For years, I’ve kept a thin bushel of hair perched on the end of my chin. Calling it a goatee would be generous. Referring to it as a beard might get you committed. It more closely resembles the world’s tiniest tumbleweed than even the most paltry prepubescent attempt at facial hair.
And yet, that sparse patch of hair serves a purpose. We Armours – at least the ones who were once Wilcoxes or contain traces of Wilcox DNA – tend to store our facial fat in pouches beneath our chins, hoarding every excess calorie we consume not in our stomachs or our rears or thighs, but in bulbous pockets just south of our weak chins.
And even in those rare times when one of us loses a bit of weight, those pockets remain, empty but stretched, sagging sacks of loose integument that taunts us with every glance at a mirror. Whatever chins we Wilcox-Armours might have are hidden by these fleshy wheelchair ramps from the middle of our necks to the bottoms of our faces.
Not that these sarcous sacks haven’t served their purpose over time. My ancestors would inflate their neck pouches to frighten away predators. When I’m inevitably tossed from an airplane, I plan to grab two fistfuls of loose neck skin and use them to slowly glide back to earth. I heard tales of them being used as the mainsails of galleons in a pinch.
Still, they aren’t much to look at, if you ask me. So, I wear a scraggle-patch to cover it up – just enough hair to hide my dermis purse from the world. I like to think of it as the shrubbery that distracts from the dilapidated facade of my home. Pay no attention to the flab behind the curtain.
But you know what’s even better than a thin bushel of bristles? A mask. A mask would completely conceal my face’s carry on luggage. If only there were some worldwide health risk – a pandemic, if you will – that would make wearing masks while in public more socially acceptable.
[a discombobulated light bulb manifests itself above Adam’s head and flashes on]
Wait a minute. There is a worldwide health risk that makes wearing masks in public more socially acceptable. We’re living through one of those right now! It’s my time to shine!
And yet, despite both the health and aesthetic advantages wearing a mask offers me, I still find myself hesitant to slip one on. Even now, as more and more people are doing just that, there is still this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me, “This is weird. You look weird. People will stare at you.” I have to psyche myself up before every trip to Walmart.
And you know, it IS kind of weird. And some people DO stare. But those things don’t really matters. What matters is my health, the health of my coworkers, and the health of my family. Should I become bedridden because of failing to take even the most basic of precautions, I seriously doubt I’ll be using whatever tepid breath I can draw to rasp out, “At least no one looked at me askance.”
So, yeah, I’m going to wear a mask while out in public. And I think you should too, even if your face doesn’t have its own meat wallet, cutis clutch, husk handbag or the like.