You can’t be serious, Grandpa!


Allison Cicholski

Set in 2075




There is a brown reclining chair in the corner of the living room occupied by Grandpa Patrick. 

GEMMA, 15, the granddaughter of Grandpa Patrick, is currently walking downstairs to alert her grandfather with some surprising information. 


GEMMA: Hey Grandpa, we studied Covid-19 today in class and we learned about all the protests against wearing masks. Those people were so dumb, a freaking global pandemic, and people didn’t want to protect themselves or others. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Proudly) I wouldn’t necessarily call those people dumb. Your grandmother and I were part of those protests. Ah, the good ‘ole days. 


(Leans back in chair) 




GRANDPA PATRICK: Yeah, you should have seen us! We would march with signs and American flags down the streets right downtown where we had lunch yesterday. It ended just past the wooden bridge we go fishing on. 


GEMMA: (Too stunned to speak) 


GRANDPA PATRICK: Hold on, I’ll show you some photos! 


(Grabs laptop) 


(Shows a picture of a couple at an anti-mask rally on laptop)


GEMMA: Is that you and Grandma? 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Grinning) Yep. 


(Clicks on another photo)


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Pointing) These were some of our closest friends. That’s Matthew, there’s his girlfriend Jenny, they’re no longer together, but that’s not the point.


GEMMA: (Rolls eyes


GRANDPA PATRICK: Looking at these photos brings back memories, protesting was always so fulfilling. 


GEMMA: I don’t understand why you’d protest against wearing masks though, didn’t doctors tell you they actually worked? 


GRANDPA PATRICK: I mean, those same doctors were exaggerating the virus. Covid-19 wasn’t as bad as they said. It was basically the flu. 


GEMMA: Didn’t half a million Americans die? 


GRANDPA PATRICK: The flu can do that sometimes; it happens every year. 


GEMMA: (Raises eyebrow) Are you sure? That doesn’t seem right Grandpa. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: I don’t know the exact statistics, but I’m sure it’s close. 


GEMMA: If your “flu statistic” is true, then maybe wearing a mask would have protected you against the flu as well? Masks really don’t seem that bad. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: Well, the government was trying to control us with masks. We have rights and masks were interfering with our freedom. 


GEMMA: Freedom wouldn’t matter if everyone was dead Grandpa! 


GRANDPA PATRICK: I was only 20 years old at the time, I didn’t know any better. 


GEMMA: Didn’t know any better? I’m 15 and even I understand that masks were necessary. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: You didn’t live through this pandemic Gemma, you could never understand how masks hurt our society. 


GEMMA: Let me guess, you couldn’t breathe? 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Scoffs) No, but they were annoying… 


GEMMA: Annoying by the fact that they protected the human race against a deadly virus? 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Shrugs shoulders) I mean, if you put it that way, you make it sound like we were doing something wrong. 


GEMMA: (Flabbergasted) Because you were! 


GRANDPA PATRICK: I’m done with this conversation Gemma, you’re just like those dang liberals who were always yelling at us for not wearing masks. Look at me now! I survived fine without wearing a mask! 


GEMMA: Well, several million people did not survive fine. You could’ve easily passed the virus onto someone else without knowing it. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: I never had Covid-19!


GEMMA: You could have been asymptomatic. Seriously? The main purpose of wearing a mask is to protect other people from yourself. There are some people that were more likely to get the virus and die. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: That’s bulls**t


GEMMA: (Shocked) … 


GRANDPA PATRICK: I’m sorry Gemma, it just slipped out. 


GEMMA: You seem so passionate about not wearing masks, did any of your family members get Covid? 


GRANDPA PATRICK: Yeah, but none of them died. It was just a simple cold. 


GEMMA: Then what about Grandpa Ronnie? He died a long time ago and I never met him. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Shrugs shoulders) At least you have me, I wasn’t even related to him. 


GEMMA: (Sighs) You are better off safe than sorry, so you should’ve just worn a mask. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Looks down at hands) 


(Walks away




(Thinking back to 2020) 


Flashback to 2020 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Chanting) F*** masks! 


(Holding up a sign that says “Stop Taking Away Our Freedom. Say NO to Masks.”)


GRANDMA: Fear is the real virus! Masks are for scared people! 


Back to 2075 


GRANDPA PATRICK: Maybe Gemma was right and masks were effective. I guess we were a bit aggressive during those protests.  


(Stands up from chair and stretches) 


(Walks over to his phone and opens Twitter


GRANDPA PATRICK: I’m sorry Gemma, I’m going to make up for what I did when I was younger and ignorant. 


(Types: “I argued against wearing masks during the pandemic, but now I realize I shouldn’t have done that. I am sorry to all those who encouraged masks, I was one of the people that made your job harder. I have learned my lesson and I hope that any anti-maskers reading this have turned their ways around.) 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Takes a deep breath) 


(Hits SEND) 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Sighs and falls back into a chair) 


(Closes eyes and falls asleep) 


2 hours later … 


GEMMA: (Runs downstairs and pats Grandpa Patrick’s shoulder) GRANDPA! GRANDPA! 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Wakes up confused) W-wha…What? 


GEMMA: (Smiling) Your tweet went viral! Over a million people have liked it! The feedback is mostly positive too! 


(Hugs him gratefully) 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Surprised) Oh wow, I didn’t realize how many people would relate to me. 


GEMMA: Good job Grandpa! Hopefully, people will wear masks if another global pandemic happens. 


GRANDPA PATRICK: Let’s watch a movie to celebrate. How about Spider-Man: No Way Home?


GEMMA: (Nodding) That’s my favorite movie from the ‘20s! 


(Turns on TV) 


GRANDPA PATRICK: It looks like there is a big news story right now, hang on Gemma. 


REPORTER: Reports of several coronavirus cases have erupted throughout the United States. This new virus is a variant of the original Covid-19 virus that ended only decades ago. A few states have taken initiative and have started lockdown procedures. Looks like another pandemic is coming in folks, mask up America! 




GEMMA: Good thing you tweeted that thing about masks Grandpa, we really need that right now. 


(Pats his back) 


GRANDPA PATRICK: (Eyes still focused on the TV) 


GEMMA: So, do you want to watch that movie now?