A scrolling text effect like the beginning of Star Wars over the top of some old crude cartoons / caricatures of the main protagonists – a bit like the Bayeaux Tapestry
Olden Times. After years of bitter conflict, moustaches have been outlawed by the evil new King, Blessed Brian. All men must wear verdant, ostentatious beards or face punishment at the hands of the brutal Royal Vandyke Guards, who string up the clean-shaven and pelt them with rotten fruit for days on end until their modesty is covered by 5 o’clock shadow – at which point they are decapitated and their heads stuck on spikes by the castle gates.
Youths sporting the first hints of bum fluff are barred from shaving and forced into humiliating initiation ceremonies where fair maidens mock their pubescent face fuzz and older lads whip them with wet towels. Effete, boyish men with smooth hairless cheeks (or those annoying patchy bits that don’t quite join up) are shunned and avoided and live like lepers in filthy ghettos outside the city limits. Anyone caught with a moustache and no beard is sent straight to the tower - no questions asked.
The ‘Tache Army, a band of men still loyal to the fallen King Frederick the Mercurial, maintain hairy upper lips and nude chins in defiance of the mandatory death sentence. They meet in the shadows, plotting to return their leader to the throne, for despite Frederick’s penchant for unnatural acts and screeching pop-rock, he has a flamboyance and showmanship much admired by his more idealistic former subjects…
* * * * *
A bustling alehouse – Buxom wenches serve frothing mugs of beer to thirsty punters, who roister away merrily and run their hands through the lush expanses of foliage on their chins. We pan through the passageways to a dimly-lit back-room where a group of men are gathered conspiratorially. It is soon clear that all the men sport moustaches of various shapes and sizes. They all wear dark hooded outfits. Many also bear an uncanny resemblance to contemporary moustache aficionados – but this is irrelevant to the tale
One man – clearly the leader – orders hush and addresses the throng. He has the pencil thin moustache of his namesake from the Wacky Races, but is minus the flying goggles and chortling canine sidekick
Sir Richard Dastardly: Comrades! We are nearing our glorious victory! No more shall we creep in the shadows! No more shall we cover our chins in shame! The evil King Blessed Brian has plunged this great nation into tyranny and despair – but we shall defeat him. And his ugly, shaggy-faced cohorts will bow before us in wonder at our manly chiselled features!
There is much raucous clinking of tankards and preening of upper lips
Dastardly: The city is ripe for revolution. I have heard tell that the legendary swordsman Ronald Jeremiah is ready to stand beside us and fight for our cause!
Dastardly gestures up to the wall where a grinning Ronald Jeremiah is depicted in portrait form. He is paunchy and near-naked with an impressively bulging jock-strap. In his hands is a broadsword and all around him cherubic women prance about with wanton abandon. There are murmurs of discontent among the conspirators
Dastardly: Yes, yes – I know. He is a whore-monger and a scoundrel – but he is of the moustachioed persuasion and the way he handles his weapon is enough to make many a damsel’s eyes water. With him in our ranks we will be certain to penetrate our enemy’s inner sanctum. Now, moving on…
He is interrupted by an affable-looking northern man who enters the room apologetically and somewhat out of breath. He has a lustrous moustache, elegantly coiffed hair and is wearing a large pair of goalie gloves. He bows extravagantly before Sir Richard
Dastardly: Ah, David the Sea-man! What news from the recruiting grounds of Highbury where nude-chinned urchins scrabble around after the pig-skin? ‘Tis the callow bum-fluffed youths we must nurture, and teach them the sacred beauty of the razor-blade. Are any ready to take up their arms against the bristled infidel?
Sea-man: Several such boys, Sire! And by good fortune I stumbled across a minstrel named Selleck not a mile from here. He is currently living rough with only his wits and a questionable back-catalogue of fluffy theatrical roles to save him from the Vandykes. ‘Tis a strange tale, but without his moustache he swiftly loses his cache with the fair ladies of our city. As such, he is keen to join us in the hope that we prevail and some canny playwright may cast him once again as the notorious law enforcer Magnum in a new hit show on Drury Lane.
Dastardly: Splendid – the more the merrier. And our allies, the Mutton Chops? Have McCririck the Mighty and his bunch of savages signed up for the rebellion?
Sea-man: Indeed they have, my Lord. There is much simmering discontent amongst the Mutton Chops. They too feel the persecution of the King’s Guards who bait them with taunts over their absurd sideboards, tweed jackets and outlandish deer-stalkers. They will provide excellent cover in our assault on the castle - plus, they are brilliant tipsters if ever you wanted to have a flutter on the 3.30 bear baiting at Kempton Park…
Dastardly: Excellent work, Sea-man! Our numbers swell ever greater! There are now near a hundred men who will surely help us restore our feted leader to his rightful throne. All hail King Frederick the Mercurial!
All: To Freddie!
The men raise their glasses reverentially to a large portrait on the back wall of a man with slightly dodgy teeth in a vest and plaid yellow jacket – he is brandishing a royal sceptre much as a modern pop icon might hold a microphone.
Dastardly: And his Queen!
Another picture shows three other men playing lutes and drums – one might say they vaguely resemble a medieval version of a popular super-group from the 1970s. Certainly the lead lute-ist wears his hair in rakish curls and looks like he could conceivably be married to Anita Dobson…
All: And his Queen!
Dastardly: Right – the plan. Now, the security around Blessed Brian is heavy, but not impenetrable - and we must catch them off guard. Thursday night is bath night, and our insiders at the castle say his malevolent majesty likes to spend it alone, save a single nubile hand-maiden who rubs lotion into his filthy mandible while he roars incomprehensible nonsense about an imaginary adversary named Flash Gordon. There is no question – the man is a loon. But no matter – this is when we strike. Genghis, Goochie – you two swing in through the window and nab him…
Two henchman silently nod their accord
Dastardly: …He will already be drowsy due to the poison in the lotion, which our spy Terence Thomas switched on a seduction mission with the servant girl last evensong. Nice work, Terence.
Terence Thomas: Ding Dong!
Dastardly: Once we’ve captured the King, we lop off the old noggin, remove his hideous beard and pin it on the castle gate. We WILL be the Champions!
Close up on Dastardly as he twiddles his moustache maniacally.
Perhaps some Greensleeves/Blackadder-esque Queen music may play at this point – but that might just be too awful…
There is the noise of a kerfuffle outside the room and a stern-looking Germanic man with a severe side-parting, economically cropped moustache and a twisty cross insignia on his tunic enters holding a shabby grey-bearded fellow in a fearsome headlock
Dastardly: What infamy is this?? Who have we here, Adolfo?
Hitler (grimly): Davie Bellamy of the Undergrowth, Sire – a loyal henchman to ze King. I caught him sniffing around ze flowerbed outside, he voz clearly eavesdropping on our little party here…
Bellamy whimpers pathetically. He has a noticeable problem pronouncing his “Rs”
Bellamy (pleading): I beg of you Sire, spare my wotten soul. I wasn’t eavesdwopping, weally I wasn’t! I was just looking for little gwasshoppers!
Dastardly: Quiet, you pitiable little man! You have uncovered the secret lair of the ‘Tache Army and now you must pay the ultimate penalty!
Bellamy is held down while Dastardly – eyes gleaming demonically – approaches the interloper and hovers over him with a blunt pair of garden shears
Close up of Bellamy’s tear-stained, panic-stricken face
* * * * *
A few moments have passed, and Bellamy now sits with the others, identically dressed, his dishevelled beard replaced by a gleaming chin and splendidly groomed moustache – he raises a mug of mead jovially
Bellamy: Well that was welatively painless! Long live King Fweddie!