Please take a moment to prepare your mind and body for a series of sentences that can only be described as disorienting: Ed Sheeran and Courteney Cox are close friends. What? Great question. Apparently a mutual friend introduced them, and now, when Sheeran is in Los Angeles, he always stays with his bestie Courteney Cox. The two even recently re-created the iconic Friends dance routine originally performed by siblings Monica and Ross. Okay! (Also, Courteney spells her name with two e’s? I’m learning a lot today.) However, this is not the most confounding thing I’m about to say.
Sheeran was recently on The Late Late Show to promote his vampire anthem “Bad Habits,” and told host James Corden he has this running bit where he orders Cox S&M leather gimp masks every time he visits. He does what for whom? Another excellent question. Once upon a time, Cox and Sheeran were hanging out — as they do, because, again, they are close friends — and Cox talked about being able to buy anything she wants using her Alexa device. (This is something I’m pretty sure all Alexas do? I digress.)
It is at this point in recounting the story that Sheeran pauses to ask Corden, “Do you know what a gimp mask is?” Sheeran clarifies, “An S&M leather gimp mask,” and Corden says he is “aware of them, yes.” Well, when Cox left the room, Sheeran said, “Alexa, order me a gimp mask.” Ever the obedient AI, Alexa did just that, and the mask was eventually delivered to Cox’s home.
“Unbeknownst to me,” Sheeran says. “Courteney’s assistant opened the post, and she finds this mask and instantly goes, ‘Oh, I don’t think I was meant to see that,’ and leaves it on Courteney’s bed. And Courteney comes up, and she’s like, ‘Where did this come from?’” This somehow did not deter Cox from continuing to let Sheeran stay at her home whenever he’s in town — even though, by his own telling, Sheeran refuses to give up the bit. Thus, Cox has accumulated a dozen different gimp masks courtesy of prankster extraordinaire Ed Sheeran.
“I hide them in people’s bedrooms [at Cox’s house],” Sheeran continues. “So they’ll go in a drawer, and they’ll just find this leather S&M mask.” When Sheeran learned that “two absolute strangers” were going to Cox’s house to look at a piano she was selling, he left a couple masks on the piano as well. Hahaha — how this man has not earned a restraining order is beyond me.
Cox appears to be a good sport about it, as evidenced by a video clip in which she dons one of her many gimp masks while wishing Sheeran a happy 30th birthday. Gotta be honest, it suits her. The segment, of course, ends with Corden in a leather gimp mask Sheeran has brought as a gift, in case there was any doubt that we are absolutely in the darkest timeline.