Sun 18 May 2008
I’ve received a fair number of comments from people about my awesome mustache, a disproportionate number of whom were blithely unaware that I am wearing it in support of Mustache May; a time of year where men (women?) everywhere celebrate the majesty of upper lip facial hair. Mustaches are not without their detractors. Back in March of ’07 a sinister and short-lived blog run by someone who called himself the switchblade physician, had these negative comments about my friends:
Among my favorite T-shirt slogans is the one which reads “Guns don’t kill people. People with moustaches kill people.” The funniest thing about it is that I think that there just might be some truth to the statement. My cursory study of a recent police blotter (with pictures) found that 67% of criminals (fugitives and captures) had facial hair sufficient enough to meet criteria for a moustache. I’m too tired to apply the statistics here, but I think that this finding is significant. The best way to flesh out the issue, of course, would be to follow age and sex-matched (that’s really funny) cleanshaven and hirsute cohorts over time (ten years or so; a so-called prospective cohort study) and see if there’s a criminality difference between the groups.I’m also pretty sure that smoking cigarettes is positively correlated with criminal behavior. I haven’t seen any studies, though. I wouldn’t anticipate a causative pathway linking tobacco abuse and crime, just a correlation (that is, smoking cigarettes is simply indicative of certain personality traits more prevalent in criminal populations). What’s interesting too is that cigarette smokers tend to have better short term memories than nonsmokers. This is perhaps due to the nicotine in cigarettes stimulating so-called nicotinergic acetycholine receptors in the hippocampus. I know, it’s comforting hearing that the chainsmoker sitting next to you is not only a criminal, but can also most likely beat you at chess. The recipe for a true sociopath, then, is facial hair and tobacco. Not to sound the alarm or anything, but I’d recommend putting out an all points bulletin right now for all mustachioed cigarette smokers out there. For brevity’s sake, we’ll call them the moustachioso.