A special summer tip from the SoraNews24 Department of Questionable Life Hacks.

Wearing masks when going out was a thing in Japan long before the start of the coronavirus outbreak, so there really hasn’t been much resistance to using them as a public health measure. However, up until now people in Japan mainly wore masks to protect themselves against the flu and hay fever, and the seasons for those two maladies run from winter to mid-spring.

So though people in Japan are pretty much used to wearing masks, they’re not necessarily used to wearing them at this time of year, and they’re a particularly inconvenient thing to have on your face during Japan’s hot, humid summers that necessitate constantly drinking fluids to stay hydrated.

Our reporter Ahiru Neko was reflecting on this while spending his lunch break in the park. “Ughh..I have to slide the mask off every time I want to take a sip of water. Then I’ve got to slide it back on when I’m done drinking, and I end up having to repeat the whole thing a minute later when I get thirsty again. This is such a pain in the butt,” he grumbled.

Suddenly, he heard a voice.

“Looks like you’re having a spot of trouble there, aren’t you, lad?”

“Over here.”

Turning to his left, Ahiruno Neko saw what he first assumed was a time traveler, an aspiring extra waiting for a casting call for the long-stalled live-action Akira movie, or maybe just a general weirdo. In fact, the third explanation was the closest to the truth, as this was his colleague, fellow SoraNews24 staff writer Seiji Nakazawa.

“Oh, hey dude,” Ahiru responded. “Ummm… pretty wild-looking mask you’ve got there.”

“Haha, ‘wild’ you say?” Seiji replied. “Not at all! For you see, this is the solution to your problem: a way to enjoy a cool, refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day without having to remove your mask.”

“Shall I share its secret with you?”

Equal parts baffled and intrigued, Ahiru Neko said that yes, he’d like for Seiji to share his wisdom/insanity. There’s actually a hint on Seiji’s face plate, where you’ll see a sticker of a person swimming. See, this isn’t just a mask, it’s actually a head-mounted snorkel/goggle combination.

Sticking out of the top of the mask is the air tube, through which oxygen passes to the wearer’s mouth. But the opening is big enough for liquid to flow through too, and Seiji’s method is to use the snorkel as a great big drinking straw.

“Here, pour me a drink,” Seiji said, handing Ahiru Neko a bottle of barley tea and taking a knee.

From there, all Ahiru Neko had to do was take the cap off the bottle, turn it over, and let the beverage flow. So how well did the method work?

Well, there was a not-insignificant amount of spillage. But hey, it was a hot day out, so Ahiru Neko figured Seiji wouldn’t mind a refreshing dousing of his suit. Wanting to make extra sure his coworker was fully hydrated, after pouring out the entire contents of the bottle of barley tea, Ahiru Neko also opened up a bottle of water and poured that in too, since he’s not just Seiji’s coworker, he’s also his friend.

Once both bottles were empty, Ahiru Neko figured that was probably enough. Seiji stood up, dripping wet.

“I think I managed to drink about two mouthfuls!” he said as he flashed a thumbs-up. And just think – he managed to do all that without taking off his mask!

▼ Amazing!

With practice, Seiji has now even become able to drink by himself, without the aid of an assistant.

Of course, many of you have probably realized that this isn’t the cleanest way to enjoy a beverage, since the end result looks like you walked through a personal-sized rain shower, possibly while peeing yourself. There’s also the fact that if you pour too much too quickly, you could end up drowning on dry land, so it’s probably best not to attempt this method when you’re all alone with no one to offer help should you suddenly need it.

But we have a saying around here at SoraNews24: any experiment you can walk away from without a burning sensation on your private parts is a good one, and by that stringent standard, this was a rousing success.

Photos, video: ©SoraNews24
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