Germ phobic people are on the rise. Well, not on the rise exactly because most of them cower in their homes fastidiously applying and reapplying hand sanitizer. Maybe it would be more appropriate to say that germ phobic people are proliferating throughout society. Take the case of the model who “invented” a strip of nylon she could loop over the hand rails of subway cars so she wouldn’t have to touch them barehanded. Gloves anyone? No mention was made of what to do with the icky germ-laden nylon strap after a quick trip downtown for a fat-free latte and diet pills. If that model had true foresight she would have bundled her revolutionary nylon strap with the Sanitizing Steamer from Sharper Image.
I cannot postulate on the slow creeping paranoia that subverts an otherwise normal person, leaving behind a quivering mass who won’t even partake in a communal salsa bowl at a Mexican restaurant. I got to watch one person descend into a bleachy morass of hand wipes, aerosol sanitizers and increasing wariness of a perceived threat he could not see. I will call this person “Joe.” It all started innocently enough with Joe coming up to my third floor apartment, complaining of “stuff” on the handrail.
“Dude – what is that STUFF?” Joe would say as he made a beeline for the bathroom to wash his hands. No one else ever saw or felt the mysterious compound. Joe’s growing uneasiness with germs and other unseen nasties remained just under the surface for the most part until one fateful night. His drop over the precipice came after band practice at a local Denny’s. We were seated at a booth awaiting our food when Joe found an old fork between the cushions. The fork was encrusted with a green black substance and a web of mold flourished between the tines. It was thoroughly nasty. Joe brandished the fork menacingly at us – thrusting and parrying as we laughed and dodged not wanting to come in contact with the thriving gunky ecosystem. In short order our food arrived and we settled down to eat.
Roughly halfway through the meal, as Joe was busily shoveling food in his mouth, I noticed something. The blood drained from my face and my expression gave my dinner companions pause. With one shaking hand I pointed to the little bundle of silverware next to Joe’s plate, still neatly wrapped in a white napkin. I am not too sure what happened next – I remember Joe looking in wide-eyed horror at the fork he had until one moment earlier been using to indiscriminately wolf down Denny’s finest. The fork was considerably less encrusted by this time.
We didn’t see Joe anymore after that but if I ever run into him again I will be sure and tell him about the Sanitizing Steamer. I am sure he would appreciate its 1000 watts of power that generates an economical and environmentally sound sanitizing steam for killing germs and cleaning away intractable mold, mildew, dirt, grease and grime.
Pick one up over at Sharper Image