Friday, October 28, 2011

No Cooties Allowed!

I think I was just dissed by a 4-year-old. And I did not like it!

It all started this morning when my coworker brought his three sick children into the office today rather than miss work to stay home and care for them. Noble intentions, perhaps, but I’m not thrilled with the prospect of catching their cooties. I think he should’ve given me advance warning so I could’ve stopped at the drugstore on my way in to work and stocked up on plastic gloves, face masks and extra Purell to try to keep the germs a safe distance away from me.

That’s a losing proposition if I ever heard one since these kids plant themselves in the TV room outside my office and use my restroom and touch all sorts of things that I surely come in contact with on a regular daily basis.

I am certain those germs are sitting on some innocent surface eagerly waiting for me to touch it and then touch my face so they can infiltrate my sinuses. I’d try sitting immobile all day long with my arms bent and my hands up in the air like a surgeon who has just scrubbed for surgery, but that’s rather impractical and would make it nearly impossible to get my job done.

Thus, I made a concerted effort to avoid touching my eyes, nose and mouth. Interestingly, it’s when I’m not supposed to be touching my face to avoid catching others’ cooties, that’s precisely the time my eyes, nose and mouth itch inexplicably. Weird.

I think the cooties fool my nasal cavities into thinking that hosting a germ-party is a good idea. The germs make it sound like it’ll be a lot of fun. So they tell my nasal cavities to send a message to my brain that my nose needs a little scratch. When I do, and subsequently catch a cold, my nasal cavities suddenly realize the error of their ways.

It’s rather like a kid in high school whose parents go out of town so he decides to throw a small party for a few friends. His friends start texting other friends and suddenly the house is exploding with raucous teenagers and the kid host knows there’s no way his parents won’t find out about this mess. The kid starts begging his friends to get rid of the party crashers before the cops are called.

That’s the exact same thing that happens to my sinuses. They think inviting a few little germs over will make for an interesting get-together and then suddenly there are too many germs joining in on the fun and my sinuses know there is no way I’m not going to find out about this mess. Then they start begging me to get rid of the unwanted party crashers by pointing me toward the Puffs Plus.

You’d think after all these years my nasal cavities would learn their lesson, wouldn’t you?

My coworker’s children have a field day in our office since my boss has a bad habit of keeping a big tub of pretzels and assorted candy in a glass candy jar in the TV room. The kids gorge on the junk and, in my humble opinion, completely ruin their appetites for a healthy dinner. I really wouldn’t care since I’m not responsible for the feeding and watering of them, but the chomping and smacking sounds they make are a little distracting.

My coworker, whose office is at the top of the stairs off the TV room, sometimes realizes what is happening by the furtive rustling sounds made by little hands trying to open candy wrappers, so he’ll come downstairs to remove the contraband.

But sometimes he doesn’t realize what is happening – perhaps he is wearing childproof ear plugs or something – and so someone whose office may or may not be close to the TV room might anonymously send him an email suggesting that if he doesn’t remove the junk food, his kids will soon either be throwing up or bouncing off the walls. Neither scenario of which the anonymous email sender cares to witness.

So what does he do? He puts the pretzels and candy out of reach in my office. The only good thing about this action is that there ain’t no way I’d dare to put my hand in those cootie-infested containers.

So how was I dissed by a 4-year-old, you ask? (Hey, thanks for asking.)

Well, I had taken off my boots because they were pinching my toes and I was walking around in my stocking feet. I left my office for a few minutes and when I came back, the 4-year-old was standing in my office mentally measuring the distance from her little outstretched hand to the top of the shelf where the candy was.

This 4-year-old, by the way, is adorable. Long blonde ringlets and a cherubic face. But in the two years she’s been coming around, the kid has never once spoken to any of us in the office. We’re all starting to feel a little paranoid. Was it something we said?

At any rate, I walked in and with a big smile on my face I said, “Aha! I caught you!”

Naturally, she didn’t respond. But she gave me a very disdainful look. She pointedly looked at my stocking feet as though she could scarcely believe her eyes that a grown-up could be walking around without proper footwear. She crossed her little arms across her little chest. And then she silently marched out of my office in her very stylish pink tennis shoes.

Wow. That kid is gonna be one scary woman.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put my boots on – and go pop another Airborne with a Vitamin C chaser. Just a little insurance in case my sinuses are thinking about throwing another party. And it might be a good time to stock up on a new box of Puffs Plus.

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