Remember the term “Germ Freaks?” Those really anal people who cringed when you reached out to shake their hand or carried a small bottle of “409” to personally wipe the table when they ate out?
With the onset of H1N1, and most certainly the forthcoming H1N2 and God knows what else on the horizon, sometimes I wish for the good old days when the worst of your disease-ridden worries could be cured with penicillin or just shaving the affected area. Now, making fun of germ freaks makes about as much sense as making fun of computer nerds — who now control the world through Playstation 3 and Guitar Hero.
Germ freaks are the new “in.” Suddenly the phobic-ridden Howard Hughes — in the final days barricaded in a hotel in Mexico, walking around with Kleenex boxes for shoes — doesn’t seem so crazy after all. Wait — yeah, he was nuts, but maybe he had something with wearing those Kleenex boxes on his feet.
For some reason this came up in a recent discussion with my Uncle Dewey, who isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the lamp. (He thinks Rosetta Stone is an R&B singer from the ‘70s.) He did make a good point, however, on the fact that every parent should feel an obligation to teach kids about using hygiene measures in public, especially the art of foot-flushing.
My hands haven’t touched a flushing handle in years. I can balance on one foot while reaching around toilet tank covers, locating even the most discreet flushing-handle locations, with the other. (The part I don’t like is having to stretch before I go. Nonetheless, I suggest it for those of you 40 and older.)
Now, I even give great thought to what part of the bathroom door I should push to open it. My choice is the covered elbow. But if that isn’t an option, either due to short sleeves or bruising caused by frequent trips to the bathroom (see “enlarged prostate,”) I give the door a good look.
Look for the worn spot where everyone else has pushed on it. Avoid this location. Use your foot, hip, butt, whatever, but don’t touch that door! Also, begin holding your breath. Get in, get it done and get out. Hold your breath as long as possible keeping in mind that if you pass out, you’re going to fall on the floor and you don’t want to fall on that floor!
After finishing up, go to the sink and boil your hands. This should kill off most of the germs you’ve contracted in the past two minutes. When exiting the public restroom, repeat your method of entry or just kick the darn door open and take your chances. Keep in mind, if you do knock down the guy who was coming in the door, you should probably apologize and offer to boil his hands.
So embrace your germ-freak friends (figuratively, not literally) and remember that the message of doom doesn’t always pan out.
Just keep on foot-flushing.