Tag Archives: Austin

A Consideration of the Mustache, Long Overdue

Austin businesses must begin catering to the mustache community by supporting a prominent cause:  helping to reduce the scourge of wet whiskers.

Why, in a city so enamored with facial hair and never-ending, cyclical consumption of coffee and booze, do we still suffer the absence of mustache cups?  As far as I know, not a single cafe, restaurant or bar is helping to keep area mustaches dry.

Austin, where are you on this?  It’s embarrassing.

If you’re unfamiliar, this is a mustache cup, or rather, an array of mustache cups.

Mustache cups are amazing

Is this for lady mustaches?

It’s simple, yet brilliant.  As you can see, within the circumference of the cup is a ledge, or mustache guard, that keeps the drinker’s mustache clean and dry.  Invented in the mid-1800s, when the popularity of nose beards and regular beards mirrored America’s spirited frontier expansion in some sort of Manifest Destiny of hair, these must have been far more prevalent.  There were simply more mustaches.  And furthermore, more of those mustaches were waxed.  Imbibing hot tea or coffee would undoubtedly melt that wax, having it leak into the cup, resulting in a horrible coffee/mustache wax combination.

Today, while fewer mustachinistas wax the ol’ nose neighbor, the fact remains that nobody wants a leaky mustache.

If I’m reading in the BookPeople cafe, I don’t want to worry about coffee dripping on to the book I’m reading but too broke to buy.  That would guilt me in to buying it, and my mustache is supposed to make me money, not cost me money.  (See:  side employment as mustache ride owner/operator)

If I’m drinking coffee at work, I can’t have it dripping onto important documents.  I just can’t.

And, as I believe it a courtesy to the ladies to help avoid kissing some ol’ whiskey whiskers, mustache cups sure would be mighty welcome at the bar.

Although, perhaps not all mustache residue is repellent – I’ve heard a lot of women say it’s pretty sexy to have sugar sprinkles as a kind of mustache frosting.  Just eat some sugar cookies and let the cookie duster work it’s magic.  In no time at all, pretty ladies will be dying to chew on your saccharine-sweet philtrum drape.  (That sounds a lot grosser than I wanted it to.)

That’s a philtrum.  In some cultures, folklore holds that it’s formed when an angel touches the baby in the womb, and whispers, “That’s where mustaches go.”

On a side note, I bet Sam Elliott has an awesome mustache cup collection.  I wonder if that’s what people always buy him for Christmas, and he’s growing tired of the same gift every year.

An angry Sam Elliott defends his right to a drippy mustache. If he wants to string cheerios from the damn thing, by God we ought to let him.

And on another note, I got beef with cupcakes.  The ratio of cupcakeries to Austin citizens is approaching critical mass.  And sure, they’re delicious.  They’re cake.  In a cup.  I understand this.  But empathize with the mustachioed for a moment.  Cupcakes are a cake medium unfriendly to mustaches.  Messy icing madness is only amplified with the nose beard  clinging to icing like…well, like icing to a nose beard.  And, while I offer no suggestion to this problem, I assure you I’m hard at work continuing to complain about it while still eating cupcakes. (That just gave me an idea to open my own cupcake dealership, and I’ll call it The Cupcake Curmudgeon)

A lovely left-handed mustache cup

Now, while I lament the absence of mustache cup accessibility, I would be remiss not to mention one local establishment’s consideration of mustache rights.  Hot dog utopia, coffee heaven and all around impressive bar, Frank, offers the ‘Stache Dog,” a hot dog (non-menu special request, I believe) with all the fixin’s beneath the dog, so as to minimize a post-meal mustache medley.   That’s a bold, innovative start to ending mustache neglect and championing its dignity; but we need more.

In fact, I think the Frank logo would look real handsome on a mustache cup.

The coffee at Frank needs no boosting, as their barristas participate in national competitions, but still – slap that on the side of a mustache mug, and it’s a winner. (Photo by Matt Egan)

I hope to pitch this concept to the management of various establishments asap, for the struggle against sloppy ‘staches has endured too long.  Too long!  Austin needs to revitalize the mustache cup industry and promote mustache hygiene in a creative way.  We have the technology.  We have the vision.  We have the mustaches.  We will no longer stand (or sit, probably sit) idly by while mustaches exude shame, drip by drip.  Nay, we will demand drinking cups with protective ledges.  Demand mustache cups!  Demand mustache respect!

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Filed under Austin, Beards, Drinking

A New Leader in Beard Justice

Beards!!  How bout ‘em?  Who’s got ‘em?  And what…do they mean?  Tonight, on The Fat Fingers of Justice, with your host, international beard-o-crat and inventor of the Mustache Belt, Fat Fingers Justice will discuss facial hair and one of its leading proponents.

(The mustache belt is like a beard net, but, you know, just if you have a mustache and work in a particularly cautious food-service job.  No one wants to find a curly mustache hair protruding from their foie gras.)

The beard was invented in the year 9 AD by Jesus of Nazareth.  No one before Jesus had ever seen or grown a beard, which was one of the first and main reasons people knew he was no ordinary dude.

Well, that’s not totally true.  Some men had half-beards, but Jesus was the first that, when he turned the other cheek, there was hair on that side, too.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I remember from Sunday school that the Holy Spirit in the Christian Trinity was Christ’s beard.  It taught a guy to fish.  Lepers touched it and the beard didn’t even fall off.  The beard was the key to getting Jesus’ foot in the door to work all his other magic.  What would Jesus do?  He’d grow a beard.

That being said, beards have garnered negative publicity and many see them not as stately additions to a man’s facial topography, but instead a sign of unsophistication or slovenly disregard for societal norms.

For some, this is perhaps true.  A hobo is not making a statement or style choice with that full, untrimmed beard and mustache any more than he “camped out” to be first in line to open the library.

ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons.  No photo of drummer Frank Beard will be shown, as, ironically enough, he is un-bearded. 

Others just don’t want to shave, and some grow beards as a form of protest.  However, I do believe not shaving is the lamest form of protest I can imagine, as you are actually choosing to do less than you were doing before, for your chosen cause.

Personally, laziness and resentment were my gateway motivations to beard appreciation.  Mandatory shaving in high school bred resentment, and moving away to college created the foundation for experimental laziness and excess, one such hypotheses being:  what would happen if, instead of shaving, I spent that time hitting the snooze button and cursing a hangover?

Then, once I completed the transition from normie to beardie, I was in love.  Ultimately, it may just be vanity.

Beards do serve many functions, from the lowbrow to high-culture:  built-in bibs to catch food debris, double-chin concealers,  pretty-lady magnets, and even as the follicular art on the canvas of the face.

This brings me to a young lady leading the Internet in beard appreciation, creating a Web site for connoisseurs of hot beard action in all its presentations.  bearded beauties is a recently launched site dedicated to pogonology, a study or treatise on beards.

From the initial posts, it appears the site will feature profiles in courageous beards, with interviews and even a helpful chart allowing one to judge the trustworthiness of beards.

For you see, beards are not a monolithic thing – you can’t simply ask, Beards: blessing to man, or…menace…to society?  You can’t even write them off as just a soft, cuddly patch of hair.

As it turns out, the truth is not black and white, but quite complicated, as complicated as the vast species of beards.  Like a snowflake, or fingerprint, no two beards are the same.  Some are even bejeweled!

It’s good to have a fellow advocate for fuzzy faces.  Because while summer is tenacious, especially here in Austin, winter’s on its way and you don’t want to be caught all nekkid-faced.

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Filed under Austin, Beards

Taco News! Taco News! Taco News!

Lucky J’s Chicken and Waffles changed my life.

But first:

I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism, most recently for nearly eight months, while, admittedly, cheating about once a month on average.  A few years ago I did 6 months.  Ideally, it’s a diet I would love to consistently pursue for a variety of reasons.  I will continue to limit my meat intake to perhaps twice a week, for reasons I’m too lazy to extrapolate upon at this moment.

However, if you are unfamiliar with the health, moral, and socially-beneficial reasons for reducing or eliminating your meat consumption, I recommend the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  The book may be even better for those already familiar with the information on an intellectual level, but who maintain a psychological distance or detachment that keeps them ordering cheeseburgers and chicken wings.  This book will compel you to internalize your doubts about eating meat, and convince you those doubts are completely founded.

The book avoids the feeling of a didactic lecture by being more of a memoir of Foer’s personal food choices, and the dietary choices he begins to make for his newborn son.  He merely presents the facts and explores the standards he creates for himself based on those facts, succeeding wonderfully at mixing emotion and reason.

Oh, and there are pictures!  Nothing gruesome, just some creative use of graphs and simple images.  For example, the beginning of one chapter features a rectangle spreading across both the left and right pages, with the following caption:  “In the typical cage for egg-laying hens, each bird has 67 square inches of space – the size of the rectangle above.  Nearly all cage-free birds have approximately the same amount of space.”  To look at it another way – the way you’re looking at it now – that’s about 2/3 the size of your computer screen, in that space, from birth to death.

So, all that being said, I choose now not to discuss the often vile scenes of the contemporary food industry, the cruel conditions of animals manufactured to biologically absurd conditions with growth hormones, the environmental devastation of factory farming, or the very great possibility that so many of our health problems stem from eating this factory-farmed, mutant meat.

Instead I choose to be a hypocrite, shameful and with a meat-laced mustache, because all emotion and reason and all that wonderful veggie truth is  sometimes still not as powerful as the alluring lie of a dead animal prepared in an Austin food trailer.

For I have seen my vegetarian hope’s greatest foe, stared into its greasy, chicken-fried eyes, and have lost.  In fact, I didn’t lose – I willingly surrendered, gave up all the battle plans and government secrets with no torture, no torture at all.  Yes, Lucky J’s Chicken and Waffles, suggested on more than one occasion by more than one friend, finally slayed me.  Drunk on Bulleitt Bourbon (Sponsorship?  Pretty please?  Seriously, I could afford going down to part-time if I had free booze.)  from Rio Rita on East 6th street, and high on buildup from my friends John and Sarah’s championing of the legendary fried-chicken waffle taco, I experienced what can only be considered a culinary grudge fuck.

Yes, meat had been scorned for too long, and it was a vengeful comeback, rough and violent, but ultimately satisfying and even demon-releasing.

The facts, bare but powerful:

The waffle is the taco.

Fried chicken goes inside.

The not-so-secret secret – you apply both syrup aaand hot sauce.  Unfortunately, my journalism powers were weakened due to aforementioned libations, and I do not know the exact type, brand or… anything really, about those two sauces.  And, based on the conditions in which I will undoubtedly eat it again, I can’t make any promises.  I simply may never know.

Some reviewers on Yelp have commented on the appearance of the fried chicken – “either overcooked, re-fried one too many times or the oil is never changed.  In any case, fried chicken shouldn’t be dark brown in color.”

I don’t give a shit if the fried chicken is magenta, if it tasted the way it did at two in the morning.  Sure, I know I had whiskey-mouth and everything tastes like an angel’s pussy at that point, but hot diggity-dog, that was some good eatin’.  The waffle was only barely crispy and began to further soften after the sauce application, but I found it delicious.

Verdict, with a caveat:  The Fat Thumbs of Justice, sticky and greasy and lil’ lapsed vegetarians, are up high for Lucky J’s Chicken and Waffle Taco.

Caveat:  I ate it in the dark, drunk.

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Filed under Drinking, Humor