I Wash My Hands

-sign in the bathroom at Biggs Supermarket in Hyde Park

Ladies, let me explain something to you about men: we don't like washing our hands after using the restroom. Right now there are some men reading, calling me a liar. I declare that you, my friend, are participating in the cover up. It's not that we're against cleanliness, but for quickness. Men enjoy the opportunity to get in and out of the bathroom in record time that is afforded to us as a result of our hardware. We'd rather not wash our hands, but we do anyway because we don't want to be that icky guy who doesn't wash. But the startling truth is THERE ARE SOME MEN WHO STILL FORSAKE THE HAND WASHING PRACTICE ALL TOGETHER. Sick. There's the episode of Seinfeld with Poppy, the restaurant owner, who didn't wash his hands after using the restroom; he's making Jerry's meal and he starts to get sick. He refuses to eat his meal, but is unable to say why. All men have witnessed a Poppy who made the noticable b-line from urinal to bathroom door. You want to say something, but there's almost like this unwritten code of non-confrontation in this issue. Perhaps, one day, I'll be bold enough to break the code of silence.

Oh, and not to cross the lines of TMI but I've even once witnessed the "fake-out hand wash," where a man turns on the faucet to pretend he is washing his hands but doesn't. I still haven't figured that one out. Why do almost all the work involved in washing your hands and stop short [second Seinfeld reference in the same post, but I guess it's apropos because this post is all about nothing]? All this info is rather disturbing, but it's rather true.

Especially now that I work in the food industry, I'm extra paranoid about the hand washing. I've never washed my hands so much in my life; I've scrubbed layers of skin from my hands in search of a cleaner manos. I think my hands are becoming more and more weathered as a result. Give me a few years and I'll be forced to become Edward Scissorhands.

About those signs in the bathrooms, I wonder if there are similar signs posted in women's restrooms. I'm sure there are, but it puzzles me. To my understanding, all women already wash their hands after using the restroom. And with the advent of this hand sanitizer crap, females are even more clean. So isn't this just a waste of signage, like labeling light switches? They'd be better served to double up signs in the men's bathroom.

But it was that sign at Biggs that really made me take notice. We've all seen an "employees must wash hands" sign, but have you ever seen one with a mandatory time limit? And 20 seconds? I'm not sure that stipulation helps any. Can you imagine a guy narking out another guy for stopping off at nineteen seconds? That would force a guy to go all "speck of sawdust vs. plank in the eye" on someone. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed a guy wash his hands for twenty seconds or more, outside of someone working with motor oil or gasoline. Twenty seconds? Count it out and see how it feels. Long time, eh? That's slaughterhouse time. Wash hands? Yes. Twenty second? Not to sure.

So just to reiterate: I wash my hands. And I'm rather proud of it. Men of the world, unite. Out those who flush and go.

But feel free to keep it under twenty seconds.