No touchy.

"No touchy." This phrase from Kuzco, the high-maintenance ruler-turned-llama from Emperor's New Groove, resonates with me. I can't help it. I am a fringe germaphobe, dabbling in the art of knowing where my hands have been.

So when I watch the commercial for Lysol's No-Touch Hand Soap System, I'm intrigued. For a split second, I'm intrigued. And then completely disillusioned:
"You and your family will never have to touch a germy soap pump again."

So? I could see this as a problem if I had to touch the germy pump after washing my hands, but before? Before I wash my germy hands? This product has no logical usefulness. Fear alone will sell it if it sells.

I'm acutely aware of the before/after touching of germy surfaces. For example, it's a major faux pas to place public restroom door handles on the inside of the door yet it happens all of the time. What's the point of washing my hands (No-Touch system or not) if afterward I'm forced to share the exit door handle with so many guys who head out without washing at all? There is no point. It's like touching the soap pump again after my hands have been cleaned. When does this ever make sense?

It seems that bacterial scientists and designers are working on different pages. Talk with each other, people. Good work - the kind Christ followers should see as the standard - gets done when effective profession-level collaboration serves the public in useful ways. And both are needed: the collaboration and the usefulness. Otherwise, I either waste money on senseless products at home or feel tempted in public to knock on the bathroom door, begging someone to let me out.    


Delicate Fortress Creations September 8, 2011 at 1:54 PM  

That is crazy! I never even thought of the fact that you don't NEED the soap pump to be sanitary. Guess they tricked me.

And yes, it would be nice if they didn't assume we could be tricked but worked toward our betterment instead....

David Rupert September 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM  

I know a girl who wont touch a public surface...she always wears long sleeves that she can pull down over her hands before she touches a knob or a survace.

Sam Van Eman September 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM  

I've done it too, David, though it really depends on where I am and what I'm doing. If I'm on a camping trip, I don't care. If I'm with my kids or in a restroom crawling with nastiness, I'm much more germaphobic. Meaning, I'm more likely to use a sleeve when the consequences are obvious.

Bob Gorinski September 16, 2011 at 9:11 AM  

I saw a Lysol commercial just last night on TV. They now have a campaign going for something like "keep our schools free from sickness." Huge overstatement, which of course requires loads of Lysol brand wipes and soaps.

I've read that preventing germs is overrated as compared to keeping a strong immune system. But I definitely get germaphobic around kitchen counter tops and public bathrooms!

Sam Van Eman September 16, 2011 at 9:17 AM  

I'm sort of a schizophrenic germaphobe, Bob, because there are times when my pro-strong immune system self kicks in and I tell the kids they don't have to wash their hands after playing outside. I feel brave on those days, always accompanying my response with a mini lesson on how our bodies work in God's good ways.

The challenge is to balance this out so they don't become schizophrenic too.

Sam Van Eman September 16, 2011 at 9:21 AM  

On the fear-in-advertising note, I was on hold yesterday with the company who does our termite inspections. This guy with a recorded radio voice came on saying,

"Did you know your house is crawling with pests that want to destroy the foundation and infest your pillows and eat your pretty flowers. They're everywhere and you won't even know it till they've stolen everything precious to you."

Or something very similar to that. I had to hold the phone away from my ear until the operator picked up.

Bob Gorinski September 17, 2011 at 1:04 AM  

The pest control - I'm sitting here laughing, maybe a little too hard...just hoping they'll leave my pillows alone!

Anonymous,  September 30, 2011 at 8:46 AM  

I've seen those in kitchens.If you handle a lot of raw meat I can see the use, you know? Because otherwise you're getting blood and chicken guts on the soap pump. Which is kind of gross.

Just playing devil's advocate here . . . :)

Anonymous,  October 2, 2011 at 6:35 PM  

Great thoughts, Sam. Keep us thinking. Discerning. Growing. Jay

Linda Worden October 3, 2011 at 12:54 PM  

I sometimes sit near a man in church who passes along his hand sanitizer as soon as we finish the "Grip and Grin" moment at church! Usually I think that's taking hand sanitation too far but enjoyed your thoughts as you respond to a new slogan. Clever...

Sheila October 3, 2011 at 6:21 PM  

For some reason, all I can think about is Dan King and his #fistbumps....

Sam Van Eman October 3, 2011 at 7:26 PM  

Okay, Erin, I can make an exception for guts.

Jay, thanks for stopping by.

Linda, I've never had someone pass hand sanitizer around in the service, but I guess it's like breath mints. When offered, accept. Very nice to meet you in TX! Have a great time visiting with Shara this week.

Sheila, maybe Dan's fistbumps means he's a germaphobe too. I'll have to get on him about it.

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