Saturday, April 19, 2008

Disappointed, again

Here's another one to add to the list of things I wish I hadn't found out about my fellow human beings.

First, some background: If you ever feel like wading through a forum of questions and answers, you should check out BYU's 100 Hour Board. When I was a student at the BYU, it was a physical paper-on-bulletin-board entity in the student center that was mostly used for normal, student body-centered questions. All these years later, however, it has evolved into an "ask (almost) anything" forum with regular writers and it has its own web page. The paper version doesn't even exist anymore.

The other day, someone asked a fairly simple question about why some people don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, and also (completely unrelated, I'm sure) how often the buttons on drinking fountains are sanitized. They got their answer within 100 hours and life went on.

Until yesterday, when someone wrote in a comment to that question that almost made my head explode, it was so ridiculous. Not even while reading the Daily Universe letters to the editor have I ever wished someone was joking as much as I did when I read this. Behold the inanity:

"Dear 100 Hour Board,

In response to question Board Question #44397, I would like to stick up for people who don't wash their hands every time they go to the bathroom. I doubt many people would be willing to ever volunteer this information on a non-anonymous board, so consider this info precious.

The answer is LOTION.

After I get out of the shower I put nice smelling lotion onto my hands, so they aren't dry and cracked during the day. If I wash my hands well after going to the bathroom, the lotion comes off and I don't want to reapply expensive Victoria's Secret lotion 15 times a day, and I don't always carry it with me anyway. So, maybe this grosses you out, I don't care. The truth is that for a guy, (yes, I am a guy who uses Vanilla Lace VS lotion), you can go to the bathroom without touching any private parts, (it takes a little practice). So other than the doorknob you are fine, given automatically flushing toilets or by using your foot to flush depending on the height. The doorknob does present a problem, but you would have to touch that on your way out after you have already washed anyway, so what difference does that make? It is disgusting to me to shake hands/hold hands with a girl who has dry, scaley, man-hands like she is a lumberjack or something.

-Obama Fan"

A few points, which were also made by the 100 Board writers in response to this comment:

First, of all the reasons he could have given, I will confess that "LOTION" was the absolute last one I expected.

Second, I'm so glad I don't live in Provo and have to maintain constant vigilance for the man with the sweet-smelling hands, lest I inadvertently shake his hand.

Third, guess what, girly-hands: It is disgusting to me to shake hands with people who haven't washed after going to the bathroom.

Now maybe I can go on with my life pretending people like him don't exist. Or that he was joking. There's a chance...right?


Liz Johnson said...

Ew. Ew ew ew. There is so much wrong with that, I don't even know where to begin.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I am waiting, maybe in vain, for someone to design the perfect public restroom. Some of these elements are already available, though none seem to be found all in the same restroom. It would feature automatic flush toilets, automatic water on/off, automatic soap & paper towel dispensers, and automatic doors, like the ones found in grocery stores (why don't restrooms have these?) Then we germ-phobic people could scrub up and exit without re-soiling our hands. And the less fussy among us would have no excuse to not wash up. How hard can it be?

A good enter/exit setup is found in some airports, where instead of a door there is an s-curve hallway, so no touching is necessary. Of course, if you're like me, you always use a paper towel on the door handle to facilitate your escape, and if it's one of those tidy blow-dry places, I use my shirt as a buffer. No way am I touching door handles which less fastidious people w/ who knows what personal habits, have gone before.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

PS: what's with the "the" before BYU? Do we say, "the" PSU or "the" U-dub?

Anonymous said...

Several thoughts about this pitiful man: 1: did he have to be so graphic describing going to the bathroom w/out touching his private parts? It presents a visual image I would like to forget. 2: another image--him flushing w/ his foot. Actually, I have done this myself. I admit it. 3: does he really go to the bathroom 15 times a day? If so, he has a greater problem than not washing hands after using the restroom. 4: does he think so little of others that he would touch them knowing he hadn't washed in a while? Because even if he thinks he hasn't picked up any germs, he has.

Crys said...

Wow that is so gross...I really really! And is there anyone who read this who actually believes he makes it out of the bathroom germ free. Give me a break...doesn't tough any private parts...right. How gross! Someone should introduce him to Purex. Maybe he can find someone in a vanilla scent. And finally what self respecting man walks into VS to buy lotion...for himself. Good grief.

Bridget said...

Crystal brings up an intriguing connection - what if this guy and the VS gift cards guy are one and the same?!?!?!?!?

Yes, so gross, and it gets grosser the more I think about it.

"The BYU" is to make fun of people who call it that in earnest. And they do exist.

JackJen said...

Earlier this year, I had a layover in the Toronto airport....and the only reason I even ATTEMPTED to use the restroom was because I had a 7-hour flight ahead and my choice was between the airport bathroom and the airplane bathroom.

(side note: there's no way under heaven I'm using an airplane bathroom)

You can imagine the heart attack I nearly had when I walked into the stall and there were NO TISSUE PAPER SEAT COVERS.

So I had to fashion one myself. Out of toilet paper. And my movements in doing so caused the automatic toilet to flush at least four times.

Bridget said...

Jen, that is one of the unfortunate hazards of those automatic-flushing toilets.

Also, being married to Jeremy for 6.5 years has taught me nothing if not the term for what you described: apparently, it's "building a nest."

The alternative, again according to Jeremy, is "air chair."

breanne said...

Just so you know, BYU has recently installed Purell hand sanitizer dispensers in most of the bathrooms and in key locations (in the library and computer labs) around campus--perhaps because of people like Mr. Lotion!

Anonymous said...

This is grosser, if you can stand it...years ago I spotted a co-worker (whom I had a dislike for anyway) walking out of the stall and start to exit the ladies room, I quickly said "hey, how about washing your hand?" (yes, I am brave, and also clean!) to which she replied "I use paper don't you?" Is that GROSS!! needless to say I never used her keyboard or got near her desk again!!

Kristen said...

I have been thinking about this one for a while, and at the risk of being unpopular, have decided to make a comment.

My name is Kristen, and I AM NOT A GERMOPHOBE.

That being said, I certainly have no desire to walk around with toilet germs on my hands or contract them from anybody else's. But let's think about WHY we wash our hands after using the bathroom in the first place: it's because we want to clean off the nasty toilet-related germs which come from touching the fixtures of the bathroom or body. This gentleman has proposed that he can accomplish his restroom business without touching either of said fixtures. I must assume that he is referring only to the business of going Number One. This is both physically possible for a man, and a smart choice. Now, females cannot pretend to use the same excuse--I think you know why.

I also imagine that the sink faucet is one of the germiest regions of a public restroom, since you touch it immediately after using the toilet and immediately before washing your hands. So by not washing his hands, this man's relatively clean hands are actually avoiding the most icky germs of all! And some public restrooms are so incredibly disgusting that you're probably better off not touching ANYTHING and getting out fast.

Next I want to propose that people we encounter on a daily basis have much more disgusting things on their hands than Obama Fan. And if he showers, as he claims to, then his "personal area" is probably cleaner than his hands are even before going to the bathroom, so even if he didn't risk the aiming act, his hands are probably just as clean after using the restroom as before.

In addition, I've put some lotion on my hands some recent mornings. The next time that I find my hands under a faucet (usually several times during Madelyn's intricate breakfast procedure), I hate the disgusting feeling of the lotion re-liquifying and getting all slimy in the water. Maybe I need to get a higher quality lotion with better moisturization. I'll check Victoria's Secret.

In summary, I PERSONALLY ALWAYS WASH MY HANDS AFTER USING THE BATHROOM, be it in a public facility or otherwise. I also wash my hands several other times throughout the day. I just personally like having clean hands. Remember though, I am not a germophobe. But the situation Obama Fan describes: an abscence of toilet-related contact, warrants some forgiveness. In the end, you never know what is on other people's hands, so we each ought to just look out for Number One. By which I mean Ourselves. Not the previously mentioned Number One.

Bridget said...

Kristen, you're giving this guy waaaaay too much benefit of the doubt. I, too, considered the explanation you so eloquently give, but I've come to the realization that I think he's talking about both types of bathroom business (the flushing the toilet with your foot gave him away - I'm not terribly familiar with urinals but my general understanding is that this maneuver would probably be reserved only for a sit-down toilet. And we all know what that means).

Also, for me at least, bathroom break hand washings are a nice time to wash my hands from anything that might have been contaminating them in recent hours, not just the germs I encountered in the restroom.

Your final point stands - no more handshaking!! (I'm paraphrasing.)


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