Murphy the Mask: The Story of a Disposable Mask
The recording following this introduction will tell a tale of a disposable mask. You may or may not know, depending if you’re a hermit or not, that there is a pandemic known as the Corona Virus going around the world, and new guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control have been implemented. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, wearing a mask or face covering, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands一 as if no one had ever washed their hands before. Anyway, people wear masks now. In fact, wearing a mask is now mandatory in the state of Texas. So, the story you’re about to hear is a common one. Perhaps you’ve seen some of the things mentioned below as you’re going to get groceries or walking your dog. Regardless, this is a story of a disposable mask: the ones you buy at Walmart or are given to you by stores when you walk in without a mask. Please, sit back and enjoy the story. Hopefully there is a lesson you can benefit from.
Somewhere, someplace, across the seas and far far away, one Jesun disposable mask was manufactured. His name was Murphy. He knew that was his name because all the other masks; Martha, Martin, Minnie, and Marlow; made fun of him for being such a screw-up. The metal piece in his face was misplaced and his straps were put on the wrong way, so he had to be reassembled again. He couldn’t do anything right.
But the day Murphy was placed in a 50 count box with his brothers and sisters, he felt hopeful. He would finally have a purpose, a goal, a reason for existence. He would protect and serve the people of Earth so that they may stay safe and healthy. No more would he be known as the last one manufactured, or as the defected mask. He had straps, he had a metal nose piece, he had breathable filtered air space. Murphy was ready to take on anything. He was a single-use disposable mask. How hard could that job be?
Harder than he thought. The problem with being a disposable mask was that people often forget he was there. Murphy remembered the first time the box opened and a human stared down and them all. He was excited to be chosen, but of course he would have to wait 49 uses until he could be used. You would think it would only be 49 days, but the human who had purchased this particular box was a bit confused on how to use disposable masks.
For one, she was cheap and didn’t see why the masks couldn’t be used more than once. For another, she sometimes forgot to use a mask at all and preferred to give them out to kids on the street since she believed they were thugs and not going to amount to anything in life. She thought she was doing a service to humanity, but then raged at anyone who gave her the same advice.
Anyway, a couple of months later, Murphy found himself to be the last one in the box. Melissa had said goodbye to him only three days ago, but it felt like an eternity. They had gotten close these last few weeks and were devastated at the notion of being separated from each other. But that was Murphy’s life. If something could go wrong, it always did.
So it came as no surprise that the day Murphy was finally chosen to do his job as a mask, the lady put him on and walked outside only to have the rain pour down on them like they were a plant dying from extreme drought. Murphy got soaked. Droopy and seemingly ruined, Murphy was placed on the dashboard of the lady’s car once they got inside. Hot air blasted inside the vehicle creating a steam ventilation throughout the car. The lady hung Murphy in front of the vent to “air him out” as she drove off. She then lit a cigarette inside the vehicle with all the windows closed and proceeded to hum a song.
Murphy hung there, miserable, wet, and missing Melissa, when all of the sudden the car swerved and hydroplaned on the highway! Round and round they went until finally they stopped. As the lady caught her breath, Murphy looked around. He was now laying on the passenger seat and could see beneath the dashboard. Could it be? It was Melissa! Dirtier than the last he saw her, but he would recognize that blue and white cloth anywhere. The lady, still flabbergasted, leaned down to pick up Melissa thinking she was Murphy, and put the mask on her face一neckbeard style一while also going for a lighter.
Hands shaking, the lady grabbed her cigarette which had fallen and the lighter. Murphy watched in slow motion as she lit the cigarette so close to her face, so close to Melissa. Just then, a loud knocking on the window of her car by a police officer startled the lady, making her drop the lighter, but not before the flame brushed Melissa.
“Ah!” said Karen, rushing to take the flammable mask off. The flame was quickly put out, but not before Melissa was burnt to ashes.
The police officer asked the lady to get out of her vehicle and started reprimanding her for smoking while driving in a rainstorm, but Murphy heard none of it as he was in too much shock to process what had just happened. The mask he loved, returned for a moment just to be brutally murdered right in front of him. Wet and smelling like smoke, Murphy remembered the mantra of his life: if something could go wrong, it would. He was sad. So sad.
The next day, Murphy almost spent in the car, but the lady remembered him at the last minute and hung him on an ear like an earring before going into a restaurant. As soon as the lady sat down with some other lady, she took off the mask and leaned over to the booth next to her, and started conversing with the couple一less than six feet away. Murphy, stuffed into the lady’s purse, listened as a waiter told the lady that she had to wear a mask until the food came out to follow CDC guidelines. The lady rolled her eyes and said unsavory words, but put Murphy on.
Immediately after the waiter left, the lady scrunched him up so that he was between her nose and mouth, a technique known as the “Stauche”. They talked for a while and when the food came, the lady took out scissors from her purse and cut a hole right through Murphy! This technique is known as the “Escape Hatch”, but Murphy was in too much pain to care.
The woman laughed and thought herself so smart, but Murphy knew then that this woman did not want to be healthy or stay safe. He knew that his goal in life to protect and serve could not be followed through if the lady did not want to be protected or served, or at least be considerate enough to protect others around her一she did not abide by the six feet social distancing rule. Murphy understood that some people did not take the pandemic seriously and would be the reason it lasted so much longer. But what could he do? Nothing. He was an inanimate, disposable mask who never had anything right going for him.
So as the lady walked out of the restaurant, she threw him into a trash can. Or tried to throw him in, she missed, so he lay on the concrete floor for days until someone picked him up with a stick and threw him properly in the trash. When the garbage truck came, Murphy knew what awaited him. As a nonbiodegradable plastic piece of cloth, he knew he would spend the rest of his days washed up on a landfill, telling horror stories of the humans he knew. It was a sad life ahead of him, but nothing could be sadder than the life he had already lived. The end.
And so was the tale of Murphy the Mask. A story of how not to wear or use a mask. The techniques mentioned in this story: the neckbeard, the earring, the stauche, and the escape hatch; are things I’m sure everyone has seen. Murphy was right. If people keep continuing to not follow rules set by the CDC to stay safe and healthy and protect others by following these rules, then this pandemic will never be over. And everyone wants it to be over. So please, wear your mask over your nose and mouth. Remember that disposable masks are only intended to have single-uses. If you’d like to be more environmentally friendly, then invest in reusable cloth masks made from fabrics. Wash them after every use and you can help save this planet one step at a time. Please, learn from Murphy’s experiences. Give another disposable mask out there some hope for the human race.