Being stuck at home last week with the flu (Not of the swine variety, just a good old, unsexy, unfashionable virus) got me doing something I don’t usually do when sick: Thinking about how to make money.

Usually I’m pretty good at dreaming up ways to spend money when I’m knee deep in tissues and butter menthols. Countless infomercials on bad morning television can make a Snuggie look like a worthwhile investment. Couple that with a bunch of car magazines and a bad dose of cabin fever and dreaming up ways to spend money while under the weather is an easy task.

One thing I haven’t seen for sale on morning telly this week though is face masks. Given the so called swine flu epidemic that we are told is sweeping the country you would of thought that one of the TV infomercial company’s would of come up with a line of fashionable face masks by now. But maybe they are too busy coming up with new ways to give us better abs and glutes.

I did notice a small, very plain advert in the Courier-Mail on Wednesday and have seen the occasional pharmacist pop up on my favourite comedy shows, A Current Affair and Today Tonight, telling us they have sold out of face masks.

But apart from that I have seen no signs of face masks being this winter’s must have item. So back to my big money making idea: Face masks for Australians.

I was in Japan in January and every third person seemed to be wearing a face mask. Of the people wearing one, at least half had a mask that wasn’t just a regular run of the mill white one. Hello Kitty face masks seemed to be particularly popular amongst the bubble tea set. But Hello Kitty on people’s heads probably won’t fly in Australia.

I’m sure if the swine flu continues to spread across the world international designer labels will soon have diamond encrusted face masks in their showrooms but even then I can’t see Aussies putting one on. Rose Porteous excluded.

If you watched enough Swine Flu Watch, also known as Nine News last week, you would know that the Queensland Government warned the highest risk of contracting the disease was at last Wednesday’s State of Origin match in Melbourne. They even quarantined kiddies coming back from Victoria for seven days.

So since Aussie’s aren’t going to wear a face mask unless it is absolutely necessary and already wear all sorts of ridiculous things if it is in footy colours, I propose footy team face masks for the Australian population.

AFL and NRL teams already flog everything from teaspoons to red wine so why not face masks. You could even have a novelty sized one on the team mascot. Which reminds me. Is there any footy team in Australia called The Pigs and if so how are they travelling this year?