Though never a big fan of big-box retailers, I’m glad they’re stepping up now. Walmart, Target, CVS, and Kroger are just some of the major stores requiring masks despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to scrub them. Hundreds of independent and small bars and restaurants are following the big boys’ lead. Already, lots of staff at these places are dealing with maskless idiots, or “maskentrottels” in German. One of my bartender buddies received a round of applause from the other customers at his work last week after bouncing two maskless ass-hats. As the owner of MASS on the Near Southside told me a week ago, none of his peers are particularly happy about Abbott forcing them to be gracious to customers while also policing them.

Businesses have the right to determine their own safety protocols, Abbott said, and, as if on cue, snowflakes began complaining that kicking them out for not wearing a mask is illegal. It is not.

“Private businesses enjoy property rights and may require folks to wear a mask,” tweeted Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, a leading voice on controversial issues. “Please respect their property rights. If you decline to wear a mask and are asked to leave and refuse, you may be committing the offense of criminal trespass.”

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The Fort Worth police told me a business requiring masks is just like no shoes, no service.

“We will not be enforcing any mandates,” Fort Worth police said. “However, businesses have the right to refuse service. … if a business wants their customers to wear masks, they have the right to ask customers to leave for noncompliance. Any police action will be based on violations of criminal trespass laws, not on mask mandates.”

The Texas Restaurant Association is urging restaurants to maintain mask requirements and customers to mask up when not at their tables. The science is clear. In counties where states required masks, the CDC says, case and death rates slowed. In counties where states allowed on-site restaurant dining, case and death rates sped up. The agency goes on to say that “community requirements that support mask use are associated with reduced spread.” The timing is significant. Tarrant County recently surpassed 3,000 deaths.

Unhappy placing a piece of fabric over your mouth? Go someplace else, someplace that still feels all of that “rugged Texas independence” from the snowstorm that transformed our great republic into a third-world country for a week not too long ago. Go someplace that hates science and loves a good conspiracy, go someplace Trumpy.

I haven’t been out and about a lot, but when I have, it’s been to the Near Southside, where my family likes to waltz around and eat, and North Fort Worth, where we live. Every maskless person I’ve seen or encountered since Abbott announced his dumb decision has been white. The guy who came to take a look at my sprinkler system Monday morning, the two bros in tiny T’s leaving Flips Patio Grill on Sunday afternoon, the young man who knocked on my door to sell me solar panels Saturday morning, the always great bubbas at Fort Worth Tire, where I took my wife’s car on Friday — all white and, incidentally, all male. To connect the dots, most white males are conservative, and most conservatives bow to a certain disgraced former U.S. president and future indicted criminal who claimed the COVD-19 pandemic was a hoax and played it down as something that would just disappear miraculously one day. As a white male myself, I am deeply offended by the damage that other, maskless white males are doing to our demographic. I’m here to say not all of us hate science and that not all of us are willing to sacrifice Grandma and Grandpa purely for the sake of exposing our handsome faces to the masses. Some of us are actually acutely aware of the ravages of COVID-19. Some of us actually have a heart. — Anthony Mariani


The Weekly welcomes submissions from all political persuasions. Email Editor Anthony Mariani at



  1. Do you have a message for the many victims of violence and sexual assault, which include a lot of women of all colors who suffer from PTSD and panic disorder, which restriction of airflow and forced covering of the nose and mouth can sometimes trigger? I guess they should never be able to enjoy a meal inside a restaurant again, without reliving their trauma, if the criteria for ending universal masking is the complete eradication of coronavirus (and it seems that is the case if you ask these establishments and the PTB). What should the criteria be for all people to be able to choose whether to mask or not?