Monday, June 1, 2009

Partial Beards hold Senate

So, next we began the partial beard category. And wouldn't you know it, Musketeers were up first. Now, I didn't get to take many pictures of this since I was up there, but Mom got this video of all of us waiting that pretty much sums up the competition.

Here's one of me up on stage. The guy next to me has a mohawk under that ginormous hat and he's from San Francisco.

It was quite a fun time being up on stage. Nerve-racking standing next to all these guys, but fun none the less. They parade you up and make you do a lap in front of the judges and then take you five at a time in front of the judges for better judging. The main thing is that behind the judges there's probably about 50 video cameras and flash bulbs going off like crazy. More parading and standing and posing and you're off-stage. A great 10 minutes of my life.

Juergen from Germany took first place and Frazer took second (Frazer got first last time and Juergen got second), and Reinhold from Germany got third.

After the awards were given out, Frazer and I were talking in the beer line and he said it was great to win again, but he was really hoping that one of the young guys would've placed. A true gentleman to the end. This is also the same time when Mom looked over and he was tugging on one side of my moustache and comparing it to his own...

Next up was the Fu Manchu. Now I think Sid should enter this category mostly because there were only two competitors, neither of which were Asian! They still rocked it though.
Ted won first place again (this is the same guy from the picnic who had his moustache all twirled up and was looking like an old British detective and had one eye of his glasses darker than the other) and Detleff was awarded second. Ted defends his Fu Manchu championship once again.

Next came the natural goatees. Basically, you just let it grow and shape it, but no product allowed. Really impressive stuff here.
This is the lead singer of the Beards and the man behind such songs as "If Your Dad Doesn't Have a Beard, You've Got Two Moms" and "A Wizard Needs a Beard."
That's Pat from Seattle. He and his buddy own a bar and decided to come up and try out their luck. They used to cavort around the L.A. area and we chatted about that a lot during the parade. He really liked doing that finger shooting thing as proven by the pictures above and below this caption.There was a tie for first place and the judges had to have another beard-off between little Grandpa man (his name's actually Breman, but little Grandpa man is much catchier) and Paul Beisser from Santa Cruz. Paul won out, but there was tons of crowd support for little Grandpa man.
I took a small break from beard watching to get beer and here's a picture of my beer with beards. This also made me miss out on a few competitors in the Imperial Partial Beard category.
The Imperial Partial beard category wasn't that popular with Americans and I don't believe that I actually met any of these people, but crazy respect for that cheek hair.

A new category this year was Alaskan Whaler, which is pretty much a nice full beard, sans lip hair. It proved to be a popular choice (probably because we were actually in Alaska).
Here's our token monk... with Adidas on. At least they match his robe. I saw him later at a bar and started trying to explain to him that he should've been chanting and hitting his head on a book. He looked at me very quizzically and then I realized he doesn't speak much English at all. I thought if anything could transcend language barriers, it would be Monty Python. Oh well.
I met this guy on Tuesday at the Midnight Sun Brewery. He was telling me how great Alaska is because you can wear the same clothes day after day and no one cares. He also told me that he thought putting duct tape on his outfit would give him an edge and impress the judges with his "eye for detail." It didn't work.
All three of the winners were from Alaska, so that was an added source of local pride. The guy who took first, Jerem, was sitting next to us and I watched him and his friends heartily celebrate his win with about two trips to the bar every 30 minutes.

We now move on to the Sideburns category. Again, an impressive array of sideburns showed up, but there can be only one.Toot Joslin shows up in fine form. I noticed that with the heavy hitters in the category, they actually have such long sideburns that they take the ends of them and tuck them behind their ears, getting that nice full rounded look. Compare Toot here to Toot from the pre-judging, there's a vast difference.This was Warren's category, too and he went up looking very dapper. Later on that night, we shared beard horror stories and his included a friend of his zipping up his sweater straight into his facial locks. He lost quite a few long hairs that day, and quite a few tears.
This is Eric and we started talking at a bar where I told him he looks like he belongs in the Electric Mayhem. I then found out that he graduated from San Dimas High back in '91. There's something to put in the Alumni news, San Dimas High. Two graduates, 11 years apart, compete together in the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Stick that in your smudgepot and smoke it, Bonita.The legend of Toot remained supreme as he grabbed first place from Bruno from Italy.
Bruno (in the middle) didn't speak a word of English and was one of only two competitors from Italy. Notice how both Bruno and Toot's sideburns are nicely tucked behind the ears. I think I've stumbled onto the secret of world class sideburns. Start growing now, friends.

Freestyle Partial Beard. A good category with many different styles.
I'm not exactly sure what he was supposed to be, but someone said that his goatee was supposed to be a star. I can see it.This contestant took the title "partial beard" a little too literally. He was funny though and stood in profile and rotated back and forth while being judged. Here's the other delegate from Italy. He carried that horn around with him all weekend and I think I only heard him blow on it once. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of the first place winner, but his goatee was styled very ornately. Almost clockwork with it's twists and turns. Very Willy Wonk-ish. Ha ha. Wonkish.

Now I know you're all bummed not to see my smiling face illuminated by a gold mining pan of my own, but brown paper is just as shiny in my mind.Next: Full Beard showdown.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beards do Battle

Saturday morning came all too early. I woke up and waxed the hell out of my stache and then got ready for the morning pre-judging, to see if you fit the category you plan on competing in. Lines and lines of nervous bearded men.There's Toot Joslin (Tim Tran's hero) pre-judging my stache.
And my number to be held during the judging; it felt so much like a dog show for grown men.

I went back and changed into my outfit and then we went over to the local market where they did a little beard presentation with the competitors. Then off to the Dena'ina Center to get our seats and for the competition to begin.American Gothic in the Living Classics Pageant. They allow a little nervous crying, but you can tell they don't like it.
This guy was super cool. Shaved "B" and an "E" on the right side of his face. Then made his goatee into an "A". Then shaved "R" and D" on the left side. For those of you who can't spell, it's BEARD.

They started with moustaches. First category: Natural Moustache.
Keith was in this category and for some reason he brought a fake mouse and was shaking it at people and later stabbed it with his knife. Here are the winners. Keith got second and one of the guys we met the prior night got third. The Dutch guy in the middle took first.

English moustache was next...
Sam got third place.
George Haskins got second place for the second year in a row.And Lutz from Germany got first. His stuffed bear has an English moustache as well, and is his good luck charm.

Then came the Imperial moustache category and Paul's turn to go up before the judges. This was a very competitive category.Alex went up and got all kinds of crazy. Dance moves and egging on the crowd abounded. He was working that outfit too.
This guy was a crowd favorite. Later on at a bar, the management wouldn't let him take his giant "dumbbell" inside, so he decided to stand out on the patio with the rest of us bearded ones and they gave him back his dumbbell. He then hoisted them high above his head and declared loudly "They gave me back my balls!"Paul was a bare knuckle boxer and had contemplated bloodying up his knuckles for effect, but decided against punching the sidewalk a bunch of times. These three won. I'm not sure of all their names, but all three were from L.A. so that was pretty good. Guy in the middle got first, guy on the left got second and he's part of the Bristly Chaps chapter of Beard Team USA. Alex got third and he's showing the camera his better side. When they were interviewing Alex on stage, he stopped what he was saying and said "I want to say this guy over here should've won. He has the best Imperial moustache out of all of us" and he was pointing at Paul. He said it over and over and Paul just kept turning more and more red. Later on, Alex told us that he thought that Paul had the best Imperial that was actually an Imperial while all these other guys were just trying to imitate a true Imperial... he also said if Paul could find a hacksaw before the night was over he would saw his third place Gold Plate in half and give half to him. We didn't find a hacksaw, but not for lack of looking.

Here are the Wild West Hungarian moustaches. How did they associate the wild West and Hungarians? I have no idea.
This is Nick. I talked to him for a while in the registration line at the picnic. He moved to Alaska a few years ago and hates it. As soon as he can get out he plans to. Also, up until a few months ago he had a full beard, but decided he had a better moustache. Nick took first and the guy next to him is Gunter from Germany and he won last time in Brighton, but was awarded second this year. The guy next to him is also German. When interviewed on stage what had inspired him to grow his moustache, Nick replied "I just hate to shave."

Next on the roster is the Dali. Devon (one of the twins) had planned to enter this category, but he wasn't allowed because the edges of the moustache are not allowed to go above your eyebrows, which his do exponentially.This is Max from Germany and he just couldn't help from schmoozing with just about everyone in the convention center once on the stage. He also won first prize in this category in Brighton. He just paraded around like a true gentleman.
This is Jeff and he and I talked for a while during the parade. This is his fourth World Beard and Moustache Championship and he even won third place in the Dali last time.
The guy on the left won third and said that he thought he was going to place last time, but didn't so he got so frustrated and shaved off his moustache and he just started growing it back a few months ago. Max took second and was elated. Tony from Germany won first place.

And finally (for the moustaches), the freestyle category.Here's Devon. You can't really tell from the picture, but he curled one half of his moustache to go under his lips and the other half to go above, kind of like a backwards S made of facial hair.
This is Keith Haubrich, aka Ghandi Jones. He styled up one side of his stache to be a fork and one side to be a spoon. I went to the restroom on the second floor (which they had closed off for contestants only for styling) before the competition and he was sitting on the counter with his legs up styling himself. He had a big jar of black stuff and some wax and he was telling the girl who must've been documenting him that he needed some scissors. Someone in a stall yelled out that he had some and slid them across the floor for him to use. We're all class at the World Beard and Moustache Championships.
Well Ghandi Jones got first and Devon got second. They were definitely the real standouts this year in the freestyle. Luk from Beglium got third and he just had really nice, defined, large curls.

That's it for the moustache competition. There's still partial beards and full beards to go. Sorry this is so slow, but there are so many pictures to choose from and the ones that do make it take a while to upload. Bear with me.