Hemingway Lookalike Contest Cancelled, Events Likely Included Heavyweight Drinking and Boxing Your Demons

If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that real men don’t wear masks. Or something like that. At least, that’s probably what Ernest Hemingway would say, as he was all about men acting like men. We have to believe that he would be totally against something as “girlie” as wearing surgical masks in public. Of course, Hemingway isn’t exactly the best person to look up to, but don’t tell that to the dozens of men who compete in the Hemingway look-alike contest in Key West every year. Unfortunately for these bearded, barrel-chested brutes, the contest has been canceled this year due to COVID-19.

Every summer, as part of Key West’s Hemingway Days Festival, more than 100 fans of the beloved author show up in their best Hemingway garb, trying to win the respect and admiration of their peers. The contest is judged mostly on the physical look of the men, but we wouldn’t mind seeing boxing matches or drinking contests as well.

All of that is moot anyway, however, because Hemingway Days has been put on hold this year due to the coronavirus. It makes sense, as most of the men competing in the contest are between 60 and 80 years old, which makes them prime targets for the virus. Luckily, the sun also rises and it will once again shine its light on the contest next year, hopefully.

Key West was home to Mr. Hemingway for much of the 1930s and, besides Paris, it is the place most associated with the author of The Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast, and so many more brilliant novels. Unfortunately, that brilliance came with a price, as Hemingway was also a known alcoholic and cheater.

He would eventually succumb to suicide which, while sad, has only added to his legacy. Luckily for his fans, the spirit of Hemingway is kept alive every year in Key West and though it’s taking a break this year, there is no reason to wonder for whom the bell tolls. The contest will be back and when it is, it will do things only a certain way. The Hemingway.

Cover Photo: Martyn Goodacre (Getty Images)

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