I’m a private guy. I don’t like being vulnerable in public, and I don’t like doing things that I would normally be doing in private, in a public area. I think that just opens you up to a whole lot of public attention and public scrutiny. Why do I think this? Because this is what I do in public places. Especially in one of the public places that I avoid the most, where people are forced to do things they should only do in private: THE PUBLIC TOILET!
There are different kinds of public toilets. I have been to some amazing public toilets. The kind with automatic flushing, television screens in the floor, 4 ply tissue and door men who ask upon your departure “Have you enjoyed your time here?”. I have also been to disgustingly horrid public toilets. The kind where people steal all the toilet paper 2.67 seconds after it has been put in. Where you suddenly lose that dying urge you had a few minutes ago because all sensory faculties have moved from the lower abdominal region to the throat inciting you to throw up (you see a lot of this growing up in a small Eastern Cape town).
One of the interesting things about looking at public toilets is watching human behaviour. My new standard for deciding if I want to be friends with someone is judging how they behave in a public toilet. People forget that there are mirrors all around, and even though you are not looking at them, you are looking at them. And the most disgusting, unforgivable of deadly sins that men often commit in a public toilet is NOT WASHING THEIR FREAKIN’ HANDS!
I mean, how does someone walk in, perform one of the most disgusting of human activities and then walk out to contaminate the world with their [insert appropriate word here]. It makes me wonder every time I shake someone’s hand. Questions like “What kind of diet does this guy have”, “Does he take enough roughage in his diet” and “Is he a disgusting non-hand-washing freak” pop into mind.
But so often there are times in meeting people where I contaminate their worlds because I haven’t washed my hands. So many times I meet someone for the first time, and I box them because of my prejudices which I haven’t washed clean. So many times, I treat someone badly because of a bad experience that I have gone through that day, that weak, or when I was 5 years old and someone stole my only Lunch Bar (I’m still going to get you back for that). So many times, I laugh at people and make them feel small because of some insecurity I have. So many times that disease causing germs are passed on to someone else, just because I have neglected to wash my own hands.
Do you also need to wash your hands?