No, I don’t mean extorting money for  the mob.  I mean the germs on your hands.  Oh yeah, they’re dirty all right.

The other day I studied how women washed their hands in the public bathroom at our local movie theater.  Not one woman did it well. And I can only imagine what goes on in the men’s room.  There are three parts to good hand washing..

Washing:  Wet your hands with hot water, remove your hands from the running stream of water so as not to dilute the cleaning power of the soap, and then add soap.  Scrub your hands around together, cleaning finger tips, backs, palms, and between fingers. Count slowly to at least twenty–and no, thinking “Happy Birthday to you” two times is not long enough.  Better, mentally recite slowly the Pledge of Allegiance two times. Imagine the good these words could do if the politicians washed their dirty hands while pledging allegiance to our country. Rinse your hands in hot water.

Drying:  DO NOT TOUCH THE FAUCET HANDLE YET, rather get a clean paper towel, dry your hands thoroughly, and use the towel to touch the faucet to turn off the water. (Use clean towels because blow dryers spread germs into the air; rubbing with a clean towel helps to wipe residual germs away.)  Do not throw away the towel yet.

Exiting:  Go to the exit, open the door handle with your towel protecting your hand, hold the door open  with your foot, and drop the towel into the nearby trash can.  No trash can at the door?  Drop the towel near the door where no one can trip on it.  Rest assured that sooner or later the proprietor will figure out that there needs to be a trash can near the door.  I judge an establishment somewhat by whether or not they are savvy enough to put the trash can in the right spot.

You will notice how extra clean your hands feel when you follow this procedure. You can do more to protect your health by frequently washing your hands than almost any other basic habit you can name. And don’t ever eat unwrapped candy or food from a public bowl or tray.  You’ll never guess the disgusting microbes detected there.

You guessed it.  The type of germs found in the public trough proves that people do not wash their hands well..  Yuck!  Just wish all the restaurant employees wash their hands the right way.  And you do it too.