Sunday, July 19, 2009

Give peace a chance: why germs aren't so bad [Ryan]

I’ve officially finished my time as opinion editor of Scroll, so my topics of choice are no longer confined by paltry things like truth or relevance. No, seriously, my feelings are mixed regarding my departure from the paper, but newspapers are going down the hole like faster than a super-powered ferret pursuing the Flash down a giant high-powered toilet (if you ever hear of a such a scenario existing in reality, please call me!) and I thought I’d try my hand with other mediums.

My topic today is my lack of germaphobia.

I’m not sure what the real name is, but I don’t have a fear of germs. I once picked up a half-eaten bag of popcorn in a movie theater left over from the previous show, discarded some of the wrappers, and proceeded to happily eat away.

The ten-second rule doesn’t apply to me unless the food in question falls into something radioactive or onto a bathroom stall floor. Some people will balk at the thought of retrieving a morsel of chicken that has fallen to the dining room floor; I’ll still probably eat it. What I can’t see can’t hurt me (except Chuck Norris, naturally).

It’s all the same, right? My food, your food, it all has the same organisms who just want to be left alone to thrive in their peaceful microscopic utopia and smoke pot. (No, I don’t have scientific evidence to back this up. I would have thought the advent of things like Wikipedia would have erased such an outdated tendency.)

Contrast my habits to the habits of one of my brothers, who acts as if food someone has bitten off of has been contaminated with large amounts of terrorist-grade plutonium.

Now, there is one area where I agree with him: food found on bathroom floors is not edible. (It may not, technically, be food anymore, but that’s as far as I’m going to take that line of thought.) Bathrooms scare me. The germs thriving in bathrooms are of a completely different breed of microbe. The germs found on a piece of pizza that fell on the living room floor are as harmless as hippies; the ones in the bathroom are the al-Qaeda of microorganisms.

So there you have it — a semi-scientific treatise on the follies of most varieties of germaphobia. Don’t drop this on the bathroom floor.

(Dang! That last line only worked if this was printed in a newspaper.)

Uh … don’t drop your laptop on the bathroom floor. (Unless it’s a PC.)

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