This is a public service announcement

Ladies and gentlemen, in EMS and Fire there is a growing trend that is very real, unavoidable, and frankly unnerving. It would appear as if mustaches have become more than a facial accessory for those of EMSosaurus and Fire Fossil generation. As a result of this observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that more attention should be given to such a hairy topic.

What exactly is the soup strainer appeal? Is it sex appeal? Is it the only accessory that men on the job can get away with? Does it have to do with paying homage to the great mustaches of yesteryear? As someone who has never possessed the ability to grow a ‘stache, I’d never given them much thought until recently. There is clearly a lot of territory to cover here.

EMS and Fire folk tend to steer clear of the full beard or goatee because of regulations concerning respirators, so the lack of other, more widely accepted and fashionable facial hair is obvious. Legend has it that firemen originally grew mustaches as a form of personal protection. According to this incredibly non-academic website and several people I asked, firemen grew long mustaches back in the days predating modern equipment to use the hair to filter out particulates in the smoky air in which they were engulfed on the job. Mustaches may have once played a role in safety on the job, but that does not explain the modern day fixation.

I’ve interviewed a fair amount of my ‘stache sporting friends and coworkers about their mustaches, and I seem to find two pervasive themes: “I’m too lazy to shave” and “I keep it because I‘ve always had it.” I don’t understand either of these concepts. First of all, being “too lazy” to shave is pretty much negated since you’re forced to shave the rest of your face. I can tell you that when I’m in, I’m all in; I have never shaved my legs with the exception of one shin. Lazy and ridiculous are not synonymous. Secondly, you haven’t “always had it.” I’m trying to picture a cherubic baby, who after being rinsed of goo and blood wears a Nascar worthy mustache. That’s not how things work, gentlemen. You would have been labeled a prophet or a demon directly; as you’re currently working with me now, you are neither.

While contemplating the topic, I called up the wise sage with whom I discuss important matters at hand. During the discussion, my mom told me, “When making out with a dude with a mustache, there’s always the one wild hair that bothers me the most. Sure, the rest of the hairs are conforming, but the one hair finds its way up my nose and tickles like hell. The mustache seemed like a good idea in the late 80s, but who wants to make out with a chick who’s sneezing? Maybe I’m just allergic to mustaches.” That’s right, boys. My mom says women are allergic to mustaches, and my mom knows all kinds of useful stuff. She’s also been known to make up things to suit her wants, but I’m going to let that slide in this case.

Ambulance Driver is the only guy I asked that boldly admitted his mustache’s intent.  “When I was 25, I wore my goatee because I thought it helped me pick up hot older chicks. Now that I’m closer to 45, and all the hot older chicks are nursing home patients with fevers, I wear my ‘stache in solidarity with my EMT brothers who are stepped on by The Man, deprived of their rights to cultivate glorious handlebar mustaches like all the firefighters.”  Far be it for me to depreciate a man’s political statement.  Damn The Man!

It was also brought to my attention by a friend that “a man is DEFINED by his facial hair,” and he also submitted this evidence. Funny, all this time I thought men were defined by their penis size.

I would have liked to take pictures of people I know with mustaches and criticize them, but they were kind enough to allow me to interview them while knowing full well I intend to make fun of them on the internet. Instead, I have provided pictures from the internet of celebrities who are accustomed to being mocked. These are the people you are emulating:

Ted Nugent

Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife, and hide yo’ husband, cuz Ted Nugent rapin’ errybody out here.

Tom Selleck

Tom, you are not fooling anyone with that phone. We all know it isn’t a cell phone, and you aren’t taking a call from your beloved grandmother to display your wholesomeness. You are topless on the beach and you probably need to let your parole officer know your whereabouts.


Eventually he got the princess. However, he had to abscond several castles and defeat many-a-foe to get to her heart. When one has a mustache of that caliber, one must make up for it in various other grand gestures. Incidentally, he was probably the first human she’d seen in a long, long time. After being held captive by a dragon-turtle hybrid for a while, a lady’s mustache tolerance can only be sufficiently lessened. Princess Peach was likely thrilled merely to see someone who didn’t want to wear her skin.

Salvador Dali

I’m not going to dignify this creeper with a proper caption.

Richard Pryor

“Ladies, check out how unassuming I am in my bath of foam peanuts. There’s even a red bow to indicate I’m God’s gift to women!” FAIL.

Ron Jeremy 

Ron Jeremy got a lot of hot tail. What the previous sentence is lacking is the fact that Ron Jeremy got a lot of ass from libidinous chicks who were being paid to do naughty, naughty things with him. The beautiful women acquiesced because drugs don’t buy themselves and word on the street is Ron Jeremy has a magnificent dong.

The Village People

Wow. There’s so much to say about this montage. Let’s start counterclockwise. Leather Guy, if you come any closer to me, I will be forced to beat you with your chains. Rochelle told me the story behind the restraining order, and I’m not buying your plea. Officer, I’ve worked with a lot of policemen and have never seen anyone other than yourself in that pose. I’m not even sure what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you threatening me? I will kick you in the larynx if you so much as twitch before I’m 20 feet away. Cowboy, it’s okay to be a virgin. Embrace it. No one is going to sleep with you, so you might as well own your virginity. Have you considered joining a monastery? Stay away from the cows. I know you think they love you back, but it is illegal to love livestock like you do. Construction worker, I appreciate your gold helmet, but stop touching yourself in that lascivious manner. I will be forced to contact OSHA, who will undoubtedly not care for your fabulousness. Indian and Soldier, I have much to say about you both, but you do not pertain to my topic. (Non sequitur: You are really working the interpretative dance, Indian. Keep up the strong work!)

In the event Captain Wines of Iron Firemen finds his way to this post, I’d like to go on record saying that I in no way, shape, or form have mustache envy. My informal polls proved pretty much unanimously that women with mustaches are not well received.

Oh, no. Parapup does not rock the ‘stache.


In semi-related news, a Google search of firemen with mustaches led me to a timeline of mustache fires. Obviously, this was not my intent, but I never realized mustaches were so flammable. The mere concept got me a little giddy, but that’s primarily because I’m morbid, warped, and sleep deprived.


  • Kris says:

    Haha, awesome blog entry….had me laughing. My EMT instructor would show us a scene picture and ask us “who’s the person in charge in this picture?” after several minutes of scruitinizing the photo in silence we’d come up with our best guess. He’d always answer, “The person with the biggest moustache is.”

    Somehow all the text books have photos from the 1970’s when it was a common trend. I’m very sad to hear that in 2011 moustaches have not gone extinct.

    Kris (from Canada)

    • parapup says:

      Mustaches are definitely still around, and not just for the older generation. Plenty of the under 35 crowd even proudly sports the soup strainer. I don’t really understand it, but I do tease my friends and coworkers about it. 😉

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

  • Iron Firemen says:

    Love the site and the post! Keep up the GREAT work.
    Captain Wines

  • Parapup's Mom says:


    In regards to your Ted Nugent photo: The man wrote Stranglehold and wore a loin cloth; therefore he is forgiven for the pubes on his upper lip.


    • parapup says:


      Stranglehold is an excellent song, but I really don’t even know what to say about the loin cloth. I take it he’s up there with Matthew McConaughey and the naked bongo playing? Actually, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.

      Love you!
      Your Offspring

  • Timothy Clemans says:

    Thank you for making me laugh.

  • Anonymous says:

    You’d probably be irresistibly cute with a milk moustache.

    Just sayin’.

  • Ladyfarns says:

    Too funny!

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