And I am growing a mustache.
OK, maybe that’s not big news to you, but hear me out. In the first place, if you look at the picture that accompanies this space each week you will no doubt notice an eerie resemblance to Brad Pitt. I have grown accustomed to the stares I get when strolling around the Square and having people ask where Angeline Jolie is. I usually tell them that she is back home having her lips inflated.
Now, unless Brad has a mustache these days — and I can’t be sure because he and I don’t communicate with each other as much as we used to — I am no longer going to be able to pass myself off as a Brad Pitt lookalike and will likely be mobbed wherever I go. Such is the life of a modest and much-beloved columnist. Oh, to be a mere movie star with a wife with puffy lips.
How did I get in this predicament? That, too, is a little embarrassing. I am known for prompting our public officials on what to do as well as how to do it without them ever having to ask. With only one exception. I generally steer clear of Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs.)
You may recall that in the last session of the General Assembly, my favorite quote machine was working on legislation that would allow us to exercise our God-given right to keep chickens in our yard.
When a homeowners’ association group had the temerity to oppose his efforts, he told them in no uncertain terms that they reminded him of Mrs. Kravitz, the nosy neighbor on “Bewitched.”
No way am I getting into a war of words with a guy who remembers Gladys Kravitz. Not even with a mustache. (Me, not Mrs. Kravitz.)
So, it is with much humility that I tell you I am growing a Mo at the direction of Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott. Ott is heading up a team of local renegades in an annual effort called “Movember.” It is truly a worthy cause that helps raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
It is a cause near and dear to my heart because I am a prostate cancer survivor.
Our team and others like us around the country and around the world are growing mustaches during this month. We started Nov. 1 clean-shaven and will grow our moustaches for 30 days, getting friends and family to donate to the cause. Last year, more than $126 million was raised.
It is a unique idea, kind of like being a walking billboard. And it is fun. Well, sort of. What I have to show for my mustache-growing efforts thus far looks like a Brillo pad, except it is white. But I am optimistic. With a little tender loving care, I hope to cultivate either a Wyatt Earp look or maybe even emulate my pal, Cobb Sheriff Neal Warren. Most likely, I will look as though I took a swig of milk and forgot to wipe my upper lip.
But I am not in this thing alone. That’s where you come in. Ott has challenged me as well as the other members of our team to raise some big bucks this month.
I will never live it down if I let a mere county commissioner raise more money than a Brad Pitt-lookalike. If he does, how will I ever again be able to convince him to take my advice on how to run the county?
What if Earl Ehrhart finds out I have no clout and calls me Captain Kangaroo or even Mr. Greenjeans? What if Doug Stoner suddenly decides not to return my phone calls? If modest and much-beloved columnists lose their influence and can’t dictate public policy, what good are they? They become just another pretty face. With a mustache.
Making a donation is easy. Just go to my website: www.dickyarbrough.com and click on “us.movember” on the page. That will take you to the “Donate to me” bar. Click on that and help us put a dent into men’s cancers that should be and can be prevented with enough awareness and dollars.
The mustache is cool.
The project is fun.
The cause is deadly serious.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.