he was doing I.M.'s and I was swimming freestyle. Anyhow, the aquatic staff had removed the backstroke flags on the far end of the pool, and Mark crashed into the wall, breaking his nose. So very sorry, Mark! But there is a silver lining here that would dramatically reduce the amount of shaving trauma to the nasal region, practically cutting this in half...
2. To wit, I am very much hoping to cajole Mark along with all the men on our team, and as many of the women who would agree to a short purely reversible course of anabolic steroids, into joining me in the growth, trimming, and general bonzai-tree tending your own pencil thin mustaches in time for this year's regional AMYMSA championships at Clarion University. The Sewickley team, quite frankly, has always scared the bejesus out of the other teams in our Young Men's Christian Association league. Imagine the terror at seeing a dozen people of all genders sporting the same raffishly menacing badboy upper lip hair?
3. Which brings me to a small poll here. Which name do you think would be better for the Sewickley Y masters team?
The Pencil Thin Mustached Sewickley Sea Dragons
The Errol Fins
Here is what my own mustache looks like so far. As you can see, it's a little unruly and unkempt at this stage, and I will probably need to be a lot more ruthless in trimming it in the future. But I thought that until my teammate Ben Mayhew makes good on his promise to buy me some mascara and/or Grecian Formula/Just for Men blackening dye, I thought I'd let my freak flag fly at little bit longer.
Speaking of flags flying, after the last few practices, I have found myself exiting the Y in such a state of total exhaustion that were it not for the absolutely frigid air's infiltration, I would surely spend the rest of the night in unwitting and possibly criminal dishabille.*
Entry Word: dishabille*
1. (Clothing & Fashion) the state of being partly or carelessly dressed
2. (Clothing & Fashion) Archaic clothes worn in such a state [from French déshabillé undressed, from dés- dis-1habiller to dress; see habiliment]
The pencil thin mustache, it appears, might just keep this raffish badboy déshabillé out of legal jeopardy.
* if you have read down to this point wondering what all the asterisks were for, congratulations! You have just successfully completed the first in an occasional series of Words Are Important vocabulary building exercises courtesy of Vlog the Inhaler Pedantry (TM)