I’m seeing mandatory mask rules at more stores and restaurants, and as a staunch defender of civil liberties, I’m appalled. The government can’t force us to wear masks because they can’t regulate a part of someone’s body. Full stop. Unless that part of the body is a uterus, then yeah, regulate the crap out of it.

The fascist overlords at my local Panera Bread now require face coverings to enter the building. They’re telling me what to do with my own face? Do I go in there and tell Brad the Manager what to do with his goatee’d face? Other than that time I told him where to shove it when he cut me off from my seventh Sierra Mist refill? This was before the pandemic, when I could order one small drink and nothing else, and enjoy bottomless refills for hours.

But now I have to wear this cotton contraption over my nose and mouth when I patronize the establishment. Don’t they know how invasive that is? A mask isn’t something routine and necessary, like a transvaginal ultrasound. We’re talking organic material, probably in a floral or gingham print, almost touching two of my orifices. As if breathing wasn’t hard enough already, what with my decades of smoking and my compromised immune system.

This mask is a torture device. I might as well be a prisoner at Guantanamo, because drinking Sierra Mist with a mask on is exactly like waterboarding. But I’m not a prisoner; I’m a paying customer — unless I have a punch card filled up — and that HAS to afford me some rights. Since when did businesses get to discriminate against their customers? I believe that corporations are people, and like people, they shouldn’t discriminate. Unless they’re discriminating against gays who want a wedding cake. You can’t ram a gay cake down someone’s throat.

The government says the mask rule is for MY protection. Yeah, that’s what they always say when they’re trying to take away your freedoms. They use euphemisms like “public good,” “national security,” or “the woman’s safety.” But it’s always bullshit. Unless we’re talking about ER-intake requirements for abortion doctors, which really are about safety.

Besides, I’m just supposed to trust the government on this one? Have I ever trusted the government? There’s only one authority I trust, and that’s Donald Trump — who has made it clear he is not part of the government by not governing.

Now Brad’s coming outside to tell me there’s a new “mandatory waiting period” between my Panera visits. There’s never been a need for a mandatory waiting period — not with my many, many guns, and not with lemon-lime sodas. There’s only one exception I can think of, and that’s the three days required in many states between pre-abortion counseling and the abortion itself, thus necessitating two trips during work hours.

Bottom line: when it comes to the mask, it’s my body, my choice. Huh, that has a nice ring to it. I can’t control someone else’s lungs, because their internal organs are their business. Unless those organs can make a baby, and then it’s my business, as well as the business of federal and state representatives, local city councils, religious leaders, a woman’s parents, and Lou Dobbs.

So take your government overreach and put it right where it belongs: just past the cervix. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put on a shirt so I can run into this 7-Eleven. You know the policy.