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Glass Mask takes place in The Middleman universe

In the 70s, a soft drink company in Japan came upon a fish species closely related to the Peruvian Flying Pike, and just like !!!! Industries later, they decided to turn an extract from this fish into a drink, called ????. This drink causes spontaneous bouts of exposition in its drinkers, which is the reason why the company was able to keep making it for years without a Middleman intervention. It simply wasn't visible enough on the worldwide scale. Also, the name of this drink is pronounced by making a shocked expression, eyes wide open, with the optional hand in front of the mouth gesture if you're talking about a full bottle.

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So, once you realise this, it becomes clear that people in Glass Mask are not constantly surprised by everything around them, they are simply thirsty and asking others for a glass/bottle of ????. (Of course, for the Japanese, it would be impolite to actually come out and say "Do you have a glass of ?????", so they just hope that someone will notice.) And every time someone starts commenting on what this or that character is doing, they just had a glass of ???? and are feeling the effects.

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