I have developed yet another irrational compulsion. Aside from worrying, and also ripping off the ends of public toilet paper rolls before making use of said toilet paper, EVERY TIME, I now am forced into washing my hands. All the time. I keep Purell on my desk. I use it. All the time.
Right now? My hands are burning. Screaming. WASH ME! I'M DIRTY! FECAL MATTER! MA!
I've become irrationally afraid of the recent E. coli outbreak. And after reading and learning and throwing up in my mouth over the dilemma, I've decided, NO, I will NOT get E. coli, which is caused by FECAL MATTER. Matter that is fecal. Poop matter.
And as an aside, I hate the word fecal. It reminds me of fetal, which reminds me of unbirthed fetuses. Feti?. Or feral: dirty, mean cats. Or diarrhea. Gross. Gross all around. Whimper. Help.
So. I'm learning all of these dirty, disturbing facts about E. coli (ahem, poop bacteria), and I want to throw up all over. And I don't want to eat fresh produce because the people in Somalia (California? Asia? Down the street?) who picked the produce might not have washed their hands, and now I'm going to eat their "matter," and I swear to God, NO. That's so horrendous. I'm gagging. Bile is rising through my esophagus.
And so I have to wash my hands. Because, what if that doorknob is fecal-ed? What if my keyboard, my telephone, the AIR, is fecal-ish? What if the E. coli has transferred from spinach to, well, ANYTHING? What if EVERYTHING I EAT IS BACTERIALIZED WITH A STRANGER'S BOWEL MATTER?
See, if E. coli were some other sort of bacteria, like, say, I don't know, BIRD FLU, I wouldn't be scared. I wouldn't retch in disgust at the thought. I might even still bite my fingernails. Or put my hands within a 12-inch radius of my mouth, but NO. NO I WON'T DO IT. Because FECAL MATTER does not BELONG in my MOUTH. Ugh.
So now you know. There will be no mention of fecal-ness in my presence. No eating of spinach. Or anything home-grown and hand-picked by people with unwashed, fecal-y hands. My own hands have been tainted by the thought. Just the THOUGHT that somewhere, people have E. coli and crap bacteria under their fingernails and... seriously? Seriously.
I can't take it.