The Internet was abuzz early this week with the news that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) had delivered to the House Ways and Means Committee a bill that would grant a $250 tax deduction for mustached Americans. Dubbed the “Stache Act,”* the reported legislation would help offset the cost of maintaining a properly groomed mustache.
Sadly—and I do mean sadly—the story is inaccurate. It turns out the bill had been referred to the committee by Bartlett’s staff, which did so without the Congressman’s knowledge. Rep. Bartlett has since made it clear that A., he doesn’t support the legislation, and B., there’s a few new openings on his staff.
In reality, the bill was written by the American Mustache Institute, an organization formed in 2006 by Aaron Perlut because he didn’t have a wife or girlfriend to stop him—which is, admittedly, one of the side effects of nostril bangs.
According to the group’s Web Site, AMI is dedicated to “Protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against mustached Americans, by promoting the growth, care, and culture of the mustache.” Now, I don’t have a mustache myself, as it’s not the ‘70s and I hate fondue, but I find it hard to believe dudes with hairy lips have to deal with too much discrimination. I mean, if people discriminated against men with mustaches, how do you explain the picture below?
This is a picture of my former State Representative, Doug Quelland, sitting in his office down at the state capital. It doesn’t appear that that “w” thing on his face held him back any. In fact, he sported that thigh-tickler through three separate and successful bids for office. Admittedly, his last electoral win in 2008 was a real nail-biter, and Quelland probably would have lost that election if not for his brilliant election-day strategy of tying his opponent to railroad tracks.
Either way, that there is a picture of success and proof that you can get ahead in life even if it looks like a cat puked a hairball on your face.
Still, perhaps Quelland is an anomaly, and men around the world truly are looked down upon because they’ve chosen to grow mustaches. Fortunately, AMI has been down in the trenches fighting for them for years.
And while the group is a largely tongue-in-cheek organization, its full-time staff currently supports over 700 global chapters, proving that stache-discrimination is either a world-wide epidemic or Wikipedia is full of shit.**
One fact that’s not in dispute, though, is the Million Mustache March that AMI is staging in Washington, D.C. on April 1st. That’s right, on April Fools’ Day AMI and Perult will be leading a march of the mustached down to the famous reflecting pond, where all those men will gaze into the water and hopefully realize how creepy mustaches are.
Okay, okay, I’m joking. In truth, I find the mustache to be incredibly sexy, which is why I’ve been growing them on my back for years. But as my face is currently clean shaven, I won’t be joining these men in their crusade. Still, I support their cause—which, let’s be honest, has less to do with mustaches and more to do with highlighting just how silly American politics has become.
And frankly, satirical protests such as a Mustache March are likely the only reasonable response to our current model of government, which has evolved from a system of checks and balances into one simply balanced by checks. Plus, real attempts at protests—like we saw with the Occupy movement—tend to end with mace, jail time, and a nation of Republicans who hate you for not loving or leaving America.
Regardless of whether the march is a spoof or not, I actually want the politicos to take note of it. Sure, the Stache Act won’t ever be passed, but if we can get even a few members of Congress to take it somewhat seriously, just think of the doors that could be opened. Because let’s face it: Americans have a ton of unique, physical demarcations just ripe for asinine tax breaks.
For example: My ass.
I have a big, fat ass, and I benefit greatly from that fact because I sit on it all damn day. Seriously, if I had bony little cheeks, there’s just no way I could plop down in my Lazy Boy and make it through an afternoon marathon of Divorce Court while still being able to watch, in the evening, all the different CSIs. Fortunately, my well-cushioned derriere provides my back with the kind of support necessary to prevent me from developing scoliosis, compressed discs, or a sex life.
But a big ass doesn’t just happen, people. No, to keep my cheeks in proper recliner shape, it takes pizza and lots of it. Plus, some beer. Now, I’m not necessarily one of those people who believe hard working men and women should get stuck with the bill for my health care, education or retirement. But if there’s a way I can stick them with a butt-tax that funds my monthly Domino’s tab, I’m going to do it.
Which is why it would be nice if a few members of Congress took the Stache Act seriously. I mean, lord knows a lot of them likely would if they didn’t happen to have interns to tell them it was a joke and/or take the blame when the press learns their boss supports deductions for mustaches.
Still, if we can convince a few of them to sponsor the bill and defend the Stache Act this year, perhaps next year we can get their support for my pizza-fund legislation, the Ass Act.
Of course, to get their support I’ll have to get this valuable legislation as much attention as I can, which is why on an as-of-yet-undetermined date in 2013, I plan to go to Washington, D.C. and lead the Million Man Moon. On noon of that day, while Queen’s “We Will Rock You” blasts over loud speakers, a million men will turn their backs to the capital, unbuckle their belts, and moon Congress.
Either that, or I’ll be there alone getting pistol-whipped and shipped to Gitmo.
I won’t let the thought of imprisonment deter me, though, because I have a dream, and for some reason this dream involves the naked asses of one million men. And while it may be more frightening and less sanitary a dream than Perult and AMI’s mustache march, the basic point will be the same: to take politics as seriously as our politicians take us.
*Stimulus to Allow for Critical Hair Expenses. Literally.
**In this case, Wikipedia is full of shit, as its entry on AMI draws largely from the fictional history of the group found on its Web site. Without question, the group’s somewhat hard to define sense of humor led to the confusion over Rep. Bartlett’s involvement with the Stache Act.