Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rumors of My Filthiness Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

After giving a blood sample in the hospital lab on Thursday, I stopped by the gift shop on the way out to buy Hick some collectible chickens. My mom had asked to ride along with me, to get out of the house for a while. We passed the chickens around, debating on the markings (her) and the expressions painted on their faces (me). When you're buying chickens, you have to select the ones that are just right. I'm glad it was early in the morning, so people didn't see us standing in the display window, fingering chickens.

I decided on three proper chickens, and mom carried two of them to the counter for me. The cashier was one of three older ladies who volunteer there. She was a prim woman in a blue smock, very personable, the kind who has her hair done once a week at her beauty parlor. She commented on how cute the chickens were, and carefully preserved them in bubble wrap for the ride home. I paid her and handed Mom the bag. Because she likes to be useful, and baby me. I had a big red swatch of that red stretchy tape holding the gauze over my venous puncture site. So she thought me fragile, I suppose.

While I was putting the change back in my purse, I grabbed my mini bottle of Germ-X. Green, apple-scented Germ-X. "Before I go, I'm going to wash my hands. It's easier here than when I'm driving." The cashier nodded. As we walked through the self-opening door, out the front entrance of the hospital, I commented to Mom, "I hope she didn't think I was washing off her germs. It's just that I touched the chair arms in the lab, and sick people go in there, you know."

I'm not a germaphobe. But in the winter, after a visit to the hospital, or in my classroom, after touching the same stuff 120 students touch, I like a good cleanse a couple of times a day. But even I draw the line at being overly antiseptic. Take Bleachragapalooza, for instance.

The person who cleans my room loooooves her some bleach rag. She's very good at her job. Very efficient. At least once a week, everything gets a once-over with the bleach rag. I was fine with that. Until Tuesday. I arrived to find that the top of my Christmas gift of a faux-leather, light-blue, flip-top, notepad holder had been bleach-ragged. That's all well and good if the top lid is bereft of adornment. I'm sure a vinyl surface can be bleach-ragged without drawing my attention. But I had two mini post-it notes on there. Telling me which files I needed to gather information on Study Island. That place is so hard to navigate, I almost need Bear Grylls watching over me.

Do you know what happens to a mini post-it note written in pencil after a wild evening of Bleachragapalooza? He rolls up on himself, is what, and loses his memory. Anything written on him disappears. So there were two yellow curls of what could have, if they were dark brown, passed for chocolate curls on a baby-blue mini vinyl-frosting cake.

Am I so dirty that I need my post-its bleach-ragged? I know my laptop receives regular bleach-ragging. It is pristine. I'm not complaining. I only hope it's because that's part of the routine in all classrooms. Not because I am the Elaine Benes of the building, who might drag a keyboard across her butt to make a point.

Let the record show that I was once hired for a job in a junk store because I looked clean. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, baby!


Stephen Hayes said...

And here I would have thought it a liability to look clean in a junk shop.

Linda O'Connell said...

Do you all have a viral strain at your school? I worship my germ X.

Sioux said...

Count your blessings that you have peeps...peeps that actually clean, rather than watch TV several hours every evening and then push a dust mop around (a little).

Val said...

You would think. FYI, customers sometimes took a dump in that junk shop, right between the wallpaper bins. I didn't have to be too awfully clean to be considered "clean", I suppose.

Something wicked is going around. The spouting from both ends kind. Today, one kid and two teachers hacked all over me. I'm folding down the covers of my deathbed, just in case.

I am very grateful, having just come off 12 years of haphazard dust-mopping. As you can see, adjusting to change is hard for me.