You can buy mustache wax at the drug store in Custer, South Dakota. Heck, for all I know, you can buy it at drug stores everywhere. Not having a mustache myself, thank goodness, I've never had occasion to look.
My daughter did, though. Not, I hasten to explain, that she has a mustache, either. At the moment her husband does. His most recent role at the Black Hills Playhouse, as a sword-wielding evil henchman, required a mustache, waxed to suitably swashbuckling points. It looked good on him, too.
Although, even waxed, it wasn't anywhere close to being the most memorable mustache I've ever seen. That impressive growth of facial hair decorated the upper lip of a park ranger whose location will not be revealed in case he and his mustache are still employed there.
My parents, my aunt, and I had stopped at an information center and asked this man some questions. He was tall and slim, good-looking in a middle-aged cowboy way. Though, honestly, the only thing I really remember about his appearance was that incredible mustache. Pulled out straight, it would probably have extended several inches on either side of his mouth like the whiskers of a cat. We couldn't really estimate the length, though, because each end was so tightly curled. Not just into a swoop or a partial circle, but around and around in several ever-smaller spirals. Both curls were perfectly round and symmetrical, kept in place by what must have been enough wax to polish a convertible. Whenever he spoke, those curls twitched and quivered in a most fascinating manner.
After we got back to our car, my father accused my mother and aunt of asking the man unnecessary questions just so they could watch his mustache. They didn't deny it, possibly because they were giggling too hard to say anything.
None of us, though, asked him the things we really wanted to know. Like how he managed to get those curls so perfect. Did he wind the ends around his little finger? Use bobby pins? Roll them on little tiny curlers? He presumably didn't use a curling iron; the heat would have melted the wax.
But for me, at least, the most interesting question was what that mustache must have looked like when he woke up in the morning. Did he wash off the wax and go to bed with each side of his mustache in a little braid? Or tie the ends together under his chin? Or just let the wax stick wherever it would? I had a mental picture of those careful curls, all askew, plastered crookedly to his cheeks with wax. It wasn't an appealing image.
I suppose one way to find out would be to frequent cowboy bars and look for a man with a similar mustache, then pick him up and take him home. The next morning, all my questions would be answered as soon as I woke up and put my glasses on.
But even for an inquiring mind, that would be carrying research way too far.
My Uncle George Christoph had a nice curly head of hair and wore a rather large mustache. It seemed to curl without the benefit of any additives. When he smoked a cigarette, he smoked them down until the glowing end was almost touching his mustache. Your father used to watch him and was always amazed that Uncle George didn’t set it afire.