Pretty Fi Me

I thought it was about time I left the topic of elves. Hurray, I hear you all shout. Or was that the elves in my Echo? So, I am going to look at PPE. Now I am no expert but I assume PPE is an extreme form of Physical Education, Physically, Physical Education? No? Don’t bother writing in, you know what I do with letters; publish them with highlights. I realise that PPE is Personal Protective Equipment. You see I can be sensible, don’t expect it to last.

I have noticed a great variety of masks and I assume that variety will increase as we all have to wear masks in shops now. Sometimes, with my poor eyesight, I have nearly called animal welfare; assuming a bear has escaped from a zoo or a dog is walking upright. Just to find someone is wearing an animal mask. The other day I thought I had wheeled through a black hole and was back in 1940, when a chap passed me in a gas mask. I’m sure it was ministry of war issue. Then there are the great variety of professional looking surgical masks or people with flowers, spots, lines, tartan, and a whole host of patterns on their masks. From a distance I don’t know what I am seeing. One time I thought aliens had invaded.

The masks that look like surgical ones do look the part though don’t they. But I have noticed some places sell them as dust proof, some as water proof. Very few say they are virus proof. I don’t know about you but I am not very worried about dust and water. I really want to have protection from viruses.

I know they have broken up for summer, those that were able to go at all the last few weeks, but do children wear masks at school? How do the teachers know who is being naughty? Did kids wear name badges? Why weren’t there masks when I was at school. Mike Nevin, stay behind for detention, ‘I am not Mike Nevin Sir.’ Actually, they would have known it was me by my Spock haircut. That reminds me I must try and get royalties out of the Star Trek franchise for copying my hair cut.

When doggy poop bags first came in, I thought it was a joke. Scoop up dog poop off the streets, I should coco. But off course it was a good idea and very real. In the future we may look back at the time before face masks in public and think, ‘did they really walk around unprotected?’ Face masks for children will become as normal as cycle helmets or knee and shin pads on skate boards. As expected as wearing a seat belt in a car. We will wonder why we didn’t always wear them.

I was thinking that we need masks that don’t look like bears or make us look like medical professionals. Nor do we need left over masks from the war. For that matter we do not need pretty patterns, I find them very confusing to look at.

I have a brilliant plan as an alternative. We need ‘make over’ masks. Perfected and made over copies of our real face underneath. Just think, we could use the face mask like a Social Media Profile Pic, putting our best face forward. A bit of thinnify, some tan, teeth whitened and replaced, lips fuller, nose reduced, jowls limited, wrinkles removed. Not just one that covers our mouth and nose, we get a complete face mask that covers our whole face and hey presto a new you. You could even change your eye colour and have your eye brows sorted. You can also have a mask for every occasion, you just swap it over as needed. Posing for a photo, switch to the bright toothy smile. Want to look good on a first date, switch to that brooding intelligent look, with eyes that say ‘hey look at me.’ Children been playing up? Switch to the stern, no nonsense parent. Puzzled over something, put on the one eyebrow lifted mask. If you want to try out what you’d look like with a beard or moustache then just put on the appropriate bearded mask; there will be ones for men too. There will even be a special order for Santa with a big white beard. Now as for the elves… no I said I wouldn’t mention them.

Of course, I will also create a high tech more expensive version with built in LCD display and computer interface that links to voice commands and your smart watch. You smile under the mask; it displays an enhanced smile on the outside. You speak, it matches your lip movements. You just choose your look when you get up or during the day. Forget avatars this is the way forward. This new series of masks will not only keep you safe, but make you look good too. I am thinking of marketing it as Pretty Fi Me, the tag line will be ‘Protection that makes you look good too.’ What do you think, shall I go on Dragons Den? I was also thinking of complete body protection that has shading to make you look thinner and add muscles or curves whichever you want. With the high tech version, it changes what your wearing at the press of a button. Why did no one think of this before?

I have been planning my markets ready for Dragons den. There’s the international movie industry. No more Lip sync problems on foreign language films. That’s for the fixed printed masks.

The other big area I can see is ventriloquists. I will make a special fixed mouth version for them. Then for the ones who struggle to move the puppets mouth I will do a range of masks for their puppets. You won’t see either of their lips move. Maybe I could have a new career as a ventriloquist.

There are a few problems with masks, things you can no longer do. Stick your tongue out, I’m sorry you will have to stop that. Tongue rolling competition are out. Kissing in public is a definite no; sorry about that. But I have overcome the issue of singing in public. We are banned from doing that because of spreading the virus. Well roll over auto-tune. I will have built in speakers on the masks and you just play a recording of a professional singer. Everyone will think it’s you. X factor will have to make room for a lot more winners.

So, there are things to look forward to. In the future you will walk out into a world of beauty and wonderful singing, false beauty and pretend singers it’s true, but beauty nevertheless. When you meet someone for the first time you’ll say, ‘you look just like your profile picture.’ Ah, the possibilities are endless. Ventriloquist acts will improve greatly. No one will stick their tongue out at you. This face mask idea could really take off. By the way, if you see a handsome dude in a wheelchair on the streets of Wellington, that’ll be me in my Pretty Fi Me mask and complete body suit.

By the way you can buy the masks at:

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Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

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