» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

October 3, 2005
With the biennial World Beard and Moustache Championships coming up this fall in Berlin, I decided to let my facial hair grow unencumbered as the weather grew cooler. As my stubble turned to blonde and then to a reddish-brown (with a few white hairs interspersed), people began to take notice. Friends asked me what in the hell I thought I was doing, my significant other began to cast sideways glances. I easily had the bushiest face amongst the people I knew, but as online photos of beard and moustache connoisseurs made abundantly clear, I was barely even a big fish in a very small pond. No matter how long I let it go, nothing my visage could produce came even close to the monstrosities of hair that show up every two years at the WBMC. Compared to the likes of World Champions such as Germany's Alois Plettl and Switzerland's Rheinhard Mitterhofer, my paltry Grizzly Adams tribute could amount to no more than a joke.

After taking place in the United States for the first time in 2003, this year the World Beard and Moustache Championships returns to its roots in Germany. Germans not only founded the event a decade and a half ago, they've dominated every year since, generally winning upwards of 80 percent of the categories. Perhaps hoping for a bit of competition, the First Höfener Beard Club set about raising global awareness of the sport by reaching out to other potentially hairy countries; in 1997 the event was held in Norway, the first time ever outside of Germany. Two years later Sweden took up the honors, but as usual it was the Germans who dominated and in 2001 the WBMC moved back home.

In 2003 the United States, playing host, hoped to give their traditional wartime enemies a run for their money and fielded their first national team. Although the Germans again won the medal count, earning first place in eight of the 17 categories (for a total of nine gold medals, as Dieter Gugel and Gerhard Mueller, both of Germany, tied for first in the "Natural Goatee" category), the Americans made a strong showing, taking home four gold medals from the Dali Moustache, Handlebar Moustache, Musketeer and Full Beard Natural categories. But newfound success was not limited to the US team; medallists were spread across a host of nations including Italy, Norway, Hong Kong, Switzerland, England, Austria and of course Germany.

.: David Traver and Gary Hagen of Beard Team USA :.

The US team plans to expand upon their 2003 success in Carson City and will be returning several medalists, including Alaskan wildman David Traver, who took home first place in the Full Beard Natural category and was honored with a third place finish in the overall best-in-show voting. Also returning for the US will be Gary Hagen, who took home the gold in the Handlebar Moustache competition. It will be the Brits, however, who will be feeling the most pressure this time around, with London's world-famous Handlebar Club hosting the 2007 Championships. The English will undoubtedly want to rob the Germans of as much hardware as possible this year so that they may properly defend it on their home turf next time around. Yes, indeed, I smell a classic Anglo-Teutonic battle brewing in the hearts, minds and beards of Europe this year!

SEE ALSO: www.lostatsea.net/feature.phtml?fid=74762952845bf6464eebc0

Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.



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