George’s Mustache

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mundane gets toppled by a mustache.

Submitted: August 16, 2019

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Submitted: August 16, 2019

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George Fillbert reached into the toilet to fetch his razor. Today was not going to be a good day. If he dropped it again, he was going to flush and grow a beard. As the razor skated across his face, he thought about how long it had been since he made a change to his appearance. A haircut once a month on the second Tuesday, unless, of course, it rained. Then he would go on Thursday because downtown was such a mess in the rain. This was such a routine with George; it hadn’t even rained on a second Tuesday for nearly a year. The razor slipped from his fingers and without fail, landed in the toilet.

He flushed. The beginnings of a mustache remained.

George felt proud of his bold new feature. He stroked it gently with his left pinkie as he boarded mass transit bound for work. George was quite a specialist in his field. To his knowledge, no one else in the city was as qualified. His supervisor always said that the position of “Hanger Hook Inspector” was created for George because of his uncle, when running for city council, had promised a tax break for wire industrials if his nephew were given a job suited to his training. George started work the day before Election Day. Late that evening, his uncle was killed in an unusual accident involving a pharmacy delivery van and a scooter. Foul play was suspected (nothing was ever proved) in connection with the election returns: George’s uncle came in third close behind a write-in candidate who ran a bar on the East Side.

George didn’t believe his late uncle had much to do with his being hired. When he entered college just after the war, he knew precisely what he wanted to be: a Technical Inspector of Tensile Metallurgy. And now, here he was, a Technical Inspector, a man with focus and a man with a mustache!

George has a touch of grey in his hair around his temples, and as he punched in at the customary four and a half minutes before his shift, his mind was not on wire as it usually was at 7:55:30 a.m. He was thinking, instead, about how nice a touch of grey would look in his new mustache. It would be the ideal accent when he dressed up in either of his favorite jackets: the grey gabardine or the dark grey gabardine.

So far, no one had said anything about this new image. On his way to his post, George made sure everyone he said hello to had a clear view of his upper lip. Still no comments, but he wasn’t worried. He hadn’t yet seen the woman who occupied the post next to his—the only other T.I. in the plant. She was assigned to lacquer finish consistency. She had a keen eye for texture. She was his kind of woman.

She arrived at her post and said good morning to George as she always did at two and one quarter minutes before 8:00.

Now George was worried. Nothing he did seemed to help his professional associates notice his most distinguishing feature. The whistle blew, and George wasn’t ready. Nine hangers went by uninspected.

In the 32 years George worked as a T.I., he had only missed four hangers. Three of the four were on his first day when he noticed that his zipper was down. The fourth happened a year and a half later when the woman next to him was assigned to her post. And now, he had missed nine in a row. What was even worse, George was less worried about the hangers than the fact that no one had commented on his mustache.

At the morning break, George was called to the office. Even though he hadn’t given much thought to those nine hangers, his supervisor had apparently been waiting 32 years for George to foul up. Apparently, George had.

George was sent home. He hadn’t lost his job. He was only suspended for a half day. The supervisor’s parting words were something to the effect of, “Clean up your act!” On his walk from the station to his apartment, George stopped at the convenience store and purchased a new razor. The trauma of the day was almost too much to bear. By the time he reached home, the tension and excitement had entranced him. He slowly unwrapped his razor and removed his beloved mustache. He then slept through the rest of the day and all night as well.

The next day, George Fillbert woke quite normal.


© Copyright 2019 Robert Kruger. All rights reserved.

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