I shaved my beard. Why would I part with something that I have described as “my sideburns giving my face a hug”? I did so because now I am growing a mustache for charity.

826CHI is a non-profit org that gives free tutoring and writing classes to students from 6-18. As a teacher and lover of writing, I have to lend all my support to this organization. In this case, all of my support involves growing a mustache till March 29th. I’m aiming for a Sheriff Bullock from the TV show Deadwood look. If it goes really well I could end up looking like the historical Sheriff Bullock. If it goes real bad, I could end up looking like Sandra Bullock.

If you want to support writing classes for Chicago’s youth or you want to support my hirsute march toward uber-masculinity, then click on this link to take you to the Mustache-a-thon’s page. Then click on the link under Bryan Bowden’s loverly visage. BAM! You just donated.

Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your employer (who might match your donation), tell everyone to donate to this wonderful organization and the creation of a more mustached world.

9 Comments so far

  1. Allison (unregistered) on February 24th, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

    Wow, does all of the money go towards teaching only the boys how to write too? Oh wait, I bet the girl students get prosthetic writing classes, right? Only all of their stories have to be male-oriented and extoll the virtues of masculinity, as in, "I’m so glad there are so many macho men with their masculine moustaches running around the streets of Chicago – now I can go to writing class! Thank God for men and their manly moustaches! Without them, whatever would I do?"

    It’s a nice cause, but – way to tell the girls that they’re just not as important as the boys. I know, I know, you’re going to say that I can’t take a joke or that I just don’t get how clever and quirky and painfully hip you’re being (of course, that’s probably because I’m a girl), but I DO get your joke (I took painfully hip writing classes myself as a child) and it’s still misogynist.

    The men are in charge – they grow their own moustaches and determine their own fate; in fact, they don’t have to actually do anything. All they have to do is to quit doing something they might normally do – shave; whereas the women have to be constantly vigilant with a camera, running around in the Chicago winter, and are dependent on the men they come into contact with. So, men get to be lazy and women have to work 2, 3, 4 times as hard as the men to get the same recognition. (Make sure the girl writing students learn this lesson, too, in their classes. That’s right – teach ’em young!) Of course, the real kicker is that the entire contest is based around finding examples of masculinity. I hope you raise a lot of money because it’s a good cause. I just hope the people who designed this contest are not the same ones teaching the children how to write. We need to teach our children less of this bullshit, not more.

  2. Bryan Bowden (unregistered) on February 24th, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

    I hope that despite being offended by the event you will still donate to the good cause of giving Chicago students free writing classes. I can assure you that the volunteer tutors at 826CHI are some of the most intelligent and caring people I have ever met. And the organizers of this silly event to raise $15,000 have the kindest of intentions to help Chicago students become better writers in a way that is fun for the charity participants.

    Despite a difference in beliefs, I ask again for all who can to contribute to 826CHI either financially or by volunteering.

    Also, my mustache looks terrible thus far.

  3. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on February 24th, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

    Seriously… a mustache contest? You’d pick that battle? I agree that it’s "bullshit" in that it is very very silly, but wow. At a certain point we need to teach our daughters priorities too.

    Go Bryan go!

  4. Elizabeth McQuern (unregistered) on February 24th, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

    The writing center’s theme is "Spy Store," hence the secret cameras, fake Coke cans with hidden compartments, and disguises – including mustaches, which are on silly greeting cards and other trinkets. I was also at the event that night, and I honestly don’t see the sexism, just a group of positive people working to promote good writing skills and help the kids of Chicago.

  5. Bryan Bowden (unregistered) on February 25th, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

    I should have mentioned The Boring Store. All 826 have a store to support the tutoring, and each city has a different fun theme. The one in Brooklyn is a super hero supply store. The one in Michigan is a monster’s union. Boston has a bigfoot research center.

    Chicago’s is a spy store called The Boring Store. It’s at 1331 N. Milwaukee and worth a visit. Also, all money you spend there goes to a good cause.

  6. Michael (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 6:44 pm

    I stared and considered and cogitated, but was unable to see it with any kind of a sexist bent. And when I got tired of trying, I donated. (If it helps, I’m a 44-year-old man who’s completely incapable of growing a moustache myself–it’s genetic, I suppose–and I don’t feel slighted in the least.)

  7. Bryan Bowden (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

    Thank you so much. I think this is a good case of actions speaking louder then words.

    I will gladly grow the best mustache ever in honor of Michael and his hairless lip.

  8. Elizabeth McQuern (unregistered) on March 1st, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

    I have officially put my money where my mouth is and donated $25 toward Bryan’s mustache-growing efforts.

  9. Bryan Bowden (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2008 @ 1:35 am

    YES!!!Thanks Elizabeth. We are well on our way to making sure that 826CHI reaches their $15,000 goal!

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.