Today I shook a man's hand and it felt sticky and disgusting. It made me wonder when he'd last washed his hands. (I had to quickly go and wash mine afterwards, I felt like I'd met Mr. Play-Doh.) In an ideal world, I could have said, "Excuse me, I really think you should wash those, that's gross you minger." but we can't can we?
Hygiene is one of those subjects where, once you start thinking about it, you can't stop observing how much grime we're surrounded by. Many times I've been in the loo/bathroom/restroom/toilets/bogs, call it what you will; and noticed other patrons leaving the stalls and only wetting their hands, not even using soap? How is that "washing" your hands? My eyes then follow their hands as they yank open the bathroom/dunny/jax/WC door and flounce out, without a care in the world. What else are they going to touch, I wonder? Every other door I'm likely to use. Great.
Mobile phones are another hive of germs. In this day and age of smart phones with email and internet access it's all too easy to pop off to the lav and have an iCrap or indulge in a bit of Arsebook or Twitter on the shitter. Bear that in mind next time you have a long telephone chat with your phone clamped to your face. Right by your lips. There are statistics which say mobile phones have 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle
(Click that link)
I do love the comments, especially this one:
"I read somewhere that the average chopping board has more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat. Now, to be safe, I chop up all my food on the toilet seat.
- Mac, Malaga, Spain, 28/7/2010 9:24"
But yet, we're all fine? When was the last time one of your friends were admitted to hospital with a bad case of Scanky Mobile Phone AIDS?
I mentioned casually to a friend once that I was appalled to witness a man licking a coin before popping it into a vending machine. Why would you lick a coin? That is truly revolting. She then quite proudly proclaimed to lick her front door key every day before using it. I have never known her to be ill, so who knows, maybe there are some redeeming qualities to getting your chops round some brass on a daily basis.
I like to think I'm not obsessed, but when I see someone place their water bottle opening over the nozzle of the water cooler tap, I fully expect to catch Water Cooler Chlamydia.
Yet I never get sick? Maybe my immune system is fairly solid? I'm not sure I could lick the pavements in Ibiza and still feel fine but seldom am I ever laid up in bed with a stomach bug. (OK, there was that one time around 2003 when I had a dodgy Spanish omelette at the Euston Thistle Hotel. I lost a great deal of weight, my appetite vanished and I wasn't right for weeks. Must confess, as I've got older and love handles have begun to invade, I am seriously contemplating a return to the Thistle for another E-Coli omelette...)
Maybe I should just wear gloves at all times, for the next time I need to shake the sticky paw of some sweaty, vile bastard who chose to dodge the soap dispenser?
Or maybe next time I shake someone's grubby mitt, I can put on a boxing glove and wallop them squarely in the gob?
What's the first thing you do when you get hit? Put your hand right on the sore part. So then my Play-Doh handed friend can feel his scum infested palm and fingers right on his lips.