"Someone rearranged my face," said Greg, dressed as Mr. Potato Head, in an interview with Zsa Zsa LaGore of the Mad Rollin' Dolls. Dressed to impress as the emcee of the night, she fought off a giggle while the five judges looked unimpressed.
Greg and 18 other men spent the month of April growing out their mustaches and earning pledges along the way, beginning with a clean-shaven day at the beginning of the month.
On Monday night the participants gathered with their friends and loved ones in a corner of the Great Dane to show off a months' worth of follicle work. The annual 'Stache Bash, as the affair was called, was the final event in the fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as a competition for the title of Madison 'Stache Master.
In the 'Stache Bash, set up as a faux beauty contest, each mustachioed contestant had to go through three rounds. They were judged on "evening wear," and then followed a interview session and a beer foam retention contest, along with a 'stache pose-off. In the evening wear round, each man dressed in an original costume -- from track legend Steve Prefontaine to "Albert Einstein dressed as Dorothy from the Golden Girls."
As Matt, an organizer of and participant in the event explained, "It isn't really about the mustache per se. It's about how the man wears it." He had one of the most creative costumes of the night, going as KITT, the car from the TV show Knight Rider.
"The competition is fierce this year. I am terrified of everyone," he said, self-consciously smoothing his own ample 'stache.
At the end of the night, with each round completed and several impromptu dance parties pushed from the stage, Ms. LaGore presented the judges' results. Mr. Potato Head sadly earned the "Last 'Stache" title and took home a trophy of a wooden whale mirror that looked like it came direct from St. Vinny's.
Raja, dressed as a traveling guru, took home the title -- perhaps because of the fact that at one point he had stripped off his robes and meditated on stage in nothing but his boxers. "I preach love and happiness and peace. Especially love. Especially to women. Good kama sutra love," he said, accepting his title with excited bows.
His mustache, along with his message, proved powerful enough to beat out Knight Rider, Prince, Prefontaine, Ned Flanders and several other mustachioed competitors -- stiff competition indeed.