Step away from the Clorox wipes. Put down that bar of soap. Throw away that hand sanitizer! Why are we all so obsessed with scrubbing every available surface until it gleams in disinfected splendor? Let some things just be gross. Go swim in a pond, let your kids play in the mud. Don’t lose your mind if someone picks their nose, or the gas station attendant didn’t soak their hands in foaming turpentine before they handled your disgusting $20 bill.
I get it; if you’re hands are filthy, wash them. If you’ve been elbow deep in a Thanksgiving turkey, scrub up. Diaper mishap? You better go dip those mitts in boiling water! This business of us carrying around 20 bottles of goopy, scented rubbing alcohol is a bit much, bordering on ridiculous. You’re not keeping yourself healthy. Those germ-free babies, sparkling in the sunlight like Stephanie Meyer’s blood suckers, will be the first ones to catch the bird flu. Despite what you may think, you are not killing 99.9 percent of all bacteria, Lysol lover. You’re helping to create the super-bacteria that will trigger the zombie apocalypse, about which the CDC has “pretended” to warn us for years. We’re not the walking dead, we’re walking petri dishes. Traipsing around smelling of cucumber melon, or any one of 1,000 non-discontinued Bath-N-Body-N-Beyond scents, feeding our tiny bacterium hitchhikers copious amounts of denatured alcohol and watching them blossom into the raging pandemic we know is not far away.
Stop warning every person you know that’s about to head off to some beach destination to watch out for flesh eating viruses! The ocean is gross; that’s our fault, filthy humans. Throw caution, and your epidermis, to the wind and dive in! As a child, my family took vacations to the beach every year. It was disgusting. Medical waste, vials of urine, general trash; you know what we did? Ran screaming from the germs! Of course not, because I don’t come from a proud people. Grandma didn’t even refrigerate Miracle Whip. Nerves of steel, I tell you. We didn’t hide from the germs. We didn’t douse ourselves in Comet. We dove headfirst into that filthy, tepid, brown water and sang about how we wanted to be part of that world! Poor unfortunate souls. We didn’t contract some flesh-eating virus, or if we did, we thought it was just the flesh peeling away after our 2nd degree burns because we weren’t scared of the sun either. We’d shout, “No Fear!” through mouthfuls of the Gulf of Mexico. Okay, maybe we didn’t shout it but we dang sure lived it.
Grandma was a great cook. Burnt cheese on toast, pink stuff, the greasiest burgers you’ve ever seen slathered with that sweetly hideous, room temperature Miracle Whip. She had this habit, when mixing some creamy concoction, or another, of running her thumb and index finger up the spoon or around the rim of the bowl and licking it off. That’s now a second degree felony. Thanks facebook! If that dummy hadn’t broadcast herself licking that tub of creamy, Southern deliciousness you’d have all eaten it and never shed one tear. Maybe one, that single, glistening, slowly-rolling tear of joy that Blue Bell induces. Let’s be realistic; I’d still eat it. Again, I say, no fear! It was Tin Roof! Why would I allow anybody to throw that away? I share ice cream cones with my cats, what do I care about some dummy from Lufkin? She can’t lick half of what my cats do!
Stop living in fear. Fear of filth. Fear of germs. Fear that some other human person may have looked sideways at your chicken nuggets. It’s not going to kill you, except when it does. It’ll make you stronger, except when it doesn’t! Can you really call it living if you’re in a bubble because the creepy crawlies are on the hunt for your flesh?
Don’t bother with the Perfectly Pear scented ethanol...you’ve already got the virus. We all do. We created it!
Amber Lollar is a marketing executive for The Henderson News. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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