When I was young I could have cared less about germs, grit, and grim. Licking sticky candy off my fingers never bothered me. If food fell on the dirty ground - "three second rule!" - it's still good. I never put coins in mouth though, not because it grossed me out, but because my mother scared the living bejeezus out me that I'd get one lodged in my throat and die. And if she didn't make me wash my hands before dinner it never would have happened.
Then I grew up.
I'm certainly not paranoid about germs. I think I have a rational disdain for them. We do after all need some germs as they help us build up our immune system. But, there are certain things that gross me out so much they make me want to scrub my hands like a surgeon. One of those things: shopping carts. Well, gas station restrooms and public telephones too, but I'll just focus on the carts for now.
Even if the carts are somehow washed by a heavy tropical rainstorm followed by a long baking in 115 degree heat I still hate touching them. I do it though because, let's face it, if I don the latex gloves I would just look like a freak. In the name of vanity that's the sacrifice I make.
Then I jumped with joyous glee as I read Taking the Gross Out of the Grocery Cart in the Wall Street Journal online that a number of supermarkets in Chevy Chase, Maryland are putting us shopping cart germophobes at ease by disinfecting their carts - the whole shebang - in a peroxide solution. The carts are sent through what looks like a car wash and "de-germificated." Nice!
Now if someone could just figure out how to dunk doorknobs in the same stuff that would be something.