Who Was That Masked Man Anyway?

People wearing surgical masks against swine flu in the Mexico City subway guardian.co.uk

“Don’t mind me. Just on my way to grab a Snickers at the local Quick Stop!”
(Photo via Guardian.co.uk)

If you were to crawl into my head, you would find many lists. I mean, not literally. You would probably find a bunch of gooey stuff and great deal of Doritos residue.

METAPHORICALLY you would find a lot of lists in my head.

I constantly find myself ranking things. I have no control over it and have no idea why it happens. I just know that if someone were to proffer the question “What is the greatest dessert?” I would be prepared to list the best desserts in order and explain why Angel Food cake will never crack the top 25 (far too religious for something I will be digesting).

Today, a new list was created: most alarming thing to randomly see. Coming in at a number one is a stranger wearing a medical mask.

It is not that medical masks themselves are alarming. I would prefer that dentists wear them while hovering over my mouth, lest they accidentally yack up a ball of mucus while staring at my bicuspids. I am glad surgeons wear them for much the same reason, only replacing the word “mouth” with “open gaping hole in my body OR my mouth.”

It is out of context that these masks become particularly alarming.

It was early this afternoon when I stopped off at a local gas station for a delicious carbonated beverage. I had been working very hard, so this was a well-deserved fizzy treat for me. I walked to the machine and carefully measured the correct amount of ice, filled the cup just so with my drink, then made my way to the cashier.

After a brief exchange followed by the requisite giving of my money, I headed to the door. As I exited, I spotted another gentleman closing in quickly to the entry.

For those who have never met me, there is one thing I am known for. I am a door holder. I hold the door open for everyone because I am first and foremost the nicest guy on the planet. I am so nice, even the Dalai Lama looks at me and says, “This guy is way too ridiculously nice. It makes me a bit sick.”

So there I was doing what anyone should do when the guy passed by me and headed inside. That’s when I noticed the mask. The blue stood in stark contrast to his skin which was a decidedly un-blue color. He went inside as if it was no big deal and began to do whatever masked people do in gas stations.

Having no idea as to why this man was wearing a mask, I was immediately concerned. Was the man I had just shared a fleeting encounter with harboring some sort of terrible disease that would eventually take over my entire body? I would spend the rest of my days motionless, writhing in pain and screaming, “IT WAS THE MASKED MAN!”

Then I thought a bit more practically. He may not be sick. He might be afraid of germs. I know for a fact that I am carrying all kinds of germs. I can understand why you would want to protect yourself from that. I felt a bit of relief.

As I started my car and drove away, though, another thought came to mind. People with masks usually enter gas stations for one reason: to rob it. I had not only nearly escaped a robbery, but I had actually held the door open for the thief. I was an accomplice. I might as well have said “Oh, let me get that for you, Mr. Burglar. Do you need a getaway driver or are you taken care of? Well, keep me posted! I’ll just be out there with my engine started in case!”

I watched the news this evening, but there was no mention of a robbery. That meant that, once again, my fears had all been for not.

There moral of the story, I guess, is there is no reason to be afraid of masked strangers. They will most likely not give you a disease or rob the establishment you are exiting. The worst they will do is not thank you for holding the door open for them.

New list: rudest thing a man in a mask has done to you…


6 thoughts on “Who Was That Masked Man Anyway?

  1. Your masked mystery man could also have been concealing his recently botched botox lip injections. He doesn’t want anyone to ask him why his mouth looks like a plunger.


  2. The masked man was probably a superhero or something. It goes like this-

    Scene#1: Real robbers enter the gas station. Man pulls off his mask and starts beating the crap out of them. Man puts mask back on. When the police arrives, everyone was asking who was that amazingly awesome superhero, including the masked man.

    The End ~

    That aside, if you’re motionless, you can’t writh in pain. True fact. u.u


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