Weirdest Thing I've Seen In Las Vegas ~ A Lady Wearing A Gas Mask To A Buffet

Maybe She Has A Phobia... Or Something Else.

The lady at the buffet was dressed kind of like this, only without the camouflage clothing. She was wearing jeans and a shirt. Pretty normal looking... except for the gas mask and ear protection!
The lady at the buffet was dressed kind of like this, only without the camouflage clothing. She was wearing jeans and a shirt. Pretty normal looking... except for the gas mask and ear protection! | Source
A guy (center) wearing a Spiderman Tutu, walking with a bunch of guys in front of Bellagio hotel. HAD to be a bachelor party!
A guy (center) wearing a Spiderman Tutu, walking with a bunch of guys in front of Bellagio hotel. HAD to be a bachelor party! | Source
Maybe she had a fear of smelling people or a fear of body smells?
Maybe she had a fear of smelling people or a fear of body smells? | Source
I never knew until I began to write this that there is a fear of sound or "hatred of sound" known as Misophonia... hating the sound of people eating!
I never knew until I began to write this that there is a fear of sound or "hatred of sound" known as Misophonia... hating the sound of people eating! | Source

We've Seen Some Pretty Strange Things... But This....

Living here in Las Vegas can be a real lesson in human foibles, odd activities and strange behavior. This place just seems to attract those who like to "live on the edge" a little bit (or a LOT). It brings out those who are just a bit... eccentric.

I've been here for just over a year now, and have seen sights like a guy coming out of the Bellagio Hotel dressed in a Spiderman TUTU. Yes, a TUTU like a ballerina wears. Ok, so we chalked that one up to "must be a bachelor party, and he is wearing it because the guys he is with are MAKING him wear it!"

We saw a bunch of girls carrying an inflatable GUY "doll" while wearing feather boa's on their shoulders strutting through downtown Las Vegas on the strip... hmmm... must have been a Bachelorette party! If the guys can have a good time, so can the girls! And we could tell they had been drinking, too. A bunch of girls out having a good time, I'm cool with that. Kind of like the movie "The Hangover" starring girls instead of guys!

We've been in various places all over Las Vegas and have seen men, some tall and pretty hairy guys too, dressed up as women. They stand on streets and even go into ladies bathrooms and most people don't give them a second look. The more I get used to seeing things like this, I tend to do the same thing. You find yourself thinking "that's just Las Vegas!" Pretty much anything goes. Then you just go on with whatever it was you were doing.

We've been sitting in hotel lobbies and have seen people from every corner of the world, dressed in every type of clothing imaginable from long robes to pajamas to... oh yeah! I almost forgot!

Not long ago there were young girls dressed and walking around in public wearing some very skimpy lingerie (we saw that during a music event here called the "Electric Daisy Carnival") They were walking all OVER the Luxor and Mandalay Bay hotels dressed like this! They were catching taxi cabs at the strip hotels and going out to where the Electric Daisy Carnival (an outdoor music festival featuring "electronic" music) was being held.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now where in the world was I going with this? Oh YEAH! We were at the buffet the other day at a local casino and my husband who is sitting across from me says "don't look... BUT, there is a lady in the buffet line wearing a gas mask and ear protection!" Ok, so how in the WORLD am I NOT supposed to look when he says that? I mean, really?

You see all types of people here, but a woman in the buffet wearing a gas mask and ear protection? I mean the type of ear protection people wear at the shooting range and in other very loud places. It is never usually very loud in the buffet, even when it is busy. The hostess seated her and a couple other people who were with her. No one said a word to her in any kind of a questioning way. Everyone tried to act as if it was the most natural thing in the world to go to a buffet wearing a gas mask and ear protection.

Maybe this is the latest "style" and I just didn't get the memo?

Seriously, though... at first, my reaction was concern and maybe even a little bit of fear. And I know that my reaction stemmed from the recent absolutely horrible news of the movie theater gunman in Aurora, Colorado. I had a twinge of fear when I first saw this woman. But the way hostesses and other buffet workers were acting, it seemed as if she had been there before. This evidently was not the first time she had been to the buffet wearing a gas mask and ear protection.

Curiosity And Trying To Figure It All Out

My husband and I were trying to figure things out at the buffet, why would someone come to a public place, an innocuous place like a restaurant, wearing a gas mask and ear protection? My husband thought, maybe the reason is a phobia?

After looking into it and "googling" phobias, and being absolutely fascinated by the literally hundreds of phobia's that people can possibly have, I think I might have found out the reason someone would wear a gas mask and ear protection in public (when they are not out to harm anyone).

Did you know that there are phobia's, one is a "Fear of Body Smells" known as Bromidrosiphobia, and another one is a "Fear of People Who Smell Bad" known as "Autodysomophobia"? Well, neither did I! But both of these phobia's really do exist.

The first is a more generalized fear of body smells and it applies to the way your own body smells as well as those of other people. The second is more of a fear of being stuck around someone that smells terrible with no escape. The second phobia is actually more common, and can be triggered by things like living in a highly urban area, things like riding in elevators with someone who smells, riding in public transportation with no way out with a person that smells bad.

People that suffer from this phobia may develop fears of people of certain ethnicity's, due to things that they eat that later come back out through their pores. Spices used in ethnic foods like garlic, curry and ginger can come back later through pores on skin when people sweat, and in the way their breath smells. Another fear is the fear of vagrants because of the way they smell.

I really don't know if either one of these phobia's is even an explanation for the gas mask this lady wore that day. We noticed that she would wear it to go get her food, walking between the different food stations. Then once she was ready to begin to eat, she would remove the mask. The ear protection stayed on though.

So, we tried to figure out why someone would need ear protection, and you guessed it, there is an app... I mean a phobia for that, too. It is known as Misophonia, and is a fear of the sounds that people make when they do things like eat. Sounds like smacking, chewing, crunching on something, or even other sounds like other people breathing, coughing, sniffling and the like can trigger this phobia. These common sounds annoy certain people, and in some cases make them angry and agitated.

It is believed that people who suffer from Misophonia have abnormally sensitive and stronger than normal connections between their limbic and autonomic systems in their brains. And no, I am absolutely NOT making any of this up.

These are very real phobia's and fears, and are often misdiagnosed as general anxiety disorders or even mood disorders and in some cases, OCD disorders. So, playing "armchair psychologist" I could take a guess that any or all of these phobia's were to blame for this lady's strange behavior, or maybe it was something not even related to phobia's.

Did you know that there are groups of people who simply love to wear gas masks? They love the way the inside of the gas mask smells, that rubber smell, and they love to hear their own breathing. Yep, there are groups like that right here on the Internet... I clicked out of that message board pretty quickly. It was just a bit too... QUIRKY... for me!

I guess one lesson I learned from all of this is not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Like they say, try to walk a mile in another person's shoes, unless those shoes smell.....

Oh great, he wants to go to the buffet again. Now, where did I put my orange fur suit, purple wig and my fishnet stockings and my high heels with spikes coming out of 'em? I have an appointment over at the buffet. I just don't think anyone will even notice....




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Comments 20 comments

Omnivium profile image

Omnivium 4 years ago

Maybe she doesn't like smoking? My dad always complains about the smoking in casinos. And she doesn't like to hear people chewing. That must be it.


Anti-Valentine profile image

Anti-Valentine 4 years ago from My lair

Maybe she's taking off James E. Holmes, the theatre shooter. He wore a gas mask on the day of the shooting.

And this is not meant to be a trolling comment. I'm just saying maybe she's trying to troll or scare others. Some people are like that.


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I think I would have to summon the courage to ask her WHY she was wearing the gas mask. Then again, maybe not. Funny hub.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

That could be Omnivium! There is a lot of smoking in the casino. There isn't any in the buffet itself, but the smoke is still in the air because it is allowed by the slot machines and tables. Maybe that is part of it! It was interesting trying to figure it out! Thanks for commenting! :)


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, anti-valentine! You just never know what is in the mind of someone when they do something very off the wall like this person did. My initial reaction was kind of fearful... although they put her at a table over on the other side of the buffet in an area that was pretty quiet, that's part of what made me think she had been there before dressed like this. And the hostess and wait staff acted as if they had seen her before, which led us to believe she does this a lot. Strange world we live in! Thanks for your thoughtful comment! :)


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks for commenting, Your Cousins! :) Funny thing is, my husband got up and walked over closer to her just to get a closer look. He told me he was going to do it and after I said "you are NOT"... he did! He didn't talk to her, just wanted to try to figure out why I think. It's just such a curious and different thing for someone to do, it really makes you wonder why! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)


lauramaryscott profile image

lauramaryscott 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

KathyH, thanks for enlightening us about these activities and phobias. Perhaps, it is a spin off of the, if you have it flaunt it mentality. I'm just not certain what "it" is. I would think living there and being exposed to the weirdness it would cause a person to quit paying attention to their own instincts about danger. I am glad I do not live there. Stay safe.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

That's true, lauramaryscott. I've definitely found that I try to make myself pay attention to my surroundings more here. With so many strange things going on, and usually all at once, it is wise I think to pay attention and be aware. Thanks so much for reading and for your thoughtful comment! :)


BobMonger profile image

BobMonger 4 years ago from Carlin, Nevada USA

In the City of Elko (Nevada) many years ago the general manager of the Commercial Hotel and Casino was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that became very serious, even life threatening. After this he always wore a surgical mask when he was in public unless he was actually consuming food. At first it struck everyone as quite odd but after learning of his condition we got used to "the man in the mask." Perhaps this patron had the same problem? As for the ear protection I can only go by my own experience that casinos are pretty darned noisy places to the point I avoid them if at all possible. The times I do go in I wouldn't mind wearing a set of ear plugs or what-have-you. Really, all the buzzers, bells, whistles, noisy patrons, and announcements drive me frantic. I think I can see the advantages to a gas mask and ear protection. Or this patron has lost her marbles but is polite, tips well, and is otherwise a joy to be with. Frankly, I'd have had to ask. Great Hub Kathy, this one made me smile.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

That's interesting, Bob! I had actually thought of that, maybe she did have some kind of auto-immune disorder. I have seen people walk around in surgical type of masks, and I usually assume the reason is to avoid germs and getting sick. It was interesting trying to figure it out, but I guess the way to really know would have been to just ask! :) Thanks so much for commenting! :)


bubba-math profile image

bubba-math 4 years ago

Oh that was my sister, she just didn't wanna risk hearing and smelling her own butt emissions. One time she near lost her hearing and burned the lining of her nasal passages on account of an inauspicious fart. Next time you see her at a boofay putting on her gas mask and ear muffs, I suggest y'all do the same! Peace out!


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Good idea bubba! :) You must have one heck of an interesting family! ;) Thanks for stopping by! :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Maybe she is paranoid now to go anywhere and take any chances of whatever - living a regular life? Good one. Funny and interesting, but, yeah, very strange sight to see at a buffet!!! In His Love, Faith Reaper


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

It was pretty strange, Faith. I know there must be a reason for her doing this, we just had trouble figuring out what it was! If we see her again, maybe we'll get up the nerve to ask. :)


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Exceptionally amusing Hub -- and the ideas one can imagine in one's own head as to why the gal was wearing this get up! Obviously, she didn't have a "germ" problem as she took the mask off to eat -- oh, well, takes all kinds! Best/Sis


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

That's so true, Angela! It DOES take all kinds, and I think we have at least one of each kind here in Las Vegas! :) :) Thanks so much for visiting! :) Always appreciated!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

HaHa, What a HOOT, Vegas must be a fun place to live? I have been several times. I love the shows. Thank's for a funny write..


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks, exploring! I'd say there is pretty much never a dull moment here! :) :) It sure can be funny at times! Thanks for commenting! :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

That would have been interesting to see. We saw some pretty unusual things when we were in Vegas. You just never know what to expect - especially as the night goes on.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

So true, teaches! A night on the strip here is really a lesson. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! :) Much appreciated!

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