Making the best of a bad situation 

Making the best of a bad situation 


Photo: Barry Duke/YouTube 

IN the 1975 song ‘Making the Best of a Bad Situation’ Ray Stevens sings about a woman who’s husband ‘came unwrapped’ and imagined he was a chicken. 

The wife considered sending for a shrink, but: ‘He don’t eat much, just chicken-feed. And all that peckin‘ in the ground don’t hurt nothin‘. Heaven knows, we can use the eggs.’

As we ease out of COVID-19 lockdowns I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on how folk are dealing with situations no-one imagined they would ever have to contend with before the pandemic – and it’s been a fascinating exercise, especially with regard to the wearing of face masks.

For example, my long-time friend Marco Pimental, who runs the popular Sensations bar in Benidorm, wears a mask bearing the image of his favourite pop goddess, Madonna. He told me that it was a one-off, made by a friend who sure knows his way around sewing machines.

As I sipped a large whisky, I showed Marco a mask I’d added to my collection: a little black number with a white skull that cost just €3. ‘Nice,’ he said, ‘but do you know that Swarovski are now making blingy masks?’ I didn’t doubt him because I’ve seen a number of reports of how fashion houses have reacted to the pandemic, but I wanted to see for myself what Swarovski was offering on the Internet.

I liked what I saw, but not so much that I’d spend big bucks on one. On an online American medical supplies store, I saw Swarovski masks being sold for $80.

But you can pay way more than that. New York City streetwear giant, Supreme, is reportedly flogging some of the most sought-after face masks on the planet. Supreme originally began selling neoprene creations for just over $120, but demand has seen its designs fetching more than $500 on resale sites.

Casting my eyes around the empty streets of Benidorm, sadly depleted of holidaymakers, I noticed numerous stores – Chinese ones in particular – displaying eye-catching arrays of colourful masks. 

But I take no comfort from the fact because, no matter how fabulous one’s mask may look, I feel suffocated when I’m in environments where they are mandatory and I begin suffering panic attacks. So, bus rides and visits to food outlets have kept to a minimum.

And then there’s the issue of choosing the WRONG mask. In my case one featuring cannabis leaves. I dispensed with it immediately after I was approached on three occasions on a single afternoon by separate groups of youngsters asking whether I had any dope to sell. 

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