It has been fairly well established in prior blog posts that I’m gross. When it comes to germs, I’m not much of a worrier. I don’t use paper towels to open the doors in public bathrooms, I will continue eating a spoonful of ice cream after my cat licks it even though I’m well aware that he probably licked his own butt less than five minutes earlier, I share straws, I pee right through my swimsuit in the ocean (but so does everybody, I know I’m not alone there), and the last time I carried a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer around was El Salvador, 2000.
I get that my approach to germs is a bit more laissez-faire than the general public, and I try to be respectful of that. However, I have officially grown weary of the particular type of germophobe that freely roams my local gym.
Yes, I know there are signs posted that you are supposed to wipe down the gym equipment after each use. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don’t, and sometimes it’s the end of a long day, I don’t really want to be working out anyway, and I just don’t freaking feel like it. So if you use a piece of equipment after me and I haven’t, horror of all horrors, sprayed it down, I’m not sure that warrants the same reaction as if I’d injected you with a syringe of hepatitis C.
There are only two people at the gym who react in such a way: tiny, scantily-clad, bemakeuped, glossy-haired beauties in their early to mid-twenties and middle-aged wackadoodles. The ladies in the first category get upset because they are not going to expel a drop of sweat in the gym, and they don’t want to come into contact with any of yours. The women of the latter category are generally hacking up phlegm every other moment and already seem to have compromised immune systems. What either type of person is actually doing at the gym is hard to say, though husband hunting and lying to themselves about their overall state of health encompasses all variables. Whatever the case, these people walk around with their giant spray bottles and wads of paper towels and act like using a piece of equipment after you is equivalent to bathing in your dirty bathwater. These are the same douche nozzles who hover over public toilet seats instead of just sitting down, splashing their urine all over everything for the next person to enjoy, like a hippopotamus spraying shit to mark its territory.
What do you think is in those spray bottles, ladies? I’ll give you a hint. It’s water. Watered down water, sometimes with a blue tint, other times with a pink hue, but it’s water. Gyms are disgusting, dirty, bodily-fluid covered wastelands that are never ever sufficiently scrubbed by the underpaid employees, and if you think a couple spritzes of water is going to change that, then you’re what I like to call a fucking idiot.
This is only on the machines. No one lifting weights would ever spray one of those down. I don’t know how that makes any sense, but I like the attitude. Don’t put your fingers in your mouth after you use a piece of gym equipment, and you’ll be fine. And if you’re really that bothered by other people’s sweat and germs, get some home exercise equipment. We’ll all be happier.
The other situation where I notice this brand of insanity is with people and their children. Let me preface this by saying I’m careful around little babies. A minor illness for a toddler can be serious for an infant, and since they have a tendency to grab your fingers and shove them into their mouths without the slightest provocation, I always make sure I’m shiny clean around little ones.
But I had a mother the other day ask me if I had washed my hands before I sat down to play with her two-year-old. The fact that he was playing in a sandbox that looked like it had been around since 1937 didn’t give her pause at all, nor did the fact that she asked me to occupy the kid for a little while in the first place. Let me tell you something that every parent, and for that matter every human being with half a brain, already knows. Once a child has the ability to navigate the world independent of being lifted and carried, they are completely covered in grime, dirt, and germs until they graduate college. They touch everything, anything that is not nailed down goes directly into their mouths, they make art projects out of their dirty diapers, and they touch-test dog poop and taste-test bird poop. I am far more likely to be infected by your grubby, unwashed, Petri dish of a child than he or she ever will be in danger of contracting an illness from me.
And you just KNOW these are the same assclowns who claim dogs’ mouths are cleaner than sanitized surgical tools.
Kids do things like stick what can only be described as partially digested soggy crackers into your mouth during snack time, and YOU’RE the rude one if you politely decline. The number of already chewed foot bits fed to me by tiny sticky fingers that I have managed to gulp down over my lifetime is a testament both to how much I love my friends’ kids and how damn fast those kids can be with their vegetables.
I’m not saying the whole world needs to go crazy and lick each others’ faces. I’m not even saying my way is the right way. There are times when I think, “You know, since I’m making chili for everyone, I should probably stop taste testing with the serving spoon” or “Wait a minute, this isn’t my house, I shouldn’t drink directly out of the juice carton.” Modern sanitization brought us out of the dark ages, and I’m a big fan. What I am saying is this is a squat machine; it’s never going to be clean, so calm the fuck down, Howie Mandel. Just relax.
Here. Have a drink of my water. I promise the bottle has been washed recently.
Sure it has…