Thursday, December 4, 2008
Well we are entering one of my favorite times of the year - Flu & Cold season! My family tells me (and truth be told, I admit) that I am a bit more germ-a-phobic than I was in my younger days. I am not to the Howard Hughes/Adrian Monk stage, but I find myself very uncomfortable in the presence of someone obviously sick with a cough, cold, or flu. One thing I have never understood is people that go to work deathly ill. That is how we all get sick people! Who are these creatures anyway? Most of the folks I have had working for me or with me over the years would stay home for a sick pet bird, much less for themselves! A scenario - I am traveling down the road and decide to take a bathroom break and maybe pick up a Slim Jim and drink. I stop at the convenience mart at the next exit and head in. Don't even get me started on the condition of most bathrooms, but I'm just saying: germ-avoidance is impossible here. Heading to the counter with my processed meat snack I hear a hacking cough that sounds like a dragon awakening from a deep slumber. I look to the head of the line and see Gameesh, the wonder clerk; who has not missed a day of work since the first Reagan administration and looks like he could play a lead role in Night of the Living Dead without makeup. Ole Gameesh is sneezing and hacking into some sort of cloth, and/or wiping on his pants legs the residue of germs that predate modern antibiotics. Now the dilemma - I was just going to buy my wonder meat and a diet Coke. I have a severe problem. I only have a $20 bill or a debit card. The thought of getting change back with the ravages of Gameesh attached gives me chills to my core. Same with my debit card. But, it can be sanitized! God Bless the Germ-X people. A portable method of sterilization without water is one of mankind's greatest inventions. However, the thought of handling my debit card with Gameesh residue attached is too horrible to contemplate. So, I start gathering up various items on the way to the register so I don't have to get change. Luckily the modern convenience store has all the modern conveniences. An air freshener shaped like a tree (because we just may think there is a real pine in the back seat), a tin of fake speed that will make you shake like a junkie coming off of a high to remember, laundry detergent (wait, that costs $63, I only have a $20 - put it back), a cellophane wrapped piece of cake with a handwritten label (does the health department know about this?), and more of the detris of human convenience. I get the total in my head up to about $18. I make my way to the counter bobbing and weaving to miss the flying sputum, show my bounty, and throw the $20 at Gameesh and say "keep the change". A bit later I am riding down the road sanitizing my hands (and neck and face, etc) smelling like fake pine, alert as a gazelle with a newborn, wishing I felt clean enough to open up the Slim Jim that started all this. I was going to do some more along these lines of the joy of flying during flu season. My seatmate always seems to have a green palor and a cough like the release of the demons of hell. But, it is getting late - maybe later. Remember, sanitize; and stay home (or at least out of my path) if you are sick.