Monday, April 28, 2008


I saw the film "Atonement" yesterday. Before the film even began, the theater reeked from a combination of feet, farts, and garlic. I always carry a small bottle of my favorite perfume, Clinique Elixir, so that in situations like that I can spray some onto my wrist and take quick hits when I get nauseous. I never put my head back on a high theater seat. It's a good way to catch pediculosis. I drape my coat over the back of the seat and rest my head on that. The guy in front of me in the theater had a raging case of dandruff and I felt bad for the person who would follow him into that seat.

I also have taken to going to the movies with a hefty bag. I am not a bag lady and I do not sit there wrapped in it while I mumble comments to the characters in the film. I use it to cover the seat. I find it gross to sit in an upolstered theater seat that somebody sat in (for over 2 hours) just 20 minutes earlier. I notice on buses when people get up the seat is sometimes moist from toches perspiration, but on a metal seat the moisture evaporates... maybe leaving a toxic residue, but what can you do? In an upolstered seat, all that toches perspiration gets absorbed into the seat. I do not want to sit in that hot mess, so the hefty bag serves as an extra measure of protection. Then when the film ends, you gingerly pick it up and throw it away.

The film was long and I had to leave to use the bathroom. How come women who stand to pee do not lift the seat? They spray all over it and then they do not follow the rule: "please be neat, wipe the seat." It is uber-gross if you are a sitter and sit down on a wet seat.

I was riding in a cab yesterday and an inch from my left shoulder, on the outside of the taxi window, was a load of fresh bird shit.

Oh, and never send food back in a restaurant. I heard they spit in it. I once saw a chef in a restaurant blow his nose on his shirt collar and then proceed to make a salad. Once I ordered lean corned beef on rye in a diner with an open kitchen. The chef coughed into his hand and then proceeded to let the the beef he was slicing drop into that same hand.

Have you ever strolled the city sidewalks and stepped in gum, spit, or dog shit? I have. I have thrown away many brand new pairs of shoes due to that disgusting stuff. Once, I was walking on West 45th Street and I was wearing sandals. I was talking and laughing and stepped in a fresh pile of horse manure. It happened when I was still teaching and I ran back to the school and the custodian hosed off my foot in the school playground. I threw the sandals away (changed into a spare set of mocassins) and a teacher took the sandals out of the trash and kept them and wore them the next day! Can you believe her habits?

When I was an active teacher, a kid spit on the staircase bannister, and I hold onto that railing as I walk down the stairs. I caught a handful of fresh saliva on my way down to the gym.

Once on the bus I had just come from the hair salon and a person sitting directly behind me sneezed right onto the back of my head. I touched the back of my hair and it was wet with sneeze residue.

How come in apartment houses residents use the laundry carts to take down their dirty laundry? I don't want to remove my clean laundry from the dryer and use one of those contaminated carts. I saw a guy washing his sneakers in one of those machines! And his dirty underwear, spread out on the table, could have first used a nice cold water hand soak.

Now we have to worry about bedbugs when we travel! This is a new hazard! Good grief!

My habits are impeccable, but I see many people do not follow common rules of sanitary behavior. It is very disconcerting and gives me pause for thought on this Monday night.

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