This is mostly just a rather long, rambling commentary on the always amusing (to me anyway) human nature of inconsistency. In this instance, it’s about being a germaphobic at a picnic...
I head up a volunteer non-profit group that puts on a huge cookout/picnic for several hundred people every July Fourth. One person takes the money & the food handlers don’t actually handle the food. None of us wears gloves. There is a pump bottle of sanitary cleanser at the head of the line for folks to use after paying & before they pick up their plates to head down the food line, & another bottle at the very end of the line. All the buns, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickles, etc. are pre-sliced and set out in huge foil trays along w/ tongs dedicated to that tray. What we do is keep the trays rotated as they get low & the people help themselves to whatever/however they want their burgers or dogs fixed. At the end of the line are the huge bowls of a variety of chips – no tongs.
So here’s what 375 of 400 people will do….
Pay their money from wallets or pockets and put away change, ignore the sanitary pump, pick up their plate and head down the line using the tongs that everyone else has used before them. Then they get to the chips & squeal that they don’t want to use their hands to get the chips – or can’t imagine getting chips from the same bowl that everyone else has used. So tongs are provided and the chips all get crushed, and there are complaints of why are all the chips crushed??
We can’t afford to get individual bags of chips & keep our price point where it needs to be. We don’t make money off of this and we just barely break even as it is.
So…. It’s ok to handle dollar bills and change…. Ok to use tongs & relish spoons & touch the condiment pumps that everyone else has… But it’s not ok to reach into a bowl of chips. Not one person in the several years I’ve headed this project, has ever used the cleanser at the end of the line before heading back to their seat and eating their meal w/ their hands. Not one!
I'll admit that I am very phobic about food and rarely participate in pot luck type functions unless I know who brought what. I never eat anything at this picnic because it all just icks me out. I just love that we all have our standards - whether they are consistent - or not.
Thank you for letting me ramble.
"I can read and write if that's what you mean. I'm not thick or anything just don't ask me where the commas go."
Incendiary by Chris Cleave