Purfleet, by Mark Leslie, April 11, 2017

Captain Fawcett's Emporium in King's Lynn pictured with an antique shaving style chair and other items is proprietor Richie Finney.
Captain Fawcett's Emporium in King's Lynn pictured with an antique shaving style chair and other items is proprietor Richie Finney.

I have recently known what it is to become a persecuted minority as people have taken to given me dubious double looks and all-too-obvious thoughts have flashed across their minds.

Why is this? Neglected my personal hygiene? Taken to wearing male make-up? No, simply had one of my very periodic half-hearted attempts to grow a moustache.

It’s not gone well. It never does. I don’t know why I don’t just accept that me and facial hair are never going to be a match that is ever going to come out in my favour.

Not for me the confident, impressive tache sported by a Tom Sellick.

No, the best that it can be described as is a smudge really, even after a couple of weeks.

Well, that’s the polite version. Seventies porn star chic has been another description by my colleagues. I really wouldn’t know about these things , so I’ll just have to take the words of those who do, I suppose.

My boss, not normally based in the office, came over to ask me something important the other day ahead of a big presentation and you could just see the amazement.

“Mark, can you ... oh, is that er, something er ... new?”

The trouble is, although the growth is quite thick, it is also very blond. Doesn’t really work. Pity. By the time you read this, it’ll probably be gone for another 10-years or so.

And it is a pity. The reason I began growing it was because I had cut myself shaving just under the nose.

I don’t much care for shaving. A very tedious ablution, one that I would happily eschew for the alternative.

Trouble is, nature has obviously decreed that I shall never be hirsute, at least in the facial region, without setting off guffaws amongst friends and colleagues.

(Actually such is the rather weedy nature of it, I suspect most people don’t actually notice it. And I think that includes my wife, who hasn’t mentioned it to me at all so far)

Oh, to be like Richie Finney, who was featured in the Lynn News recently as his Gentlemen’s Grooming Emporium Captain Fawcett’s moved into new premises.

Proving a good advert for the waxing products he produces, he sports long hair and magnificent moustache and beard. A little salt-and-pepper nowadays but still one to impress.

Alas, I am doomed to remain as you see me in my picture byline. A permanent callow-faced youth (slightly chubbier than when that picture was taken, sadly).

Obviously, to half the population, such concerns must seem very small beer. Women, no doubt, would feel far more judged on the success or otherwise of their appearance on a daily basis. Perhaps, it is a good exercise, now and again, to get a taste of what it feels like when people stop listening to what you are saying and judge you just on how you look.