Sunday, December 17, 2006

In the lobby of the local farmer's market, a couple were having a loud argument. The mother has chastised her small boy for holding onto the handrail of the escalator and her husband is astonished and angry about this.

"But there are germs on the handrail!" she protests.

"And how is he going to open the door to get out?" he demands.

I thought of this conversation for a little while as I walked home. Why such a public performance in front of such an indifferent audience? Why doesn't this woman know that regular hand washing is all that's needed to save her from germs? Does the fear of invisible and possible dangers always trump the obvious and the mundane risks around us? How would she cope if we airlifted her to the slums of Calcutta?

This is just one of the little stories that have been passing through my mind but not onto paper and not into little patterns on my computer screen. I don't really know why I stopped committing them to an external memory.

I am going to get over this fear of germs and embrace the mundane in front of my indifferent audience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just in the last few weeks, grocery stores have begun placing containers of sanitary wipes to allow people to wipe down their shopping carts. That is really, really, freakin' insane. I think it is entirely mom-driven. Men don't care. That's why we don't wash our hands in the bathroom unless there's someone else there.