The Filthiest Spot On Your Body

No, not there. Get your mind out of the gutter. When it comes to germs and viruses, the crook of your arm is now the devil’s elbow of infectious disease.

Everybody has been taught that sneezing and coughing into your hands isn’t cool. Even little children:


So now your hands are squeeky clean but your arm is a fetstering pool microbes. My advice: don’t touch anyone’s arm. Ever.

You may be saying, “Rob, why the heck would I touch someone’s arm?”

That’s a good point, but it’s what makes this arm thing so insidious. You take someone by the sleeve to show them the way. They sit down and lay their disgusting arms on your chair. People lean on the kitchen table. Changes the whole meaning of “rubbing elbows” doesn’t it?

Look do what you want, but until I start seeing people smearing Purell up and down their arms this is worth thinking about. Meanwhile get out the Clorox Wipes. And if you work at the dry cleaner, start wearing gloves.


Hey, everybody: see this mug? This is the mug that I drink coffee from every single morning, so I’d like to suggest that we refrain from putting these things in there:

-Cigarette butts and ashes
-Bacon grease
-Assorted garbage, such as gum or candy wrappers
-Used personal care products

And just because maybe I accidentally left this coffee mug in your room doesn’t mean you can deposit disgusting items in there. I will not mention what I found in there last week.

Also: if you are a guest in my house and require a receptacle to hold something overnight, like, ohhhh… let’s say a partial denture, I would be happy to provide you with an appropriate container. My coffee mug is not an appropriate container.

You are welcome to use this mug for enjoying a hot beverage, but not between the hours of 4am and Noon. If you do use it, please put it in the dishwasher rather than in the sink along with everything else you all leave for me to clean up.

Thank you,

The Proprieter

Keep Stalling

Men are blessed with the ability to relieve themselves almost anywhere: behind bushes, in bottles, between cars, seated in football stadiums, in the subway… you get the idea. But here’s a case where you’re trying to do your thing where you should be doing it and you’re in plain sight anyway.

The men’s room at my new office has an electric door opener for those with physical disabilities. Well, it seems that some men on my floor (like the lawyers down the hall) enjoy using the electric opener so they don’t have to touch the handle. Fine —but it just so happens that this leaves the urinal user exposed and in plain site for a very long time, like to the folks getting off the elevator. See for yourself:

That’s ten seconds of exposure.

Look, I understand not wanting to touch the door handle, but come on guys, can I get a little privacy here? If you’re a germaphobe or something just push the door open with your elbow —and when you’re done use a paper towel to pull the handle from the other side. That’s not unreasonable.

Save This Date

6:25am DST

You know you’re a nut when you jump out of bed the morning daylight saving time begins and immediately change every clock in the house. Guilty as charged. I can put up with all sorts of disorder, but not when it comes to time.

After changing my watch and two clock radios it was off to tackle time central: the kitchen. Our kitchen has five clocks: on the radio, coffee maker, stove, microwave, and an analog clock on the wall. Getting them all to read the same time requires a little work, but who could focus on cooking when surrounded by chaos?

Of all these clocks the most annoying is on the microwave, which requires you to enter the date when you set the time. If someone could explain why the  microwave needs to know the date I’d sure like to hear it. Are you going to program it to start during another year?  To make some popcorn in 2011?

Note to GE, builders of jet engines, MRI devices, and wind turbines: the microwave needs to know the date like my dogs need a unicycle. Now excuse me, I have clocks to change.


Ann was a little under the weather this week with a stomach bug. Always the caring and sensitive husband, when I got home from work I handed her the Clorox Clean-Up and asked her to wipe down the doorknobs, handles, and any other objects she may have touched. Did you get the remote? She waved a finger at me, and it wasn’t her index finger. Alrighty then.

Look, let’s get this straight: I’m not a germaphobe. If I were a germaphobe, would I allow the the dog eat pasta out of my mouth —and we’re not talking “Lady and The Tramp” style, we’re talking penne. Exactly. And if I were a germaphobe, would I consume perfectly good food that someone carelessly left in the kitchen garbage, or reach elbow deep into the sewer pipe in the basement? I rest my case. This isn’t about germs, this is a public health issue, and if you ask me that’s everyone’s responsibility.

You didn’t touch the refrigerator did you? She gave me that cute little wave again.

Over the Top

Proper toilet paper installation.

I’m not sure washing my hands thirty-six times a day makes me obsessive compulsive. Nor do I think there’s anything wrong with organizing the items on the supermarket conveyor belt as seen in the attached diagram that I bring shopping on a laminated card. But Ann says the toilet paper thing is weird. I can’t abide the TP hanging wall side down, because it doesn’t look right —and after all, do you really want your toilet paper touching the wall? This is no trouble at home, where the family has been trained in proper toilet paper deployment, but sometimes you’ll go into other people’s homes and find that they have carelessly displayed the paper in the underhand position. If you see this, do what I do: just go ahead and change it. If you don’t believe I’d do that, invite me over. And while there, I’d be happy to show you the correct way to load your dishwasher.