Ralph Mellon: Paying lip service to a worthy venture

Ralph Mellon
Ralph Mellon

It’s getting close to THAT time of year again. The time when we pause to think of others, in a generous spirit of giving, and we can sincerely say ‘goodwill to all men’.

It’s obvious what I’m referrring to, isn’t it? Of course it is – Movember.

This is the charitable venture dedicated to supporting and improving men’s health.

Blokes of all ages are encouraged to grow moustaches throughout the month of November and raise money to help research and enhance programmes linked to conditons such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health issues and physical inactivity.

I’ve not had any direct experience with either cancer – so far – but the knowledge they are out there and could strike any male relatives or friends – or me – is very real.

I took part in Movember last year but didn’t give myself – or others – the best of chances to support it, so I’m determined to do better in 2015.

Two years ago, I’d been off work after a spell of illness and came back around mid-November to find three of the guys at Fife Free Press Towers were displaying discernible signs of their backing for the cause.

This ranged from Zapataesque to moderate lip rugs, to three symmetrical strands of bumfluff, reminiscent of attempts to cultivate a mouser in one’s mid-teens.

I was quite impressed with their commitment and thought I would get involved in 2014.

This will be easy, I thought. The guys will know the procedure for registering online, and all of the ‘admin’, so I’ll just let them do all of that and then ride along on their coattails.

However, I was kind of punished, and rightl y so, for my shystering laziness when one colleague left the firm and the other two decided they’d be taking a break from supporting it.

I was on my own, but I found that it didn’t take a lot of time to register, nor was it that complicated, so there was a lesson for me not to be so damned idle. Just take a minute and think of why you’re doing it, you selfish sod.

However, in 2014 I was on the last day of a holiday in Tenerife when the razor began its 30-day stay in the bathroom cabinet.

Then I was still off work until around the middle of the month – so very few people knew I was supporting Movember.

But a number of friends and colleagues were very supportive once they’d seen my half-developed lip rug and their contributions helped me gather £88.

Considering how poor my pre-publicity had been, I reckoned this was was not too bad a total, and I was most grateful to everyone who donated. A couple of workmates even gave me some money in early December, after the ‘tache had fallen in combat with a Gillette Sensor Excel.

As it was, the upper lipholstery was fairly luxuriant, though I say it myself, but I knew this was down to the luck of nature, rather than being a virile, robust paragon of masculinity.

However adventurous this year’s ‘tache becomes, I’ll be happy to support the charity and grateful to anyone who wants to assist.