Friday, September 28, 2007

Unnecessary instructions

I believe I've made my views known before regarding people with OCD-like tendencies about cleanliness. The short version is: they're freaks. The slightly longer version is you can be arguably correct about a topic (e.g. many surfaces are covered in germs) and still be a weirdo freak about it.

I bring this up because someone at work has seen fit to put up a sign in the toilets about washing your hands. To call the instructions "a little elaborate" is on par with calling the ocean "a little bit wet". I could understand having detailed hand-washing instructions at a "special needs" school but do adults really need six illustrations to show them how to do it?

I think I know who put the sign there. I suspect it's the guy who not only obsessively washes his hands (I usually see him doing it about eight times a day) but who actually wears gloves all day so his skin doesn't touch any surfaces. Besides having six illustrations showing you how to complete such onerous tasks as put water on your hands, the sign also has these suggestions of when to wash your hands:

Before eating
I know this one gets mentioned pretty widely but I honestly never do this unless my hands are actually dirty. And by dirty I mean "have dirt on them" rather than being covered in untold legions of invisible microbes. I wash my hands before preparing food but not before eating it.

After going to the toilet. Some people wash their hands both before and after.
Yes. Those people are called freaks.

After touching dirt or any other substance.
What the fuck does this even mean? Isn't everything a "substance"? When I see Mr OCD washing his hands continually it leads me to believe he takes this quite literally.

After coming into contact with any surface that might have germs.
Ha! That's open slather for the OCD crew! EVERYTHING has germs on it, just ask them. And yes, you could test swabs from pretty much any non-sterile environment and they would reveal germs. But so fucking what? Humanity has survived for millennia without bathing everything in antiseptic. Besides which, there are studies suggesting that this explosion of anti-bacterial cleansing is doing nothing more than breeding super bugs.

I'm tempted to let things run their course and eventually have the anti-germ nazis killed by their own obsessions. But the bastards are taking us with them. I say, purely in the name of self-preservation, we kill all the clean freaks.

It's us or them.

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