A hipster from Melbourne’s inner north is currently torn about the competing aesthetics of face mask use during the second wave of COVID-19. Joei Johnson has spent the best part of the last eight months attempting to grow a moustache capable of being fashionably twirled at each end, and is now worried all that hard work and sacrifice will be wasted under the face mask he must wear as an early-adopting trendsetter.

Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Johnson said, “It’s taken me, like, eight months to grow this classic statement facial hair, and for what? To hide it behind the facemask I hand stitched using recycled t-shirts from the local op shop? This is asking too much of a man. I’ve not been met with such a conundrum since I threw out my orange Stackhat to replace it with one of those deliciously on-trend ‘Melbourne’ helmets that you could buy from 7-Eleven. It’s a total drainer, bro.”

When asked whether he’d consider foregoing to the mask, Johnson was very clear. He said, “It’s just not an option really. If I’m not at the cutting-edge of emerging social trends, it damages my carefully-cultivated brand. If anything, I’m actually a few weeks behind on the mask thing. I mean, my suburban aunty Nina is wearing one to Coles at the moment, so I’m a bit off the pace.”

Displaying a rare touch of self-deprecation, Johnson also said the mask movement was probably a few months late for him. He said, “In an ideal world, like a total utopian existence, the masks would’ve been on-trend when I was trying to grow this moustache. I endured a solid three to four months of pathetic bumfluff on my upper lip. I wish I could’ve hidden that behind a face mask, totally.”