Wearing a Mask is Like Green Eggs and Ham.
By: Mike Hoban
(Both an apology and an acknowledgement to the wonderful Dr. Seuss)
Pam: I am Pam. Pam-I-am.
This isn’t about green eggs and ham;
Wearing masks is on my mind
But Joe right there, he just declined.
Joe: That Pam-I-am! That Pam-I-am!
I do not like that Pam-I am!
I don’t like masks, I have my rights
And Pam has got me in her sights.
Pam: Would you please just wear this mask?
It might save lives, that’s all I ask.
Joe: I do not want to wear that thing;
I’ll stay uncovered until next spring.
Pam: Would you, could you in a store?
Just put it on as you walk in the door…
Joe: I will not wear that lousy mask,
So do not ask me, do not ask!
Pam: How about when you’re out to eat?
Cuz you don’t know who you might meet!
Joe: Not in the store, not in the diner;
Do I have to explain it to you finer?
I do not like to wear a mask
And I do not like the way you ask!
Pam: Could you, would you at the bar?
Or riding in a subway car?
They really help, says Dr. Fouci.
How come this mask thing makes you grouchy?
Joe: Not at the store, so ask me no more.
And not when I eat, for the sake of Pete!
And not when I’m drinking or chatting or thinking
Pam, your credibility is sinking.
I do not want to wear a mask!
So do not ask me — do not ask!
Pam: What about when you’re out at a party?
When hanging out with Jen or Marty?
Or with some of your cousins, who knows where they’ve been?
If they’re asymptomatic, what happens, what then?
Joe: Pam, you don’t get it — just leave me alone;
Stop taking those pictures, please put down that phone!
You’re not going to shame me or blame me to wear it,
A mask on my nose makes me look like a ferret.
I will not wear it here, I will not wear it there.
I will not wear it anywhere.
I do not want to wear a mask,
So do not ask me, do not ask!
Pam: Will you wear it on a plane?
Would you wear it on a train?
They might not let you on, you know
If all you say is No, No, No.
Joe: Not on a plane, not on a train.
You’re bugging me Pam, you’re being a pain.
I really don’t care what experts might say,
They might be wrong on this anyway…
Pam: But masks help stop the spread of the virus;
Celebrities wear them, even Miley Cyrus.
So here is a deal, Joe, a deal of all deals -
If you try on a mask just to see how it feels
And if you decide that it’s not right for you
I’ll leave you alone, I promise. It’s true.
I’ll still think that you should be wearing a mask,
But I’ll stop with my questions — I’ll no longer ask.
Joe: All right then, Ms Pam, I like what you offer
Though we both understand that I’m no COVID cougher.
I’ll try on a mask like you’ve asked me to do
And if I don’t like it, with masks I am through!
[Joe puts on a mask and plays around with it to get a good fit]
Joe: Say, it doesn’t feel bad and I don’t look too scary
Though it does make me feel like I’m Typhoid Mary.
I suppose in a while I could maybe get used to it;
That virus can kill you and I don’t want to lose to it.
So, yes, Pam, I’ll wear it when I go to the diner,
To the bar, and the store, and I won’t be a whiner.
Although it’s a nuisance (and I’m sure you agree)
But spreading the virus ain’t my cup of tea.
So I’ll wear it and bear it although I despise it.
Mask wearing’s a pain and I will not disguise it.
But I will do my part to help stop the spread -
Inconvenient it is but it beats being dead.
About the author: Mike Hoban is a West Michigan-based leadership coach and advisor who also writes about business topics and reads Dr. Seuss and Golden Books to his 4 little granddaughters. Many of his commentaries — including several about leading during the COVID crisis — can be found on his LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-hoban-b5756b6/ He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at email@example.com.