GRAFTON, Mass. — There are many nicknames for the mustache, that “for men only” facial ornament that often has tragic results: the walrus, the trash stash and the crumb catcher, to name a few.
There are, unofficially, 13 styles of mustaches. And for the month of November, there are eight male teachers at Grafton Middle School who are growing out their upper lip hair for a cause, to raise awareness about men's health, especially prostate cancer.
They joined a national group called the “Movember Foundation.” The teachers have raised $460 so far and hope to hit their $1,000 goal by the end of the month, when their wives force them to shave.
“We’ve been asking for donations at different school events,” said music teacher Peter Singley.
Although the idea is to raise awareness and charity money, it is also designed to raise school spirits and have fun.
Tuesday is the last school day before the Thanksgiving break. Singley and the other newly mustachioed teachers plan to “take over” the cafeteria by adding “mustache potatoes” to the menu.
All the teachers in on the charity have named their mustaches. Singley calls his “The Dr. Connors” after the former superintendent of schools.
Darren Seely, who teaches eighth-grade English, calls his moustache, which hangs down both sides of his mouth, “The Handlebar.”
Adam Tarczuk, who also teaches eighth grade, calls his “The Hulk.”
Jerry Patraitis, when he isn’t teaching seventh-grade social studies, is busy growing out his stubble but is not doing so well. He is known by his students as “The Boy” or “Kid Jerry.” The other teachers call his moustache “one Ferrari short of a Magnum P.I.”
Perhaps the most impressive growth belongs to Ray Donahue, who teaches seventh-grade language arts. As he stroked his cheeks he called himself “The Trucker” and said he resembled Derek Smalls, the bass player in the 1984 movie “This Is Spinal Tap.”
There are still plenty of nicknames to go around before the fundraiser ends and the teachers shave. There is the soup strainer, the misplaced eyebrow, the Ned Flanders or the face fungus, if you need ideas.
When Singley was being interviewed, a seventh-grader walked by and summed up his “Dr. Connor” look. “Creepy,” she said before heading to class.
If you wish to donate to the teachers' Movember campaign, click on this link.