Eric Murray: Five-star dining, 0-star hand washing |

Eric Murray: Five-star dining, 0-star hand washing

I had something happen on a date that was funnier than a Saturday Night Live skit. Here’s the scene:

I had reservations for an upscale restaurant in Denver about 5 years ago. The tables were candle lit, white linens, a sultry singer in a shinny dress near a piano, an attentive server ” it was all perfect. My date and I, just like a dozen or so other people on dates, were dressed accordingly for such an evening. After enjoying the first course I excused myself to wash up.

When I got into the bathroom there was a gentleman in the stall doing his business.

When his job was complete, he walked behind me and directly out the bathroom door.

So I’m standing there thinking, “I didn’t hear a faucet turn on.” And then it hit me, “That dude didn’t wash his hands.” So then I’m thinking back to a hidden camera study done years ago that discovered men wash their hands less often than women and the men at the Chicago airport in particular rated the lowest in hand sanitation.

“No wonder women think we men are pigs,” I almost said out loud.

So I finished up and turned on the faucet following standard procedures of hand washing. (More on these procedures later). I used a towel to grab the handle on the door and gave it a toss into the wicker laundry basket just before the door closed.

I was trying to forget about what I’d witnessed moments earlier when I walked by a table and saw that same dude from the bathroom caressing his date’s face as he leaned in to her for a mooshy kiss. He really turned my stomach when he teasingly put his thumb on her lower lip trying to encourage another kiss or enhance the first.

Either way, “Eeeewww!”

I re-joined my date with a disgusted look on my face. “What’s wrong?” she asked, with the flickering candle light dancing across her face. It was a first date situation, so I didn’t want to share the details and ruin a perfectly romantic evening.

“It’s nothing,” I said, and we continued dining.

Throughout the evening, out of morbid curiosity, I kept looking over at the table with the dude and his now, no doubt infected, date. He seemed to come up with the most creative ways to touch this woman.

He was certainly trying to be romantic as he fed her Tiramisu on his fork and wiped a crumb off her cheek with his finger and then licked it.

She was certainly unaware of the covert biohazard assault she was under. I secretly wished I could warn her about the likely gross spread of bacteria smeared all over her face by her date.

Finally, after noticing my not so subtle grimaces and after a few glasses of wine, my date finally asked, “What’s the deal with you always checking out that couple over there the entire evening? Do you know them?”

And then I just let it all out and told her the entire story. After she got over being so grossed out she laughed and we joked the rest of the evening about how we could possibly warn the woman about her unsanitary date.

A couple of more jokes about how the woman should have worn a biohazard suit instead of an evening dress and we finally moved on to happier discussions and had a great evening.

I’ve always been sensitive to personal sanitation and I believe every single person should be also. This is probably because my mom, a 22-year veteran with the Colorado Department of Health, always brought home information about proper sanitation procedures including hand washing while I was growing up.

You do realize that 10 years ago those signs so common in bathrooms now were not so common:

“All employees must wash hands before returning to work”.

Here is the proper procedure for washing hands. Please spread the word, not the germ. (That slogan’s so good it might be copyrighted. I didn’t check.)

1. Wet hands in warm water to melt the soap;

2. Rub in the soap between fingers and up past the wrists for 10-20 seconds;

3. Rinse thoroughly;

4. Dry hands with towel;

5. Use towel to turn off faucet;

6. Use towel to open door;

7. Toss the towel into trash.

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