Just about every South African remembers the My f*k Marelize video that went viral on social media in early 2019.


In case you were living in Outer Mongolia at the time, it showed the unfortunate Marelize from Namibia learning to ride a bicycle with an entire rugby field at her disposal, but somehow managing to ride into a goal post.


For months thereafter, anyone name Marelize was in for a torrid time from the humourists among us and became the butt of many a joke.

Watch the Marelize video



Obnoxious and entitled Karens in Melbourne


And now, in Australia, we have the phenomenon of the 'Karen'. It has, to be fair, been around for a little while and a Karen is defined as: "an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people's behaviours".


In the past week, though, Australians have been subjected to some real-life "Karens" as the city of Melbourne, in particular, struggles with the re-emergence of COVID-19 and authorities have imposed strict regulations, including the mandatory wearing of facemasks.


Outraged at this encroachment on their "rights", the women have been filmed insulting and generally behaving obnoxiously towards retail workers, post office employees and police officers. All of whom have remained remarkably calm in the face of such Karen-like behaviour.

Karen-like behaviour spawns a national debate


Clips of their anti-mask-wearing conduct have gone viral, leaving ordinary Australians and even prominent politicians less than impressed at the antics of "Bunnings Karen" and "Australia Post" Karen.


In fact, it has spawned a national debate and provoked widespread anger.


All of which has left the so-called "Nice Karens" running for cover as they become the targets of some barbed humour from family, friends, colleagues and, it seems, a great many random people too.

Watch the video here



Real-life Karens speak out on their plight


"I do feel a little tentative to say my name to a stranger right now; it has gone from super-boring to the trigger of the one-liner from the barista," one Karen told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


"I went on an (unsuccessful) first date with a guy who thought a good question was: 'Do you ask to speak to managers'?" another told the broadcaster.


"I'm actually finding it quite upsetting, hurtful and annoying. It's making me feel like changing my name," said a third.

Quick-thinking pizza chain sees opportunity


Domino's, the pizza chain, has even seen a marketing opportunity in the whole situation and rapidly rolled out a promotional campaign inviting all those nice, sweet, charming and polite mask-wearing Karens out there to take back their name.


And if they need a bit of comfort food in this age of the anti-Karen, then the chain is offering at least some of them a chance to get some free pizza too.


All they need do is visit the chain's website, prove they are named Karen and then write 250 words explaining why they're one of the "nice" ones.

Make way Marelize, here comes Karen from Australia

Comfort food on offer


"Karen the nurse, the teacher, the mum, the neighbour, Karen the mask wearer – we're all in this together, but a vocal minority who believe rules and laws don't apply to them have given the name 'Karen' a bad rap this year," the company says on its Facebook page.


"At Domino's, we know there's plenty of Australians named Karen that aren't, well, 'Karens'."


So if your name's Marelize… be grateful — it could have been worse.


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