Dave Fish, 59, who calls himself “Lion L. Messy,” visited his nearby Asda Kingswood store on Wednesday afternoon in fancy dress.
He wore a laminated sign on his chest and tail saying “your country needs two meters” – an original reminder to let people remember the importance of social distance.
Fish says the joke was meant to “put a smile on people’s faces” during the sobering coronavirus pandemic we live in.
But, according to Mr. Fish, his slight crush denied him access to Asda after a security guard told him that he could not do his shopping in the store because the cameras could not see his face, because it was masked by a lion’s head.
“Just to lighten the mood of the supermarket staff and other customers, I disguised myself as Lion L Messy with a funny sign on me, but arriving at the top of the queue at Asda Kingswood, we m ‘asked to remove the lion head or I couldn’t come in to do my essential store,’ said Mr. Fish.
“I had been lining up in the heat for over 20 minutes sweating in the lion outfit just to be told by a security chief that my head was covered in a lion mask, the cameras could not see my face, so for security [reasons], I could not enter.
“I mean, what kind of threat to Asda am I dressed as a lion?” What did they think I was going to do?
“I said I had just dressed like a lion to put a smile on people’s faces in the midst of this serious pandemic virus in which we live, but the security guard just didn’t have it, even if i said everything was just a joke.
“I had a piece of ID on me to show the guy and I said I would take the lion’s head off to show who I was, but he just didn’t want it. “
The decision to remove Mr. Fish from Asda was “unfair”, he said, because he said other people wearing face masks were allowed to enter.
“I know that what is fun for some is not always as fun for others, but many people smiled at me and found the lion costume funny,” he said.
“I’m just a guy who likes a little fun and I didn’t want to hurt.”
What Asda says
In response to criticism of Asda, a store spokesman said that a staff member had reported that Mr. Fish had refused to identify himself at the door and that a decision had therefore been made to ask him to withdraw the suit.
The supermarket spokesperson said, “We never want to divert any of our customers from our stores and enjoy a fun turn as much as the next supermarket.
“However, the safety of our colleagues and clients is of paramount importance and that is why, when Mr. Fish refused to identify himself at the door, we decided to ask him to either remove the suit and join the queue to come at a later date.
“We never want to discourage anyone from spreading joy in our stores, but we ask them to do so in a safe and respectful manner. “