Jun 19 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
This week, I’m here to talk about germs. No, not the ones I have dated, but the kind that are ubiquitous and invisible. The kind that make us sick.
I’m not quite OCD crazy like Howie Mandel is, but some days, I come close. Like Howie, I do freak out when I see Jay Leno come out for his monologue and grab all of those hands of all of those people in his audience. Maybe Jay steams his hands clean during the commercial break; I don’t know.
I remember the first time I had a public freak-out about germs. I was in a department store, and I asked the saleswoman where the customer service office was.
“It’s on the third floor, but if you merely have a question about your account, Miss Hacker, save yourself some time by using our red courtesy phone. It’s right over there on the wall.”
I turned to look, saw a woman pick up the phone, sneeze, and then cough into the receiver. I just looked at the saleswoman. Are you freakin’ kidding me?
Let’s just call the saleswoman Oblivia de Havilland, because when she looked at me and said, “I’m sure she’ll only be a moment,” I was Gone With the Wind.
That was all it took. There was no freakin’ way I was ever using a courtesy phone again. Not in a store, not at an airport, not anywhere. I do carry disinfectant wipes with me, but just the image of that woman spewing forth microbes and mucus did me in—for life.
How many of you who use escalators actually touch the handrail? Not me. Do you know how microbe coated that thing is? Just a ride from Men’s Clothing to Housewares can give you the flu. Or worse. I would rather plunge head first down the stairway than intentionally self-infect by clutching a buggy banister.
What really kills me is using my credit card in stores. Every store that has one of these germ-spreading units for paying should have a bottle of hand sanitizer right next to it. Do you know how many germs touch the electronic pen and those buttons? While I applaud the grocery stores that offer wipes for grocery carts, I wonder why they go to all of that trouble only to let their customers become germ ridden at checkout.
Money is another filthy thing we all touch. I guess that we are so happy when we have money, that we don’t think about how many people have touched it and where it has been. New money is beautiful. It’s not worth more than used money, but it’s a lot cleaner.
If you want a demonstration of how quickly germs spread, or if you want to teach a classroom of children why hand washing is so important, you can buy one of those invisible powder kits that come with a black light. Trust me, seeing a demonstration of how germs spread is very motivating. It will also make everyone paranoid, crazy, and germophobic, but you’ll be all the healthier for it.
Shaking hands. Now, there’s a wicky sticket. Unlike Howie, I just can’t bring myself to fist bump in place of a shake. I want to, but it is awkward, at least for me, not to shake someone’s hand. When I go to places where I know I’m going to meet people, I try to wear something with pockets so I can stick my hand in afterward and clutch the disinfectant wipe I have hidden for the occasion.
Let’s face it, there are ways we can be more careful. But we have to live our lives. Kissing handsome men is a part of my life. Holding hands is a part of my life. There are some things I’m just not giving up.
How about you, cool peeps? Are you as germophobic as yours truly? Worse? Some days I get so paranoid I won’t even watch a viral video. ☺ Please, tell me your war stories.
See you next week!
Yours in pickiness,