Putting a capstone on 2020

January 1, 2021

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"Fuck you, 2020. Get fucked." — John Oliver

So yesterday, on the final day of 2020, I got to witness my first public altercation over masks, at a large home-improvement/building supply store. (Okay, it was the one where you Save Big Money.) I walked into an aisle, where three people — a man and woman probably in their 30s, and a man in probably his 60s (whom we'll call Mask Fail Guy), who all looked like they were together — were browsing electrical supplies. These people all had masks that were not covering their noses, which made me roll my eyes in my head, but whatever.

Then another man (whom we'll call Instigator Guy), also probably in his 60s, comes around the corner and into the aisle. Instigator Guy says loudly and aggressively, "Hey! Put your mask over your nose! You're putting me in danger! I can't even breathe safely with you doing that!"

Mask Fail Guy says, "Do you really believe that?"

Instigator Guy then exclaims, "Fucker!" and takes his empty shopping cart and from maybe 10 feet away, shoves it violently down the aisle straight at Mask Fail Guy. It hits him in the hand.

The man in his 30s shouts, "Hey! There's no reason for that!"

He is very right about that.

Instigator Guy walks out of the aisle around the corner, followed by Mask Fail Guy. Bickering ensues, and store employees are then brought in, over the fact that one man has assaulted the other one while playing the role of Mask Police.

I am not saying or doing anything. I am not involved. Don't want to be involved. Staying completely out of this. Fly on the wall.

The argument continues as the employees try to sort out who is responsible for what and whether the police should be called.

I overhear Mask Fail Guy rambling to the store employees about how all of this mask stuff is stupid. He says, "I've been around a long time. I don't believe any of this stuff. It's all from China!"


Instigator Guy is an idiot. If you don't want to be endangered by people who don't wear masks properly, maybe don't go near them and intentionally engage them and try to pick a fight and physically assault them unprovoked. I don't see how that makes you more safe. I do see how it makes you a self-righteous a-hole.

Although not at fault in this altercation, Mask Fail Guy is also an idiot. Wear the damn mask and do it right, rather than doing it wrong just to thumb your nose at everyone else. Engage in the public health social contract. It's not that hard. The pandemic is not a Chinese hoax.

So much stupid. Such a 2020 way to end 2020. We've all collectively gone a little crazy, and that will lead some people to be blatant a-holes. But you don't have to be an a-hole. You can just be a person. Maybe try to be a better one in 2021, rather than pulling everyone down into your personal abyss.

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