Forget it kid, this will only put you in the minor leagues.Today I would like to do something a bit different. Enough with all the silliness, all the highbrow intellectual jokes that end with somebody getting called a fag, and all the muckraking comedy you've come to love us for. Actually, you probably don't love us, and you probably don't know us for any of that stuff, save for maybe the calling people fags part. But enough as well to the jibber-jabber spewing fourth from my crapulent maw! I want to be serious for a brief moment, and by that I want to dedicate this article to a very serious topic ignored by far too many people, particularly you.

Ladies and gentlemen, the World Beard and Moustache Championships are nearly upon us! Every two years, athletes from around the world gather to compete in one of the most brutal tournaments ever devised by man. The World Beard and Moustache Championship is a contest of wits, of skill, of hygiene, and of imaginative grooming that dazzles the mind. But unfortunately, it is not without its petty politics and backroom backstabbing. Once again I have no choice but to accept that, in spite of my qualifications, I was not asked to be a judge. I don't get it, because honestly, I have what it takes. I have an appreciation for beards and moustaches and a burning desire to judge people's beards and moustaches. Ever since I was a kid I knew that I would one day be a world-renowned beard and moustache critic. I don't know how, perhaps it was some magical undercurrent I subconsciously tapped into, but I knew that one day my words would be the force that makes or breaks people with facial hair. "Gustov," I'd write, "seems to believe that the wild jungle of hair above his lips, consisting of a ragged underbrush curling recklessly about while tidal waves of gray form a canopy in the upper echelons, is a prized moustache. I, on the other hand, consider it a prized scar." That's an excerpt from an article I would write in an alternate reality for a popular beard and moustache entertainment site. Also, since that's from an alternate reality, I wrote it while on holiday in my castle floating a mile above the moon. And you better believe I posted it from one of my many relaxing alternate reality hot tubs filled to the brim with expensive liquefied meat.

While circumstances have led me astray from my early childhood dreams, I have not forgotten them. I'm as unbiased as they come, leaning only in the direction of the will of the people so long as they agree with me. Furthermore, I can relate to the athletes competing. I have a bond with them, in fact, in the form of facial hair. While I don't personally have a beard or moustache, I often go weeks without shaving because of extreme laziness and a desire to look like a disheveled hobo. I may not have been chosen as an official judge, and that's something I'll just have to come to terms with on my own time, but that sure as hell doesn't mean I can't pass judgment. I may not have the blessing of the official cabal of beard and moustache barons dictating this corrupted tournament, but let's see them stop me from offering my services as an unsanctioned judge. That's right, World Beard and Moustache Championships, you can't murder this innocent child's dream!

Before we get too deep into this spectacle, I would like to apologize to the female readers. This article is all about beards and moustaches. While I do not understand what it is like, I sympathize with the plight you women face knowing that you will never be able to have something as wondrous as a beard or a moustache, to be able to let a simple patch of stubble grow into a living breathing monument, to give life where there is none. I only hope your petty womanly jealousy does not fill you with anger, blinding you from appreciating a quality beard or moustache.

2003 World Beard and Moustache Championship:
An Unsanctioned and Uneducated Judging

The 2003 World Beard and Moustache Championship gets underway November 1st in Carson City, Nevada. While I won't be there because I have better things to do, and I certainly don't know anything about the contestants other than seeing pictures of them, I'm still going to go ahead and give my thoughts. Since those fatheads running the World Beard and Moustache Championships give so little in the way of details about the contestants, I had to interpolate a lot of things. I did a lot of reading between the lines, and where there weren't lines, I added them in myself by drawing on my monitor with a blue marker.

Top Hat
The mysterious man hailing from parts unknown can be recognized by his distinct twirling beard and distinguished attire. Because so little is known about him, including his moniker, he has earned the name Top Hat. Although this name would have you believe he ranks high, at least in the world of hats, he has little chance of winning anything more than a loss. And really, when you look at Top Hat, do you actually see a winner? I see a man hiding in a suit, using it as a mask to conceal secret poverty and benign social standing. Does he look like a man who belongs in a suit? No, he probably wears it because it’s one of the job requirements of being a stagecoach driver or whatever other menial work he does to earn his daily bread and alcohol. Sure, the man has an impressive beard that travels around his face, wrapping it as though it was a present and the hair was a lovely ribbon. But if you were to wake up one Christmas morning and see the severed head of Top Hat resting beneath your tree, wrapped so tightly with this lovely beard ribbon, would you be happy? I think not. I don't know if Top Hat plans to compete in this year's tournament, but he might as well sit this one out. If he thinks he has a chance of being transformed into facial hair royalty with an underdog victory, well, then he can think again! Go back to sipping hope out of your flask, Top Hat. The victory you covet so much will elude you once more. Save your precious little money and don't come.

Heinz Christophel
Heinz might not look all that imposing, but be warned, he has a few tricks up his sleeves and under his scarf. A purebred straight to the marrowy core of his bones, Heinz uses his regal demeanor and prized heredity to set him on a pedestal overlooking the competition. Of course the nit and gritty of the competition is not about background and class standing, but of beards and moustaches. Fortunately for Heinz, he is just as wealthy in hair as he is in everything else. Heinz's prized beard reaches outward while soaring upward. The two arms of his beard rest like a balance, and one can easily imagine such contrasting ideas as justice and injustice, life and death, good and evil, occupying each side. It is fitting that as polarized constructs rest to the right and the left, Heinz is rooted firmly in the middle. In a world of absolutes, Heinz becomes an uncertainty, a wildcard, and a potential winner. I don't believe Heinz will actually win, but his showing will have a lot of nervous contestants pulling out their tiny combs and scrambling in a vain attempt to make their beard or moustache look just a little bit more exciting.

Mr. Fancy
This mysterious fellow, who I nicknamed Mr. Fancy, is an archetypical showman, an evenhanded mixture of excess and minimalism. What is most prominent about Mr. Fancy is the distinct simplicity of his moustache. While it is in many ways an impressive moustache, it hardly seems worth mentioning when juxtaposed with the cacophonous hair symphonies of the other contestants. This disadvantage would discourage any common man, but Mr. Fancy uses it to his advantage. By adorning himself in elaborate costume and capitalizing on his suave looks, Mr. Fancy presents not just a sampling of facial hair, but an entire package. When you look at Mr. Fancy, you see a friendly man, possibly supernatural in nature, and certainly approachable. His moustache looks great, not because it's an elaborate tapestry flowing from his face, but rather because it's the perfect moustache for him. No other combination of beard or moustache would suit Mr. Fancy, for he has found his ideal look. Think about this, if you suddenly found yourself falling through a magic portal and into a world of fantasy and wonder, who would you want to act as your guide? Mr. Fancy is the correct answer, because he embodies the ideals and wonderment of strange and imaginative paranormal dimensions. In fact, I theorize that Mr. Fancy may not even be from this Earth, which would explain why so little is known about him. In spite of his charm and wonder, Mr. Fancy shouldn't expect to win any trophies. He succeeds where many fail, but his role is not that of a revolutionary or an agent of change, but rather as a constant in a changing world.

Stefan Gölz When it comes to brutish tactics and mercilessness, Stefan knows no limits. A commanding figure with a commanding beard that mimics the shape of a Klingon war blade, Stefan massacres the competition as though they were no more than puny children. To compete against Stefan is akin to being sent on a suicide mission, and his role in this tournament will determine a lot about who enters. The weak and cowardly will be sure to avoid embarrassing themselves if they know that this living hearse of a man and beard is going to be competing. His beard is not his only weapon, though. A small but sharp moustache pierces outward from below his nose just as a bayonet looms at the end of a rifle, and anyone foolish enough to walk into him is sure to meet an early demise. It is hard to fathom what Stefan does in his spare time, but I imagine that he probably has a comfortable job as a general to an army of undead skeleton warriors. I also bet he rides a skeleton horse and possibly drinks blood out of an actual human skull. While any man presiding over an army of the undead can be considered evil, he is no more than a general or enforcer in a vast hierarchy of wickedness. Because of this, he stands only to wipe out and weaken competition for the true winner of this tournament, the Lord of all Evil himself. Stefan will be sacrificed in the end, paving the way for another dark victory in this great tournament.

Willi Chevalier
Let's face it – beards like Willi's don't come often. This man's face is like a bottomless abyss, and on it rests an ancient evil older than time itself. If you've ever seen a more terrifying beard than this, then you are most certainly a liar, because there is no beard more frightening than this hellish monstrosity. I don't know if Willi is an evil wizard who conjured this demonic power and gave it a home or if he is no more than the victim of a demonic entity using his face as a den of evil and/or possibly a tax shelter, but I do know that this is the beard that should not be. Each of the six arms of this primordial evil reaches outward, as if clawing at the very gates of Heaven. It screams of atrocity, of rape, of ruin, and hate. It is darkness personified in facial hair. The coiling hairs that extend out like the ribs of a dead beast could pierce through flesh, possibly even feed off the spilt blood. It is clear to me that Willi, the current world champion, will remain the world champion until the forces of good are able to grow and groom an ideologically opposing beard of pure light and energy. For now, my friends, the World Beard and Moustache Championships will remain in the hands of evil. Willi Chevalier is a shoe in for World Champ in Carson City!

I certainly hope I wasn't too dramatic in my predictions and coverage of this year's tournament, but really, it's impossible not to get swept away by the epic pageantry of this glorious event. True, I have my differences with the leadership of the World Beard and Moustache Championships, but I still respect the sanctity of the contest. This is athletics at its finest: devoid of sport but rich in facial hair. I for one think it deserves national television coverage not unlike that of professional sports. Beard and moustache tournaments may lack cheerleaders or mascots, and the athletes themselves probably don't have groupies, but just look at their grueling grooming regiments and tell me they don't sacrifice for what they do. Better yet, tell that to them.

Remember Nickelodeon?

Hey folks, Taylor "Psygnosis" Bell here with an awesome ROM pit review of a really terrible SNES game based on a stupid game show! Remember Nickelodeon's "GUTS"? Well, this terrible game is going to make sure you never forget.

Apparently doing “basic training” involves running and climbing around for several minutes on a gigantic death contraption in Nickelodeonland. This event, which I’m fairly sure wasn’t in the actual show due to the Not Killing Kids On Live TV Act of 1988 (which is the last documented year in which anybody actually watched Nickelodeon), requires you to race through a giant diabolical jungle gym that was originally designed by Saddam Hussein for all the happy little Kurdish children to play on. You’ll leap over huge drop-offs, jump from rope to rope 70 feet in the air, dodge flying punching bags that are bigger than you and occasionally run face-first into the wall if you’re me. Due to the stupid course layout and the fact that you can’t grab onto a rope if you’re more than a millimeter to the left or right, it might take you a few tries before you’re able to finish the entire course without turning the emulator off, tracking down the man who programmed this game and punching him in the throat.

This sounds even better than that one show where they splattered everybody with green slimy crap! Check it out!

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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