Thursday, May 13, 2021

How not to get a broken finger

Last week I was at the outdoor (but semi-enclosed) garden center of a chain hardware store on the New Mexico side of my territory. I wasn't masked, and wasn't even thinking about it. By now, even the silly Branch Covidians have largely admitted that masks are pointless outdoors. Still, there were masks on some faces.

Then, as I stood in the checkout line, an older guy walking past, wearing a mask, poked his finger at me and asked my daughter where my mask was. He seemed to be good-natured about it-- he winked as he said it-- but I'm not thrilled about being approached that way, or poked at (he didn't touch me).

I said "We're outdoors" and he gave a bit of a nod and went on his way.

I'm not sure what reaction he was looking for. Did he expect me to apologize and mask up? Or was he pointing out that I'm a free thinker who doesn't follow the crowd? I couldn't even tell for sure whether he was disapproving or approving.

As in every encounter of this sort, I have to wonder if he recognized me from my newspaper column picture. It happens a lot, but he made no reference to it.

Whatever his intention, I don't recommend following his example with random people in public. Other people might not be as calm as I am. If you don't want your finger broken, don't go poking it at random strangers. This is how you get your finger broken.


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