Diligently solving the first world problems of the inhabitants of the inner-west.

Pete now that we are wearing masks all the time, I find it a bit awkward when passing people, or going in to shops, because I want to smile at people (and I do) but because it’s all under the mask no-one really knows that I’m happy to see them and I’m a nice person. What can be done?

Jacqui, Williamstown (via email)

Firstly Jacqui, this is “ask Pete” not “mask Pete”. Ha ha now that I have got that out of my system, it’s clear that masks are the great social leveller of our time. All those annoying “smiley” people we used to baulk in the street, heap with derision, and mock from afar have been suddenly dragged back down to the rest of us – the surly, the sarcastic and the sad. One positive out of 2020 perhaps? Anyway personal gripes aside, I am here to solve your stupid problems, so my advice is to buy a mask with a pre-printed smile! They are amazingly effective, and suddenly you will find you have been restored to your precious status as being the brightener of almost everyone’s day, while the rest of us can continue to avoid you like we always did!

When I take my somewhat “distinctive” looking dog to the park for our daily walk I am surprised by how much attention he gets, in fact he has become quite the celebrity with a cult following. What I just don’t understand is why everyone wants to know his name but not one person is interested in my name, or in me at all. If it wasn’t for me the dog would not be at the park every day providing entertainment and hope and love to all my fellow humans. Why don’t these park-goers have any interest in me?

Peter, Seddon (email)

Well maybe it’s because you’re just not that interesting ‘Peter’ – if that even is your real name – and they fear a simple question would render them captive to your dribble for far too long hence them being late for a more interesting time at the dentist.



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