Mountain Musings




The availability of hand sanitizers in public places is one of the coolest things since the discovery of penicillin. The ones at the supermarket are meant for cleaning all the yuck off the handle of your shopping cart. There’s no telling what kinds of disease-bearing bacteria have been left behind by the last person to use that cart, or what has been left behind by a baby’s behind that was just parked in the basket’s kiddie compartment.


“I know I’ve got millions upon millions of tiny, one-celled organisms living on my skin. I rub and scrub until my flesh is raw and bleeding, but they just come right back again. Germs, I can’t even see ‘em, but I know they’re up to something. Hey, don’t touch that, you don’t know where it’s been.” (“Germs – Weird Al Yankovic – 1999)


Speaking of harmful bacteria, have you ever considered those cloth grocery bags some folks are toting that may contain as much bacteria as that sponge sitting on your kitchen sink? Well, I have and that’s why I don’t use them, neither cloth bags nor sponges. What bacteria, you ask? How about the salmonella bacteria dripping from that package of raw chicken, or the E-coli bacteria oozing from that raw hamburger meat? If you insist on using cloth bags, you may want to consider sanitizing them before reusing.


Personally, I prefer paper bags, since they’re recyclable. I absolutely detest plastic shopping bags the bagger assumes you want, without asking, and I never…well, hardly ever… use them. Not only are they ecologically unsound, but also half of your groceries spill out of them no sooner than you pull out of the parking lot.


OK, so I have a little confession to make – I do use the plastic bags they have in the produce department. I mean, how else are you gonna secure your fresh fruits and veggies? They don’t seem to have paper bags in the produce department any more – perhaps they should. I have another confession to make – plastic produce bags have confounded me since day one. For years, I’ve struggled with opening them, often tearing and shredding them.


Recently, thanks to the kindness of one savvy female shopper, I learned that all you have to do is wet your thumb and index finger before attempting to open the bag and, presto, it opens with the greatest of ease. A word of caution, however: Please don’t lick your fingers when doing this (I’ve actually witnessed folks doing this…shame on you!). Instead, use moisture from the water they spray on the fresh vegetables, but do so without touching any of the veggies. It’s that simple. I could kick myself for not figuring this out on my own…ouch!


“Germs, can’t get those parasitic creatures off my face, and there’s more coming every day. I never said they could camp out on my body, I wish they would pack their tiny little bags and move away,”


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott