Do you think it looks fine to shave your beard and leave only a moustache? It was not men whom God created like that, but dogs and cats.
In general, the only members of the UK armed forces who can wear a full beard are the Royal Navy. A sailor who wants to do so must submit a form requesting ‘permission to stop shaving’. He is then allowed up to two weeks to ‘grow a full set’. At this point he must present himself to the Master at Arms (the senior Service policeman in any ship or unit) who will decide if his beard looks stupid or is respectably full enough to be permitted.
The Royal Marines, although part of the Navy, follow the Army rule, which is that you can grow a moustache but not a beard. In fact, from the 1860s the Queen’s Regulations for the Army forbade men of all ranks from shaving their upper lips, forcing them to wear moustaches. As a matter of discipline, individual incidents of moustache disobedience would be dealt with by the commanding officer but deliberate defiance could result in imprisonment. This rule was abolished during the First World War by Sir Nevil Macready who was the first to take advantage, having intensely disliked his own moustache.
Policemen in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are offered cash incentives (an extra 30 rupees a month, or about 40p) to grow a moustache, which their bosses believe makes them better equipped to carry out their duties. It was the brainchild of the Jhabua district police chief, who noticed the positive effect that moustachioed policemen had on the public at a local event in 2004. But they don’t want to take things too far; authorities are keeping a watch on the shape of officer’s moustaches so they don’t become intimidating.
The police chief, Mayank Jain, said: 'Moustaches are improving the personalities of our constables. They are acquiring an aura of their own. They are creating a positive impression on the local people and getting a lot of respect.'
Walruses have such sensitive moustaches they can use them to distinguish between objects smaller than a 5p piece.
Traditionally moustaches were seen as a sign of virility in India and they still feature prominently, though there is a marked north-south divide among the urban youth. In the north they have slowly gone out of fashion, mirrored by trends in Bollywood and among the national cricket team. In the south, however, roughly 8 out of 10 men wear a moustache, matched by every onscreen male in the Tamil film industry, whether hero or villain. Moustaches remain a religious obligation for practising Sikhs under the rules of ‘Kesh’ (uncut hair), while doormen at luxury hotels in India are bound by a different but apparently equally strong code.
The world’s longest moustache measures 14 feet (4.2 metres) and belongs to an Indian man called Ram Singh Chauman. It is enough of an attraction to earn him a living. He charges modelling fees, has starred in Bollywood films and even had a cameo in the Bond film Octopussy.
Never put anything on paper, my boy, and never trust a man with a small black moustache.
In 1991 a marathon runner was disqualified for swapping places with his trainer. The lack of a moustache gave him away.