January 26, 2006
This doorknob is for you.
Ya'll it is so sad. I have truly gone insane. Please don't laugh at me as I am one step away from directing traffic in my nightgown. I blame it on the massive quantities of over-the-counter junk I am using to defeat my Bird Flu. I'm a little loopy.
So. Hi! How are you? Hello! And also, are you thinking about door knobs? Like me?
Every time I have to open a door, I think of all the door handles I have touched that day and how many other people have had their grimy little paws on the same door knob and I weigh the evidence which points to a serious lack of personal hygiene plaguing the downtown Los Angeles area, and I know I have to open the door for whatever reason (to get to work, to leave work, to open the door to the hallway or the conference room or to the coffee shop) and now my own hand is picking up their nasty little bacteria and I start to go a little crazy.
(Start to go crazy? Start?) (Ya'll. It's the Sudafed.)
So then I find myself in the break room washing my hands again and Bill, the receptionist who always seems to be in the break room when I go in there, watches me out of the corner of his eye.
I know what he's thinking. But that doesn't stop me. In fact he ought to take a page out of my book and wash his grimy little germ-infested claws. Nothing personal of course!
Because if you add up the number of doorknobs you yourself have touched and handled today, and then multiply that by the number of others who touched it, then factor in some unknown national hand-washing quotient, mix in some paranoia and Howard-Hughes-esque, boy-in-the-bubble psychosis .... well, then you'll slowly realize that you are essentially placing your hand onto all the same things those other people have touched.
And oh, the things people touch! When I see what people do with their hands when they think no one is looking (or, even more upsetting, when they don't give a shit if anyone is looking) it makes me cringe.
Just yesterday I walked down Hope Street at lunchtime and saw a man in a suit and tie sitting at a cafe table. He sat there picking his nose and reading the paper. In public. Picking his nose. Do you think that when he went back to work he washed his hands before opening the door of the office building? Nosiree bob. And do you think that a man, even one who wears a suit and tie, will bother to wash his hands after visiting the toilet when he can't be bothered to pick his own nose in private? Right.
Then there is the guy in a Lakers jersey who stopped on the corner right outside the 7th Street Metro Center and whipped out his johnson to take a pee, right there on the sidewalk. What doorknob will he be fondling next?
What about the woman who used her finger in place of a toothpick? Or the one who vigorously scratched her backside in the park? Or guys and their constant personal adjusting, whatever the hell that's about. (Is it some vague reassuring moment, touching your balls to make sure they're still there?) ("Keys? check. Loose change? Check. Balls? Check! Still got 'em!")
So all day I calculate the number of doorknobs and doorhandles and door pulls I have to touch and do some mysterious mental mathematical formula that factors in cleanliness minus populace plus foot traffic and eventually leads me to the answer, which is when I get up from my desk and walk into the break room and wash my hands.
Bill turned to me today, just now, as I did this little crazy person's soap and water dance in my Sudafed and cough-syrup enhanced fugue state, and asked me why I don't use the handsoap in the ladies room instead of the dish soap in the break room to wash my hands. I didn't want to tell him the truth.
The answer is door knobs. You see, the doors to the break room are always propped open, unlike the doors to the ladies room which are closed and you have to push buttons on a security lock before opening the door. With your hands.
And I am a crazy person. Cough cough.
Posted by laurie at January 26, 2006 10:01 AM