When a repairman showed up at my condo recently, I grabbed my N-95 and answered the door. He was mask-less. We eyed each other for a moment and then I spoke to him in my sternest mother voice.
“Where is your mask?” I asked.
“In the truck,” he said sheepishly. “Do you want me to go back and get it?”
“Yes,” I said without a moment’s hesitation.
The encounter with the repairman got me thinking about the many fringe benefits of face covering, that we fail to recognize. So here’s my list of the bonuses, that come with wearing a mask.
The mask is:
- Perfect for those with halitosis (bad breath).
- A substitute for shaving.
- A cover for saggy jowls and unsightly blemishes.
- A cosmetic cost saver, reducing the need for lipstick, lip liner, Chapstick, and teeth whitening.
- A way to avoid the embarrassment of being seen with spinach caught in your teeth from your lunch salad.
- A hands-free method of dealing with a runny nose.
- Your entrée to the medical world. When worn with ill-fitting scrubs and stethoscope necklace, you’re assured admittance to the physicians cafeteria at Barnes Hospital.
- A feat of multitasking for your ears, enabling them to do something besides hold earrings, sunglasses, pencils, and hearing aids.
- A cover for an unshapely schnoz.
- An excuse for not recognizing someone, that you didn’t want to recognize in the first place.
- A disincentive for thumb sucking, nail biting, nose picking, lip licking, gum and tobacco chewing, spitting, smoking, and whistling. Not to mention tooth picking and drooling.
- When paired with a Lone Ranger mask, the proper attire for robbing a bank, should you be so inclined.
- A way to postpone a facelift or disguise a flawed one.
- Handy for doing smelly and toxic chores around the house with less protective gear.
- A built-in sneeze/cough/burp guard. A godsend to hay fever and allergy sufferers.
- A use for all those small scraps of material you were going to make a quilt with someday.
- A way to show your support of a favorite hobby, team, or politician (But think twice before wearing a Biden or Trump mask. You might get a bloody nose and ruin your designer mask.)
- A deterrent to sticking your tongue out at someone, who makes a snide remark about your mask message.
- When coupled with a plastic “welder’s” shield over your N-95, an alert to others that you’re a serious Mask-ka-teer.
- A 2020 fashion statement. Seasonally appropriate face scarves will soon be available in fall colors, as well as in Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas motifs.
- An amusement for your dog. Your cat couldn’t care less.
- A double duty item when infused with organic oats, vitamin B5, and hyaluronic acid, that nourishes, tightens, and plumps facial skin.
- A soft cushion for your eyeglasses to rest upon, thus avoiding the ugly indentations to your nose.
- A way to accentuates the color and expression of your eyes, that have long been considered “the window of the soul.”
- And, last but not least, a badge of thankfulness for Dr. Fauci and the country’s healthcare workers.