“Whoa, there, Mister Clean. Where do ya think you’re going with that germ load?” asked Hal.
Sal, his hand just inches from the bathroom door of Johnny Balboa’s Famous Italian Pizzaria and Popcorn Parlor, Sal’s favorite restaurant. Sal turned with a frown and said, “Back to my chili con carne pizza, of course. Why?”
“Not with those hands, little bro,” answered Hal.
Sal looked at his hands, both palms turned up, flipped them over, and said, “They’re the only hands I got, Hal.”
Hal sort of cringed, then smirked as he replied, “No, doof. I mean not with those unwashed hands. You just went to the bathroom. Ya gotta wash. See? Even that sign there by your head says you should.” Hal pointed to Sal’s left at the “All Employees Must Wash Their Hands Before Returning to Work” sign on the restroom wall.
Sal turned his head ever so slightly, quickly read the sign, and offered the next expected words: “But I don’t work here.”
Hal continued to dry his hands under the warm air hand dryer as he spoke. “How did I know you were gonna say that? Of course you don’t. But, the same idea is just as important for you as it is for the worker bees around here. Wash up after you go. Laws knows, I don’t want to be getting any of your germs. You always gotta wash after whizzin’.”
Sal walked over and placed his hands under the automatic soap dispenser, then under the automatic faucet. The warm water washed over his hands as he rubbed up a decent lather. He looked at Hal and said, “Better?”
“Will be in a minute,” Hal responded.
“What? What’s wrong now? I know you’re right. Moms always tells me I should wash up after I go. I just forgot ’cause I was so pizza-pumped. But, I’m washing, arent I?” Sal looked confused.
Hal pointed over to Sal’s right and said, “Takes a washin’ and a dryin’. That’s what moms always says.”
Looking to his right at the warm air hand dryer, Sal said, “Geez, washing gets the germs off, right? Who cares if they’re dry? Those stupid air dryers take too long. There’s pizza and popcorn out there with my name on them.”
Hal stood in the doorway barring Sal’s exit. “Wrong-o, boy-o. Those stupid air dryers, as you call them, take all of about 20 stupid seconds. I’m sure your belly can wait less than half a minute. That’s like no time. And, in that 20 seconds or so, the drying that you give your hands will improve the germ control of the washing you just did by about a thousand times. Literally.”
“Huh?” pondered Sal. “How does drying get rid of germs?”
“Dunno,” replied Hal, “but I do know it does. Some science guys somewhere showed that wet or even damp hands after a good handwashing carried about 1,000 times more germs onto the next stuff you touch than good-n-dry hands do. And, like I said, me and nobodies else nowheres want any of your goofball germs. So, dry’em…dry ‘em good.”
“I’m dryin’, I’m dryin’,” Sal defended. “Boy, a thousand times. That’s a lot less germs to spread. I hope everybody else knows to dry their hands after washing.”
“Me, too, Sal. Me, too,” said Hal as they walked out to join the rest of the family around a Balboa’s Biggest Bestest Jumbo Chili Con Carne Pizza with multicolored, multi-flavored popcorn sides.
Posted – April 24, 2012