Someone posed the question on unsocial media last week wondering when I'd be willing to put away my mask.

“When they pry it from my cold dead hands,” was my initial reaction, but after giving it some thought, I realized that it will be after I've trimmed my nose hair.

That epiphany came to me during a recent appointment with an otorhinolaryngologist. (Thank you spellcheck.) The exam involved routing a camera up my nose and down my throat. I was able to see the screen out of the corner of my eye, and I don't know if you've ever seen a close-up of your nostrils, but I'm pretty sure it was more horrifying than anything Wes Craven could come up with. Hansel and Gretel could get lost in there.

When I got home, I burned through a couple of Duracell’s before I was done with my long-ignored nose trimmer. It overheated twice. It wasn't trimming as much as it was deforestation. I even got a cease and desist letter from the Sierra Club. By the time I was done, I'd discovered D.B. Cooper's body and found my car keys.

I find that I'm not really losing hair as I age, it's just migrating to my nose and ears. I trimmed my ears into a mullet. My nostrils are now publicly presentable but the downside is when I blow my nose it echoes like Wind Cave or Lauren Boebert's head.

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Even though I've received my first Moderna shot (the MS-DOS version) and am scheduled for the second shot this week (Windows 98), I'll still continue to wear a mask in public places, and you would too if you wrote this kind of stuff. Besides, taking it off would mean trimming my goatee.

The main reason, though, is that coronavirus cases are rising faster than Matt Gaetz's anxiety level. At least COVID-19 is of age. The spike in cases was entirely predictable in a country where mask mandates are considered a slippery slope leading to mass incarceration. Really? This administration is already struggling to house the overflow of migrant children at the border, and you think they're ready to handle FEMA camps? This message brought to you by the letter Q. To be fair, the accommodations down south are nicer than the Motel 5 I stayed in once. “We'll leave the lice on for you.”

Earlier this month in Bismarck about 100 people turned out to protest the killing of unarmed black men. No, no, that wasn't it! Health Freedom North Dakota spokesperson Tara Dukart explained, “We believe that health is a right and a responsibility for individuals to make medical decisions for what’s best for them as an individual.” The group is anti-mask and possibly pro-life and pro-polio.

Meanwhile, HB 1118, which would limit the governor's emergency powers to mandate common sense, was headed to Doug Burgum's desk for his signature, which is like asking your cat if he wants to be neutered. Relax Gov, this won't hurt a bit.

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor Forum Communications ownership.