Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Washed My Hands Before Posting This

The World Health Organization says you should wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing the Happy Birthday song twice. That accounts for the guy in the men's room at East Side Mario's yesterday. (I quickly decided to avoid eye contact.) His hands may have been pristine but his voice was sadly out of tune. Oobadaboobadabing.

I'm not opposed to washing up before I eat and after I go to the washroom or if I've been messing around in nasty stuff but you have to understand I grew up with the saying "gotta eat a little dirt before you die," and I don't get all hyper about accepting the fact that we have to cohabit this world with germs and bacteria (hereafter called germteria) because:
1) I know what to do to minimize their threat, i.e. if you see green stuff waving at you when you open the fridge door you should chuck it
2) Part of what we do should be building up a tolerance to nasty things, i.e. telemarketers, door-to-door evangelists and especially little tiny things we can't see
3) We can't ever eradicate all the bad guys and trying to do so gets our germteria enemy's backs up, causing them to raise funds to become resistant our weapons, and 
4) I'm afraid if I start pumping the hand antiseptic at every turn I may end up doing a Lady Macbeth and not be able to stop. I have things to do. Like taking pictures of my cat and writing silly blogposts.

But really, this hand washing thing has almost become a cult. Everyone is telling you how many germterias are on everyday things like doorknobs and your keyboard and how they compare with things you'd expect to be riddled with germteria, like toilet seats. Everywhere you turn there are hand sanitizing stations and signs ordering you to make use of them. On every desk is a bottle of antiseptic. If you shake hands with an associate your eyebrows don't rise anymore when they immediately turn and pump a fistful of foam into their hands. What's next? Daily germteria reports? "If you're thinking about going downtown today, better bring along your CDC approved envirosuit because we have a germ front moving in off the coast."

I get all the stuff about reducing the passing on of disease and illnesses through contact and of the seriousness of the consequences of improper cleaning of surfaces and the benefits of personal hygiene. Many lives have not been lost due to an awareness of hand washing. But just a little bit, when someone feels the need to sanitize their hands immediately after a friendly handshake, don't you want to shake hands with him again just to put that plague back where you intended it to be? 

The good thing is, I believe I've stumbled across a great excuse for having a bottle of vodka on my desk.


  1. Didn't your mother ever tell you about vitamin Z?

    It's what comes with the popcorn assiduously eaten off the carpet by your kids once it's been accidentally spilled while the whole family is watching TV.

    It's the stuff that comes with the soother that was found between the couch cushions: you pop it into your own mouth before popping it back in the baby's mouth.

    Vitamin Z keeps a kid from crying when his two scoops of ice cream fall off his cone onto the pavement. You grab the ice cream before it can melt on the sidewalk, wipe the spot that was in contact with the cement with a paper napkin, and stick it all back on the cone. VoilĂ .

    Vitamin Z saves arguments, is magic, and turns parents into super-heroes.

    Vitamin Z is good stuff.

    1. Haha, sounds like the 5 second rule... but better!

  2. I'm with you on this Rand. Nothing like a bit of good clean dirt I believe. People get paranoid about dirt they kill all the good little germie things that protect us. Too many phobias these days.

    And Vitamin Z sounds a goodie.

    Take care now

  3. I used to do work for a company making hand sanitizers. They sent a LOT of samples to our office, and my coworkers went nuts with the stuff even though I told them that it actually weakens our resistance to germs. Sometimes people are completely illogical. I'd rather play in the dirt!

    1. There you go. If everyone else is disinfected you have nothing to worry about!

  4. Yet again, we agree. We're becoming wusses! I'm all about germs. Bring 'em on.

    1. I bought a whole bunch of wussn'ts. Want some?