“It’s all in the mustache wax”

Brian Hunca

English teacher Peter Parish shows off his progress toward defending his Whiskerino title.

For centuries, facial hair has represented wisdom, charm, strength, and pride. Nowadays, renowned for its functionality in appearing older, facial hair is commonly disgraced through its usage as a means for underage obtainment of alcohol and entrance into rated-R films.

Despite these calamities, society can rest at ease because there are still those out in the world who vow to protect the sanctity of facial hair.

English teacher Peter Parish is one of these protectors. Parish is the reigning champion of Petaluma Whiskerino, an event created to observe, appreciate, and judge the results of many months of dedication and tedious beard work. Parish won the event in his first year of competition.

“I had seen a couple of shows on TV about beard wars and all that,” Parish said about his entrance in the competition. “I had always been interested in changing my facial hair.”

Parish said he has dealt with many different reactions to his varied beard styles, and said that he enjoys changing his look with the simple use of a razor.

“When I twirl it into a nice sinister mustache, I usually get some double takes from people,” Parish said. “They’re just not quite sure if they saw what they thought they saw.”

Peter Parish won last year’s Whiskerino with this winning facial hair combination.

The ease in which Parish wears his beard belies the hard work that went into creating it.

“It usually takes a couple of months to get a good base and then you can sculpt from there,” said Parish.

According to Parish, once the base is in place, it must be constantly groomed and sculpted.

“It may be hard to believe but great facial hair doesn’t just get perfect and stay perfect without any grooming,” Parish said. “It’s all about the mustache wax.”

And although Parish enjoys his mustache, there are serious drawbacks to the styling of one’s upper lip.

“It’s just bushy, and it’s obnoxious,” Parish said. “It’s in my mouth so I’m already tired of it, ready to shave again.”

Parish will reenter the contest this year in hopes of defending his crown. In fact, he is currently sculpting his mustache to perfection in a new unique pattern that will be unveiled at Whiskerino 2012 on Oct. 6 in Walnut Park, Petaluma.