Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life or anything else that she finds amusing.
seen weekly in the Daily News of Kingsport. She has written
for Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||The Germ Freak....
The Germ Freak
Recently, while waiting
in a doctor's waiting room, I was forced by boredom to flip through one of those
heath magazines written specifically for doctor's waiting rooms. It somewhat
reminded me of a high school health education class, with a few horrifying
The magazine was about germs and how we are subjected to viruses and other
diseases in everyday life. First of all, I found out that my desk at work is a
disease-laden den of filth. The telephone is the filthiest object in my office,
followed by my desktop and then my computer keyboard. According to the magazine,
I need to clean everything twice with a disinfecting wipe to rid it of the
It went on to tell how public restrooms are the epitome of the disease-harboring
perils in life. Fortunately, there is practical advice on how to avoid
subjecting myself to the germs waiting there to infect me, advice such as,
"Use the first stall as it tends to be bypassed and used less,"
therefore, it has fewer germs hanging around waiting for hapless victims.
Secondly, studies by bathroom spies found that most people do not wash their
hands. Of those that do, most do not use soap or do not wash long enough to rid
their hands of germs picked up from door locks, faucets, and door knobs. I must
be sure to wash, wash, wash and not to touch anything on the way out except with
a paper towel or the bathroom spies will report me.
I should not shake hands with anyone or touch handrails on escalators or stairs.
I should not press elevator buttons expect with my elbow. Few people will be
impressed by my politeness when I refuse to shake hands, so it is necessary to
make up some sort of lie, such as, "I have a cold and I'm trying to avoid
spreading germs." If I fall down the escalator and break a leg trying to
avoid touching the handrail, remember the positive side, at least I won't have
Another prime place to catch disease germs is from grocery store shopping carts.
Not only do many unwashed hands touch the handles of these carts, people put
their children in them, children who wipe snotty noses ands and then touch the
same handle that is used to push the cart. I am not exactly certain how to push
a cart without touching the handle or how select produce without touching it
with the same hands I use to push the cart, but this is the ideal.
Even the air is polluted with germs. People who sneeze without covering their
nose spray germs into the air to be breathed in by other people who then catch
their cold. In fact, anyone within three feet of a person with a virus will most
likely be breathing their germs, especially in spaces with poor ventilation or
where people are in close contact. I am trying to hold my breath as much as
possible, but am starting to feel like a germ freak.
I wonder exactly how we are supposed to protect ourselves from all these germs
penetrating every aspect of life? My entire world is an infectious disease
waiting to create an illness. It is enough to make a person into a germ-a-phobic
who spends half the day in the bathroom washing hands.
I've been paranoid about germs every since I saw that magazine. But, my throat
still felt a little scratchy this morning and I am afraid that I might sneeze
before I have time to grab a tissue. How can that be when I've been opening
doors with my elbow and wiping everything in site with disinfecting wipes?
I really don't know how I could possibly have caught a virus -- unless the
person who read the doctor's office magazine before me sneezed on it or didn't
wash their hands.
Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
Now in print!