Send in the Clones

When, in the late seventies, I took my first tentative steps onto London’s knock-and-enter gay scene, facial hair was all the rage. Walk into any smoky dive bar and you’d be confronted with an ocean of moustaches – the bigger, the bushier the better. It was like a Tom Selleck convention minus the Hawaiian shirts. We called ’em clones – the Frisco Crisco look. Even the limp-wristed tried to butch it up during the clone wars. The entire lookalikee-ness was gloriously sent up by the Village People in their camp 1978 disco classic ‘Macho Man’. I had the 12-inch.

And clones were only attracted to other clones – that was the Clone Law – dancing round each other in some strange narcissistic mating ritual. I couldn’t really grow convincing face furniture, and pretty boys like me didn’t get a look in. Still, it didn’t hold me back.

By the nineties, hirsute was out, supplanted by the clean-shaven and the fully-waxed. Roll on the noughties, and Desperate Dan* wannabees reclaimed the streets with overgrown hipster beards. But now the lumberjack look is old hat and tashes are back among the trendy young things. And so the world turns.

Being older and furrier, I saw this as my last chance to release my inner clone. For about a month, I nurtured my new whiskers with pride; a bit more salt than pepper perhaps, but full-bodied all the same.

Freddie Mercury’s clone phase

But then a young chap accidentally brushed passed me in a crowded Norwich pub. “Really sorry, old man,” he said.

That was the end of my seventies pornstar tash.

*Desperate Dan was a big butch cartoon character from the Dandy comic with a beard so tough he shaved with a blowtorch.

6 thoughts on “Send in the Clones

  1. 😆 👨‍🦳Really really sorry old man and none of us getting any younger. My hair is so white I stick out in this small town. 🧑🏼‍🦳


  2. Old man!
    I remember when, in Mexico, I used to be called señorita. That worked for quite a few years, and then people started calling me señora. I almost fell over a few years ago when I was called Dueña. Now that is the title of respect, mind you, but it’s still signifies an old woman.

    Liked by 1 person

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