Let me tell you the saga of the Stupid Mask.
It’s a paper-maché monstrosity that’s 35 years old.
I did it in Grade 7 art class, when I was 13.
At the time, I was reasonably proud of this stupid project.
Except I didn’t like the part above the eyes, where the polka dots stopped and there were these stupid triangles and stupid rectangles instead.
This wasn’t my idea.
Blame this on my stupid art teacher.
She said the point of the exercise was to make a mask using geometrical shapes…so she refused to allow me to continue to use polka dots on the whole mask.
I was supposed to stick to her stupid exercise.
(Way to encourage creativity and artistic talent, you old bat!)
But that’s besides the point.
So I painted in those stupid triangles and stupid rectangles so I could get a passing grade.
And to this day, those stupid triangle and stupid rectangles look out of place.
And to this day, they till piss me off. .
Anyway….the Stupid Mask hang in my bedroom for a few years, because I was just a stupid kid.
And stupid kids like to display their stupid artwork, until something better comes along.
As I got older, the Stupid Mask lost its significance.
Better things came along. Posters. Model cars. Better artwork.
Eventually I moved out and went to University and the Stupid Mask got taken down.
And I don’t even think I noticed. Or cared.
Fast forward a a few years, sometimes in my late 20’s/early 30’s.
Friar’s Mom rediscovered the Stupid Mask and hung it up in the basement.
Not that this was any treasured family heirloom or anything.
I think she hung it there, for lack of anything better to do.
Because Friar’s Mom refuses to throw anything out.
Now, I understand parents like to hold onto some of their childrens’ artwork.
But you can’t keep EVERYTHING.
And this mask (was/is) NOT one of my treasured creations.
In fact, I HATE the damned thing.
It reminds me of that stupid art teacher in that stupid art class in that stupid school.
And it’s not even my best stuff (which Friar’s Mom already has plenty of).
Get rid of it, I’d repeatedly tell Friar’s Mom.
Oh, eventually, I’ll get around to it, she said.
Years went by. The Stupid Mask remained.
Not that it mattered that much. I wasn’t living at home any more.
But every so often, when I’d visit, I’d tell Friar’s Mom to get rid of it.
Oh, eventually, she’d say.
Fast forward another decade or so.
Get rid of the mask, I said.
But now there was a new excuse.
No, I want to keep it, she said. So I can show it to the grand kids.
I want to make up stories about the mask and how it’s magic and how it comes from Africa, she said, and then we’ll throw it out.
So she held onto the Stupid Mask for months and months.
(Or years…I don’t even remember at this point)
Until she finally showed the Stupid Mask to the grand kids
Now, I know my nephews.
I suspect they were probably very mildy amused.
But I was relieved to see that the Stupid Mask was finally gone.
Another stupid chapter of my life thankfully closed.
A few weeks ago, imagine my surprise, when I found the Stupid Mask hanging in the garage.
Get rid of it, I said.
No, I want to keep it, Friar’s Mom said.
I thought you already shown the kids the mask, I said.
Yes, she said. But now I want to save it for a bonfire with the kids. So they kids can watch it burn.
It will be fun, she said.
Now, I know my nephews.
They’re into their PlayStations and Minecraft.
And they have bonfires in their back yard all the time.
Burning the Stupid Mask will NOT amuse them.
I know what’s gonna happen.
This Stupid Mask will continue to hang in the garage.
For few more months. Or years. Or a decade.
And it will continue to plague me.
Because this is the Stupid Mask which will not DIE.