Posted on February 17, 2008

Believe it or not, I find I am frequently mocked for various reasons. Thankfully, I am fortunate to have a spouse that I can go to when I am being teased, she is my fortress from the winds of torment. Karina is always able to take the focus off of the pain, usually by finding something else to make fun of me about. A frequent target of her teasing is my habit of washing my hands…a lot.

Now, before I defend myself, I would like to point out that my wife is the same person who refuses to sleep on hotel sheets. Why in the world should I worry about hotel sheets? They are washed nightly…right? I don’t care what your little black light may reveal, it’s not like I am licking the sheets. Plus, has any research been conducted to determine whether laundry detergent glows under a black light? Perhaps the “stains” that 20/20 and Dateline find on the sheets are merely high concentrations of a cleaning agent.

In addition to this, Karina has found herself ill twice since December, whilst I have felt as fit as a spring fiddle. Not only have I been healthy for the last two months, I have not upchucked, chundered, spewed chunks, tossed my cookies, OR vomitated since I was in seventh grade. Well, actually there is one exception: when I think about the “mechanics” necessary between my parents for me to be here…if you know what I mean. Every time that thought is accidentally pondered, I usually throw up a little in my mouth.

This string of good luck resisting illness could be the result of an immune system that is an impenetrable impediment to germs, a bacterial barrier, a pathogen palisade if you will. Or it could just be that I wash my hands approximately every 47 seconds. While option one cannot be conclusively ruled out, I like to think number two is the reason for my good fortune (I said “number two”…tee hee).

If you ask some people, my hand washing habit borders on obsessive. I happen to disagree. I merely wash my hands religiously (I just looked up “religiously” on dictionary.com, it was probably a poor use of the term on my part as the definition is: “with extreme conscientiousness” where as I would say I only wash my hands with “fanatical” conscientiousness). My habit is very logical in my opinion. I have two simple to follow rules: wash my hands before eating, and wash my hands after touching anything that can be categorized as “yucky.”

I find there are many benefits to following my simple rules, not the least of which is clean hands. There are also a few drawbacks however. For example, the back of my hands have roughly the same consistency as a dehydrated Stegosaurus in a dust storm. Also, I go through more Softsoap in a year than most countries do in a decade. Consequently, there are a few other liquids I do not go through as a direct result, such as Nyquil, Dayquil, Imodium, Ipecac, and Ginger Ale.

While I am on the topic of safe food ingestion habits, allow me to briefly address the stupidest “rule” I have ever heard of: the “5 second rule” (or however many seconds it is). I’ve always thought this is absurd. I highly doubt the germs are scrambling to latch on to your food item while thinking “I’ve almost got it, just a few more seconds and I should be on.” In fact, I subscribe to the “negative 5 second rule” in that, if I think a food item I am about to eat has the potential of falling on the floor in the next 5 seconds, I will not eat it. Of course that is a dramatization, but I refuse to eat anything that has touched the same surface recently tread upon by my shoe soles. I know what I’ve stepped in and I surely wouldn’t want my food touching that, let alone anything anybody else has stepped in.

So I will continue to defend my hand washing habit. You may have your colds, flus, hantas, and ebolas, I am doing just fine without, thank you. Now, I had better get to bed, I am not feeling so hot.

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