Word of the Day: pogonophobia

This is the first one of one of the multi-part stories to which I referred in Monday’s story. I came across one of those lists of weird laws, and decided that it might be interesting to speculate on the exact story behind the wacky law. Because, you know there has to have been some sort of story behind each of these laws.

Don’t expect these ones to necessarily run back to back. If I have a good idea that fits better with current events or something, the series could get interrupted, but, as each story will be self-contained, it shouldn’t matter much.

The weird law of today is from Alabama, where it’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Today’s Word:


As in:

Kyle Poole, 39, had been trying to decide on a new style of facial hair. He was not particularly known for such things, and wanted to pick something that suited him before he try and grow the real thing.

His plan was to wear some fake moustaches around town, where no one knew him, and see what people’s reaction would be. He choose a variety of styles, thick handlebar, a bushy walrus, a few in the Fu Manchu variations, and a few toothbrush styles.

Poole was not the sharpest spoon in the drawer. He was a blond headed, fair-skinned fellow, and he’d made the mistake of obtaining facial hair made of dark black materials. They were not the least bit convincing.

He thought the best places to test out his new looks were area churches. “After all,” he reasoned, “people who go to church are patient and tolerant, and kind.”

Unfortunately for Poole, those who go to church are also human.

He entered the first church, and introduced himself to the people he met, giving them a false name. Some parishioners were struck silent by the sight of a man with obviously artificial facial hair. Poole was unsure why everyone seemed so withdrawn.

He took a seat in the back. The service went uneventfully, until it was time for the pastor to speak. Five minutes into his weekly lesson, he caught a glimpse of Kyle Poole, with his large, black handle bar moustache, and blond head.

And he started to laugh. He couldn’t help it. This had to be a trick. He laughed until tears rolled down his face. He laughed until he couldn’t breathe. He laughed until he fell down. He died laughing.

The congregation had sat in awkward silence, trying to figure out what had possessed their pastor. When someone finally realized his distress and ran to his aid, he could do no more than shoot for help, and told someone to call emergency personnel. It was far too late.

Poole didn’t realize that it was his appearance that had caused the fit, and though distressed at what he saw, he continued with his plan.

Over the course of several weeks, Poole left a trail of victims. Not all of them died, of course. Some simply developed pogonophobia. Others simply stopped going to church for fear of seeing *that* man.

After trying all of his moustaches, Poole decided he didn’t like the way they tickled his nose, and decided he’d stay clean-shaven.

A serial moustache murderer could very well be the root of this mysterious law. This story is dedicated to my friend, Dr. Tectonic, who has “dressed” his ‘stache in the widest variety of unique and creative fashions that I have ever seen.

pogonophobia / poe – GO – no – foe – bee – a / fear of beards. I know, a beard is no moustache, but, I couldn’t find a formal word for that fear. Why is there a word for the fear of a beard, but not one for the fear of a moustache? Who knows?