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Ask the Mask


Worried about dating in quarantine, household pets, cooking for one? Sleepless nights?

Ask The Mask!

Journal of the Plague Year's masked advisor has the answers.

Is it safe to kiss through a protective mask?

(Josh from State Farm)

Only if they’re not your family. Unless you live in Alabama. Then do whatever you want.

When I walk down the street wearing a mask, it feels like I’m veiled, like in the the 1001 Nights. Do you think I should learn Arabic?

(Lola, Providence, R.I.)

Try wearing a bra all day then taking it off when you get home. You receive the same satisfaction

I had a dream that I was living in a cave. When I woke up I was living in a cave. Should I be worried?

(Casper, Memphis, Tn.)

Maybe you should be the one answering these questions.

Do other people keep lizards on their bedside table? Asking for a friend.

(Jody, Silver Springs, Md.)

I tend to keep mine in my bedside table drawer, but have had to lock them up at night.

Who invented the cummerbund?

(Jerome, Paris, France)

A large man who wanted to tuck his tummy

How can you tell if you’re in love?

(Michelle, Kingston, NY)

You prefer to look at them more than you like to look at yourself.

What's the one thing women ought to know about men?

(Jamie, Buvette, Ma.)

They are nothing without a woman. You can make them or break them. Have fun with such information

Do you think The Muppets wear masks when they’re not on TV? And if not, why not?

(J.R., Kansas, Mo.)

I tend to prioritize myself quite a lot. If I can manage to wear one for the sake of protecting others- my most selfless decision I’ve made, then the Muppets better be wearing fucking masks. Even if they’re tiny.

 What if I’m not gifted in the culinary arts? 

(Camille, Rochester, N.Y.)

Then you were born to be cooked for. Welcome to the club.

How long does it take to recover from a bad relationship?

(L.C., Montreal, Ca.)

It depends on how quickly you kill them.

Is it possible to be madly in love with more than one person at a time?

(WB, Dublin, Ireland)

If you’re a monster.

Is there a difference between love and obsession?

(Neil, Stockton, Ca.)

If you don’t obsess, then you’re not in love.

What keeps you awake at night?

(Helen, Formentera, Spain)

I often hear a ringing in my ear. The broken screeching scream an ink cartridge makes when sliding on a plastic rod while printing. Also…. she never texted me back.

What do I do if someone says yes to a date?

(Micha, Bklyn, NY)

Thank them under your breath.

I find my contemporaries’ locution and erudition to be lacking in the flavors of what I might desire. Have you any remedies?

(Sinbad, Portsmouth, NH)

Adore them for it.

Chicken or fish?

(Stephanie, Burlington, Vt.)

Chicken. I’ve been with too many women to have an appetite for fish.

Who is The Mask? We might tell you later. In the meantime, check out cover artist Lorna Crabbe's work here. (She lives right behind Dante Gabriel Rosetti's rooms somewhere in England.)

Dear Abby ::: John Prine

What To Do ::: The Rolling Stones

Good Advice ::: J.B. Lenoir

Advice ::: Sly & The Family Stone

Advice To Schoolgirls ::: S.E. Rogie

Who By Fire ::: Leonard Cohen w/ Sonny Rollins

Who Was That Masked Man ::: Van Morrison

Where Is Love ::: from OLIVER

Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl ::: The Barbarians

Are The Good Times Really Over ::: Merle Haggard

What’s The Use In Getting Sober ::: Louis Jordan