Mike Hoban
4 min readAug 15, 2020


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.

(Image by Intermountain Healthcare)

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 mjhoban@sbcglobal.net and at mjhoban99@gmail.com.



Mike Hoban

Mike Hoban is a West Michigan-based leadership coach and advisor who also writes about business topics.