COVID grocery shopping with a Guy Fawkes face mask

I’m not fond of grocery shopping. Doubly so when our local “natural” food store operates like a cross between a bio-contamination laboratory and a Soviet food rationing depot. (It’s called Gentle Rain, but Stalin’s Reign would suit its recent transformation.) Normally, a rural store delivers our food. At the beginning of the month, however, they took Canada Day off. At that time I had not created the Notice of Exemption papers that I now use. So I was forced into my first COVID shopping trip.

The corona charade began by standing in a communist bread line. Except, even in the worst of Stalin Russia, citizens were not spaced six feet apart.

When I reached the front of the line, the sentry said: “Do you have your own mask or would you like to use one of ours?”

Opening my backpack I pulled out a white surgical mask and snapped it around my ears: “Hey! If one mask will save Grandma–” I then pulled out a Guy Fawkes mask and stretched the elastic around my head. “–two masks will save the world.”

I must admit I was unsure how my face mask dissent strategy would unfold. Would they scream? Would they not permit me to enter? Would the police be called?

Instead, the sentry burst out laughing. I assumed that meant I could enter. I opened the front door and stepped inside.

“Now that’s a face mask!” exclaimed the cashier. More laughter from customers and staff. Not what I had expected, but a positive form of dissent.

I grabbed a shopping cart and started following their arrows…

Within seconds a “high risk” elderly lady came right up to me – ignoring social distancing rules – and said: “I love your mask! I can’t stand this nonsense. I just go along to get along.”

Later, another lady told me bitterly: “Ever since they’ve started all these COVID stuff they’ve taken away the senior discounts.”

Standing in line to pay, another yelled: “Happy Halloween!”

A few days later I brought my wife along to join in the costume party…

The second time around we skipped the surgical mask – just wore the Guy Fawkes mask. No one complained or seemed to care. One teenager shot me a “That’s awesome, man!” I suspect he knew the V for Vendetta reference — a comic series about a modern day freedom fighter who wore a Guy Fawkes mask.

David Lloyd, the illustrator for V for Vendetta, said: “The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I’m happy with people using it…”

And I’m happy we have this tool to beat them at their own face mask psych-op game, for those who must join the charade. Guy Fawkes masks are available from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. They became Amazon’s bestselling mask after the V for Vendetta movie. These days, however, I stick to my Notice of Exemption to avoid mask wearing at stores; but I still never leave home without.a Guy Fawkes (just in case).

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