Germaphobia, Part Deux

As you read in a prior blog, I am a germaphobe – loud and proud. See https://brucecrobertson.com/2011/03/30/hands-off-confessions-of-a-rational-germaphobe/. As I mentioned in that posting, I take a lot of crap for being a germaphobe. For example, my EA gives me a hard time about it constantly. Well, at least until she had pink eye twice in a month and bronchitis at the same time. Now, she’s a Purell convert. You know, I really should be getting royalties on every bottle of Purell sold. Our good friends, Jon and Laura, are among the many people who tease me about my germaphobia. We went out for drinks with them on Friday night and I was reminded of the worst germaphobe story I had ever heard.

It happened about 4 years ago. Our daughter was on the same softball team as Jon and Laura’s daughter. We were at a game and Laura showed up late, having just come from another activity for their younger son, who was probably about 3 or 4 at the time. I was listening in as Laura was telling someone else a horrible story that had just happened to her that day. Strap in folks – this one ain’t gonna be easy and, let me assure you, it ain’t for the faint of heart. If you’re  fellow germaphobe, take your nerve medicine. OK, I have to digress – how many of you were fans of the old “Dennis the Menace” show – the original one with Jay North? C’mon, raise your hands. Well, remember the crotchety old neighbor, Mr. Wilson, whose  goat Dennis was always getting with his antics. Whenever Dennis started getting to him, his wife (Martha, if I recall) would start yelling, “George, your nerve medicine. Your nerve medicine, George.” Here’s my question – exactly what “nerve medicine” was good ol’ Mr. Wilson taking and where the hell can I get my hands on some of that magic elixir when I’m nervous….or nervy?

Back to Laura’s tale of misery. When Laura arrived at the softball game that afternoon, she was in quite a frenzy owing to an incident with her youngest son that day. Apparently, she had the kid in a public restroom and while helping him do his business, she dropped her cell phone into the toilet. You see where this is going, don’t you? Well, actually, no you don’t.

As she’s telling the tale and I’m trying to Purell my ears just for having listened to it, something just isn’t adding up. First, she said they were at a park. I was thinking shopping mall restroom. OK, so be it – I’m now picturing one of those small brick houses with a men’s room on one side and women’s room on the other. Makes the whole thing a little bit more disgusting, but so be it. But, then she starts talking about using two sticks to fish the damn thing out of the toilet. Sticks? Where the hell are you going to find sticks in a bathroom?

Then, BOOM goes the dynamite. In describing this sordid tale, she uses the word….you sure you’re ready for this….Port-o-Potty. And, I’m just praying it was in the context of “thank God we weren’t using a Port-o-Potty at the time.” No such luck. It was in the context of “I dropped my phone in a Port-o-Potty…..and fished the goddam thing out.” Yes, you read that correctly. She used two sticks and retrieved her Motorola RAZR cell phone out of the Port-o-Potty.

After they revived me, got me sitting upright with an ice pack on my head and smelling salts, I said, “Laura, what the f&*# were you thinking? Did your child fall in the Port-o-Potty or just your phone?” She clarified that the kid was fine – it was just the phone.

“Laura, next time you drop your phone in the Port-o-Potty, run, don’t walk, to the Verizon store to get a new phone,” I begged her.

“But, the phone actually still works,” she said with excitement.

“Still works???? How the hell do you know it still works? Did you hold it up to your ear and….”

More smelling salts. More ice packs on my head.

I had just one final clarification for her when I regained consciousness the second time.

“Laura,” I said, “there’s only one thing that could fall in a Port-o-Potty that MIGHT be worth fishing out and that is one of your children. And, if that ever happens, put on a full Hazmat suit and push the Port-o-Potty over . When the kid flows out, grab him, put him through full Hazmat detox, hold him in isolation for a week, then decide whether it’s worth having him rejoin the family.” It will be 50/50 at best.

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About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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5 Responses to Germaphobia, Part Deux

  1. YUK! Well, Bruce here’s what you do for neves. My mom, a big tea totaler, would, at times like these say “Oh my, Oh my! I must get my Nervine.” Years later I looked at the ingrediants and discovered nervine is almost 100% alcohol. So, you can either run out to the drug store and buy some Nervine or just take a swig of that good old Mountain Dew.

  2. Kelly says:

    Ok, so I read the germaphobe blogs and found much to which I relate. I am a part-time germ-avoider with Purell in the side pocket of my purse. My use of Purell is sporadic but very prejudicial. I always use if after shopping at Wal-Mart, for example, where I have to touch a previously used grocery cart. I need the Purell because, I too, have seen the pictures of “The People of Wal-Mart” and I teach their children. I know their hygiene habits leave a lot to be desired. Hence the necessity for Purell. I use the antibacterial wipes provided at the grocery store, too. I take an extra paper towel in a public bathroom to hold the door handle as I open it. I use my elbows to push the hand dryer buttons, and have even been known to allow my hands to air dry and wait for another person to enter the restroom so that I don’t ever have to touch the handle. I did not consider myself to be a germaphobe, until I read this blog. So now it’s out. I have a label. Germaphobe. There. I said it.

    • Sanitopia says:

      Seems totally reasonable to us. Especially the shopping cart cover cleaning, and the extra paper towel to open the restroom door. That’s just common sense, in our opinion.

  3. rodneynorth says:

    Bruce, I gotta get your take on this news item – that when infants live with pets its help to protect them from allergies. I know you’ll love the image of the hound dog licking the baby.
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/13/study-living-with-pets-may-protect-infants-from-allergies/

    And I know allergies don’t equal whatever one might get from dog slobber or scattered kitty-litter, but you get the idea.

  4. Sanitopia says:

    Another great post, Bruce. Though this one was definitely hard to read. Sorry for the plug on your blog, but we couldn’t resist sharing our selection of “personal restroom survival tools”. In our opinion, you need a few basic necessities when confronting a port-o-potty. The bare minimum is your own toilet paper, and some kind of disinfecting wipe for the toilet. http://www.sanitopia.com/gadgets-gear/staying-clean-in-restrooms.

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