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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The last thing I needed to see

So some of you know I have a thing about germs.

I'm not as bad as Seinfeld. If I had a neighbor who'd prepared me a salad in his shower, I'd spit it out too. Same goes for a toothbrush I'd dropped in the toilet. Fans of the show will get those examples.

And I do have a dog, whom I'm required to clean up after on walks. And I do tons of yard work. So I can handle dirty things.

Germs though? Don't get me started. If you feel the need to laugh at me, take a moment and read this old post.

Anyway, I opened up my work email account and saw this in the subject line of a new message: "Shoes are full of feces..."

I did not need to see that. Sure, it's common sense that we pick up things from the sidewalk, but I don't want to know what. It's better if I don't know. My germ semi-phobia is definitely at least that sensitive.

Your first instinct may be to say the message was spam. But we have the kinds of email filters here that probably rival those in government offices. So almost all my messages, even those with weird subjects, are legitimate. This was no instance like the widow of the late Gen. Motumbo offering me access to his fortune in exchange for my checking account number and a small fee.

The email went on to say that a new study by the University of Arizona and Rockport Company found that 96% of shoes have coliform and E. coli bacteria on them. If you'd like to see a scientist's version of poop humor, check out the study's two minute video, which follows a pair of feet/Rockports around New York City for a day.

I get that this was a clever way for Rockport to market their shoes, but unless Rockports come with built in hovercraft, then they're no safer than any other shoes.

So I'll be heading home early today to gather all my shoes in the backyard and have a bonfire. In fact, I may burn my feet too. And at a minimum, I'm calling a man of the cloth to come over and exorcise the floors.

Shoes are nasty.

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  • Your mother let you wear your shoes in the house? My shoes never saw carpet at home until i was 27. I still take off my shoes as I come home. They stay in the garage. Good lord, man, what were you thinking?

    By Anonymous og, at 12:14 PM  

  • Og, my mom always made me take my shoes off at the door too. But as with other bad habits I developed after I "grew up" and moved out, when I got my own apartment in college I started wearing my shoes inside. After certain long evenings, in fact, I'm sure I stumbled into bed with my shoes on too. The thought makes me shudder.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:21 PM  

  • One of my mothers-in-law (hub has birth mom and adopted mom) is Korean. I don't know if it's done in the majority of asian homes, but in theirs we take our shoes off at the front door. It is not an option. You take them off. I thought it was pretty cool and seemed much cleaner. So when we got new carpets I started making everyone living here take off their shoes. A few friends and a few family mems would comply too but there are those who simply will not. I cannot tell my 70 some year old in-laws (the other ones) to take off their shoes having never done it anywhere their whole lives. They simply wouldn't come over. LOL
    And then there are those who need to be in their shoes for support, etc.
    For awhile, my BIL complied but then on his own, just decided to wear the shoes inside waiting for me to challenge him. I sorta get why he doesn't care to take them off anymore as he's seen the dirt that our dogs drag in the house and figures that he doesn't want to get any of that on his socks.
    So it's a big dilemma really. We are all used to doing it and it's habit now, but with only some others willing to and the issue with the pets, we are still getting dirt/? on our socks and therefore closer to our bodies, right? I'm all freaked out now. Thanks. LOL

    By Blogger CrystalChick, at 1:26 PM  

  • Okay - I am officially grossed out. I guess it is time to start requiring the "no shoes" in house law.

    By Anonymous Karmyn R, at 1:43 PM  

  • James, then you're not gonna wanna read this article about ladies' purses.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 5:10 PM  

  • Your stumps will end up laced with feces as well unless you plan to hover around like R2D2. Good luck burning! Maybe you can add some ganja to your bonfire and have a good time. Buy some cupcakes for the munchies later but make sure you wash your hands/stumps.

    By Blogger C, at 10:49 PM  

  • James, as you said, that's why your Mom made you take your shoes off when you came in.

    It's also why she mopped & vacuumed the floors.

    & there is the good ol' doormat. Some of them are particularly good at stopping dirt entering the home, not sure about bacteria though.

    So now you have to remember to wash the doormat thoroughtly, as well as your hands!

    & Sarc - that's why most ladies cloakrooms have hooks on the stall doors. You hang your bag on the hook. Though I suppose it's not much help if some other woman dumps hers on the stall floor, then on the surface near the sink or dryer.

    As someone told me, you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die. Otherwise you don't get no immunity.

    So now we have to sterilise our bags too!

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 8:53 AM  

  • Do a google search on purses and germs. Most women put their purses on the ground wherever they are...think about it...

    By Blogger WNG, at 1:58 PM  

  • Ewwww. No wonder my germophobe friend won't let me put my shoes on her couch or my purse on her countertop.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 6:55 PM  

  • And I think about raising kids and those babies crawling around on the floor.

    Well, I guess it built up their immune system.

    (really, we should have slippers at the door, shouldn't we!)

    By Blogger Pamela, at 2:57 AM  

  • Hey, remember the pic of a barefoot pop star coming out of the public restrooms??

    By Blogger Claudia, at 12:04 PM  

  • I just can't be that clean. I have tile floors and everything just sits on top of them. You would think they would be easy to clean but there is no getting them clean that I can see. Of course with a dog who tracks dirt and leaves in, I don't really have a chance. I think we just have t live with a certain amount of dirt. I am hardly ever sick so I don't think it has hurt me as much as spending two hours a day cleaning floors would.

    By Blogger seventh sister, at 4:29 PM  

  • I wear Rockports for work, They are the best shoe I ever have bought and worn (correct word there?) to work. I have tried numerous other types of shoe, but I still hold onto my Rockports :)
    So 421000 units of bcteria on a shoe bottom..well, my shoes probably have double that from work. I do, however, de-bug my shoes when I finish work, and when Iget home, I take them off outside :)

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 11:12 PM  

  • Thank God for white blood cells and immunity systems. I wonder why medical doctors don't worry more?

    By Blogger The CEO, at 1:00 AM  

  • people have lived for thousands and thousands of years with crap on their shoes, and no-one ever died from it. 400K units is nothing in terms of bacteria. every one of us has billions more, on the inside and outside of our bodies. get over it. just take normal everyday precautions. wash your hands before eating, take your shoes off, wipe down food prep know the's basic hygiene.
    the biggest problem is the excessive use of antibacterial soaps and sprays because all you end up doing is breeding superbugs that have become resistant to common antibacterial agents.

    By Anonymous insomniac, at 1:26 AM  

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