The widespread use of face masks has helped to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus around the world. Properly fitted N-95 and surgical masks catch microbes which people expel in a plume of air and droplets when we cough, sneeze, talk, or simply breathe. By wearing masks, we protect others from potentially dangerous infection.
The successful use of face masks against the pandemic has inspired scientists and public health professionals to look at further applications of mask technology to prevent the spread of other dangerous human expulsions across a wide array of personal interactions. Here are just a few of the exciting new applications currently under development.
These specially engineered masks have been designed to prevent the expulsion of embarrassing comments by fathers in the presence of their teenage children. In tests at the University of Maryland, these masks proved up to 75 percent effective in reducing the audibility of such cringe-worthy comments as, “So, what is this TikTok thing I’ve been hearing about? Is it a smart watch?” or “Hey, that band K-Pop is really awesome!” or “I finally learned the moves to the Macarena. Check this out.”
Infused with an amnesia agent, when properly worn by a nagging spouse, this mask causes total memory blockage of all of hubby’s flaws. No more tirades of “Get off the damn couch and do your chores!” or “Who cares about the Seahawks anyways?!” The agent wears off within 30 minutes after wives return to normalcy. Comes with an optional extender that covers the eyes, making it nearly impossible to detect exasperated eye rolls. Potential side effects include increased anxiety about the wearer’s weight and an inability to decide which earrings to wear.
Trump Shock masks
We wear masks not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others – in this case, misguided Trump fanatics. No longer will they have to endure the daily outbursts of shock and outrage by liberals over the latest inflammatory tweets by our not-so-esteemed President. With this mask, exclamations such as “Oh my God, did you hear what he said about Muslims!?” come out like “Ermgrd drdurrr wresrrd abr mrzms!?” thereby saving the feelings of white supremacists and the lives of liberals.
Healthcare lab techs are developing a mask which will render MAGA believers invisible to normal adults. Still in early stages of R&D, it will feature a cloaking device activated the moment the MAGA mask wearer utters a moronic comment in support of his lord and master, thus sparing the rest of us having to look at the misguided sot. They are also working on an audio cloaking device, so you won’t have to listen to MAGA rants either, such as, “Trump’s the greatest president ever for blacks – better than Lincoln.” Not recommended for kids, as wearing it may make them harder to locate in a crowd. Mask comes with a safety disclaimer: “Please wear responsibly – which we realize may be an oxymoron.”
The videoconferencing app Zoom has helped friends, family and business colleagues stay in touch during the pandemic while social distancing. However, it has also transformed mores of social propriety. Users have been recorded wearing no pants and proclaiming, “Thanks to this quarantine, I haven’t taken a shower in weeks.” While not actually preventing such divulging of TMI, wearing the Zoom mask acts as a reminder to think before exposing too much of yourself.
Small Children on Long Car Trip masks
While we love our kids, we don’t always love their incessant babbling and bickering on long road trips shouting, “I need to go – NOW!” and “Brittany keeps poking me! Mom, make her stop!” With this mask, these problems disappear completely. An ingenious filter inserted into the lining delivers a child-safe dosage of propofol – just enough to knock out your little angel for eight whole hours. Kid-friendly designs include Buzz Lightyear, Elsa, and for teens, the popular Hannibal Lecter.
Soccer Player Furious for Getting a Yellow Card masks
All too often, professional soccer players get ejected because they mouthed off at the referee after receiving a yellow card. Now they need never fear ejection. That’s because this mask is equipped with a built-in translation microchip that converts their obscenity-laced tirade into soft-spoken compliments. The next time Manchester United’s left midfielder gets yellow carded for tripping and shouts, “Hey, ref! Sod off, you bloody dim-witted arse! Get your fuckin’ eyes checked, you rat bastard”, what the referee hears instead is, “Mr. Ref, sir, you made the right call. I will mend my ways henceforth. Keep up the great job.” Available in Cockney, Scot, Italian and Bronx accents.
Comic-Con is the biggest event of the year for people who have never dated. It’s where thousands of comic book fans converge to swap memorabilia and listen to celebrities tell them to please, for the love of God, get a life. This mask doesn’t really have a purpose – much like the Comic Con fanatics who wear them. But it comes in a variety of Superhero versions, including The Hulk, Captain America, and Ant Man (available only in XXXXXX Small).
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
This week’s post was written in collaboration with my longtime friend and fellow humor writer, Steve Fisher. Steve lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where he has been an actor and writer for the past 28 years. He has published three collections of his satirical stories which appeared from 2012-2016 as a regular column in the weekly Czech magazine Reflex under the banner “Američan v Praze” (“An American in Prague”).
Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020. Edited by Betsy Jones