Real men don’t wear masks in Cayucos

June 27, 2020

Dell Franklin

Editor’s Note: The following series, “Life in Radically Gentrifying Cayucos by the Sea,” to be posted biweekly includes the notes, thoughts, and opinions of an original American voice: author Dell Franklin. 


I was walking Wilbur around 7:30 in the morning and approached a lot where a rugged looking man around 40 on a growling backhoe loader was carving out dirt for future construction of a house, when another rugged looking man around 40 pulled up in a huge pickup truck and got out and shook hands with the man who had gotten off his machine, and said, “How you doing during this coronavirus bullshit? What a joke, huh? Goddam stupid masks.”

I don’t know what the other man said, but they were immediately into some serious grousing. Wilbur and I moved on by, but their tone of voice and attitude was obvious—“Real Americans believe this coronavirus is bullshit, and Governor Newsom’s policies are dictatorial, and the pussy dems started all this crap and taking away our economy. And freedom means nobody’s telling me to wear a goddam mask!”

Am I supposed to feel like a sissy boy because I wear a mask when I enter any store? Two of the biggest, toughest bruisers I know in town—one a former All American water polo player and college coach; and a college basketball player who controlled rebounds like an enforcer—wear masks when they hang out mornings down on the seawall drinking their coffee. Pete and Nick.

But I guess they’re not real men, and are possibly looked upon by the real men who don’t wear masks as scaredy cats. Maybe the real men take their cues from President Trump, a real man who had bad feet during Vietnam and refuses to wear a mask because he feels it emasculates him in front of his ardent admirers who see him as a symbol of tough guy American masculinity.

Or maybe a mask looks buffoonish, contrasting with Trump’s power ties and immaculate suits and fluffed up hair and man-tan.

The other day I ran into long-established businesswoman Audrey, and brought up this subject. She said she wore a mask into the post office and a local maskless lady in real estate whom she’s known for decades and has always been on good terms with, cast her a filthy look when spotting her, and stomped out without returning her friendly greeting.

I guess Audrey’s  a, well, I can’t all her a ….., but, maybe Audrey, who has always showed me a lot of spine and spirit, is, well, weak, a frightened, obsequious follower of Governor Newsom’s dictatorial decrees.

Shame on you, Audrey! Better take off that mask in Cayucos if you don’t want to gain a reputation as a weak-sister, a bleeding heart lib, a person on the wrong side of freedom.

But I guess little microscopic Cayucos is just like the rest of the country—torn between wearing and not wearing masks to show everybody where they stand politically.

I am not an example of ignoring this kind of nonsense. The other day in Spencer’s Market a maskless guy called to me in a very friendly manner by name and came charging over with the offering of a handshake, and I stopped him cold with a poisonous stare. I said nothing, held the stare, and he turned and walked off and probably hates me. And at first I felt self-righteously justified about what I did, but, later, I chastised myself for being just another politically demented asshole and felt miserable about what I’d done.

I should have offered a bumping fist. That’s what I usually do out in the open air, where I never wear a mask, but never walk downtown or along the seawall during the day because this area is teeming with maskless groups, mostly young and under 60, some waiting in long, long lines at eateries, taking over.

I suppose we should just allow the maskless young and healthy hordes to forge on, buying and selling and eating and schlepping and intermingling as close as they can be to each other, while us old fossils are reduced to creeping along the fringes. It is our duty as geriatrics to become mostly masked outsiders, and presumably weak. And we are weak—physically.

But, mentally, emotionally, we are still children of survivors of the Great Depression, and we’ve heard about our huge families not having enough to eat, wearing hand me downs (seven kids in my mother’s family) and no help from a government and country stripped of everything for over a decade.

If we have to go a year living the way we have for four months, or even longer, we’ll suck it up and deal with it, while those much younger than us can try and stay healthy in the work places and play places while the pandemic surges all around them.

Good luck. Business before death. Tough guys don’t wear masks.

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It’s amazing to me how many people misread this article, which sounds pretty silly if you ask me. He said “Real Americans” not Real Men. This had nothing to do with masculinity. I’ve seen this author’s contempt and bias against right wingers before so the people who are skeptical that this conversation even took place have a right to be. The title itself about the radically gentrifying is the type of vocabulary used by Sanders supporters and you know they think every Republican and conservative is influenced by Alex Jones and i would bet the average conservative has never even heard of the guy or even pays any attention to him. So there you go if you want to analyze attitude, tone and speech patterns.

I’m a proud mask wearing sissy

reread the article. it is not about masculinity. Dell just made that up.

I don’t think anyone has a problem if someone wants to (or needs to) wear a mask. Many people have a problem being told to wear one or face being ostracized, or worse.

When I wear a mask, I can’t breathe well and my glasses fog up. I hate it! But, I wear a mask. I wear a seatbelt when driving too. You get fined for not wearing a seatbelt. And, Cal Poly students get fined for making too much noise at a party. So then, fine the people who refuse to wear a mask during a severe public health crisis 200 bucks for the first violation, 1000 for the second, and lock them up on the third. Bare faced people do not have a God-given right to spread their personal germs into other people’s lungs and eyes. They’re just being stubborn mules!

How do we know this is a “severe” public health crisis? I still only know one person who contracted the virus and is now fine. I think the problem with your proposal is: Who gets to decide what is a severe crisis? If it is established where the line is drawn (and don’t move it) for what is considered severe and perhaps we can go from there.

Hey, this is terrific news! In about a year’s time, that lot being carved out for a home should be available for dirt cheap. My advice to the guy on the backhoe and his buddy, you do you. I’m patient. I’ll just hang out here and wait to reap the benefits of your hubris, cheap land!

Talk about “hubris” lmao. What the heck does the guy digging the footings possibly becoming infected with,and more than likely recovering from, the kung flu have to do with the property owner losing his dream home to you after it has been completed?

Beginning to understand WHY this “writer” is chronically unemployed. Is he jealous of the working classes and their absolute disdain for what someone like he thinks? You see, Dell’s arguments and rude satire are just unimportant. The freedom to think what you like and “the h_ll with what others think” is a hallmark of the laboring class. Only those with threatened masculinity pen stuff like this. It’s really NOT about the masks, is it? Sometimes people criticize what they cannot be or attain.

Please don’t be a mask bully like this author. There are legitimate reasons some people are not wearing masks.

If you wear glasses they fog up your lenses. I need to see if I’m going to do my job. I don’t have one right now but I think another stimuli check is forthcoming.