Joy Magazine

Continental George

I do not mean to be rude when I stare at them, but I must observe, compare and analyze my subject. Akin to bird-watching, mustache observance is interesting to me.

Foreheads and eyes, breadth of noses and cheeks, plus shapes of chins and lips are seriously examined. The first feature that comes to mind on many famous men is their mustache: Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable.

My mustache interest began many years ago, back when my Saturday nights were spent dancing. If you are a good dancer or know a good dancer, you'll know how egotistical we are.

A tall, dark, handsome dancer had been in the area for a few weeks. The town girls were gossiping. Mediocre dancers got only one dance with him. The good dancers were in ecstasy as he showed his approval by asking them to dance again and again.

My heart thumped as he bent his handsome head in my direction. Oh, what a thrill! He was so impressive with shining black hair, hypnotic black eyes and a well-defined mouth accented with a thin black mustache — so continental and worldly. In comparison, our small-town boys looked juvenile.

We danced a few numbers. Then he asked whether I'd care to go to the town's other night spot. Of course I did. The dance floor was larger, the music better and the room nicer and brighter. The better for everyone to see us, I thought.

It was a short ride to the Oasis, but there was time for several intense kisses. I hoped this night would never end.

My handsome partner and I started dancing, and as usual the other dancers left the floor to observe our performance. I was in another world as we dipped, whirled and kicked to the musical beat. I stared into that handsome face so intently it was a wonder my feet complied with the rhythms.

I excused myself to primp a bit, so I could fluff my hair and repaint my smile. I gasped when I looked in the ladies-room mirror. There, under my nose, was a big, black smudge.

He had darkened his streak with an inferior product. I scrubbed the spot, but the black blotch would not disappear. I had a black mustache on a pink background. The former vibes of ego, ecstasy and gaiety evaporated. I looked for a back-door escape, but I had to go back to the table by the brightly lit dance floor. I told Continental George I had a headache.

The next day I tried to avoid everyone. I still had a dark shadow under my nose.

When my girlfriend Bette saw me, she laughed hysterically. She told me that three or four other girls in town, including she, had all worn similar mustaches. They all were excellent dancers.

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