Newsletter : Teddy Bears Invade Belarus
It seems that the Movember phenomenon started nine years ago - perhaps that's why I haven't noticed it before now. It began with a group ofAustralian friends sitting in a Melbourne pub and discussingwhy fewer and fewer men were wearing mustaches. The nine friendsdecided to grow mustaches and raise some money at the same time. In their first Movember, the friends only managed to raise 300 Aussie dollars (that's about ¥25,000) but a new idea had been born. The friends,who nicknamed themselves the Mo-Bros, came up with name Movember and established some simple rules: all the money they collected would go to charities to promote men's health and explain the threat of cancer to men's testicles and prostate glands.
The following year, the Mo-Bros did much better. Their Movember drive raised A$40,000 or almost ¥3.5 million yen. They took the money to a charity called Prostate Cancer Australia and were shocked to discover that it was the largest donation the charity had ever received. JustinCoghlan, one of the original Mo-Bros, recalls being shocked. He assumed that the cancer charity would have a lot more money. But it just didn't. The Mo-Bros decided to try and raise more money. Movember 2005 hit $A750,000 and Movember 2006 raised $A5.7 million. It also spread to various countries and acquired a new slogan: "Changing the face of men's health." Last year over 800,000 Mo- Bros around the world took part in the campaign and managed to raise some $A120 million. Coghlan is still astonished by Movember's success. He says it's a popular thing to do because men can take part in a serious cause but still have fun. Justin says that strangers will smile and nod at him as he is walking around the city because they know what he is trying to do. "My mustache is a conversation piece," says Coghlan. "It's something for my friends to make fun of and it's something I can talk about with anyone. It's easy to do - there is no need to go into training - unlike preparing to run a marathon. Essentially all you do is stop shaving."
Joking aside, the Movember Foundation has raised $A282 million to date and the research programsit funds havealready identified 27 types of male prostrate cancer. The foundation has made sure that men's health is now openly talked about and that more men think about their health and visit their doctor more regularly than they ever did.
I can certainly confirm that I had loads of fun conversations about mustaches in November with various people in the neighborhood. Heck, I may even grow one myself next year!
Here are some mustache related idioms presented in the form of a Quick Quiz (answers at the end).
1. * I cycled into work today and I had a close shave at the traffic lights. A car turned in front of me and ________.
a) knocked my razor out of my hand
b) almost knocked me off my bicycle
c) knocked me out
2. My niece is as sharp as a razor. She had to learn a difficult poem for homework _______ .
a) and did it perfectly
b) but she made so many mistakes
c) but she complained about it all day long
3. What a pity. Our center forward missed the goal by a whisker. _______
a) He fell over the ball and his face hit the grass.
b) The ball flew 5 meters over the top of the goal.
c) We almost won the game.
4. My brother is always clean-shaven. He _________.
a) throws his razor away after he has used it once
b) has never grown a beard or mustache
c) washes his face before he starts shaving
5) Although Steve shaves every morning, he has a five o'clock shadow by the time he returns home. Some afternoons it looks as if he _______ .
a) he is a teenager who can't grow a beard
b) cut himself shaving
c) forgot to shave before he came to work
6) I don't like bushy beards, I prefer to keep my beard and mustache ______
a) closely trimmed
b) as long as possible
c) looking scruffy
1. b. have a close shave = almost have an accident
2. a. be as sharp as a razor = be intelligent, be very quick to understand new ideas
3. c. miss by a whisker = miss by a very small amount
4. b. be clean shaven = not to have any facial hair
5. c. have a five o'clock shadow = faint growth of facial hair - as if you haven't shaved [ cut yourself shaving = to cut your face with a razor]
6. a. closely trimmed = cut short [scruffy = messy and not looked after]