The GermoPhobe

The GermoPhobe with a capital ‘P’ in phobe is a man who works on the same floor of my office building. I have seen him around the building on numerous occasions but until yesterday I never really had the opportunity to observe his peculiar habits in person.

We were both in using the local lavatory. I entered the room moments before him and it became evident quite quickly that he is an avid reader of Toner Mishap, especially the post regarding Urinal Selection Strategy.

Unfortunately it is also clear that he failed that portion of the course as he opted for scenario #5 which is as follows. (Forgive me guys, but I am taking your graphic and your prose.)

Scenario 5
You’re the only one in the bathroom, and you’re standing at #1 (as is appropriate). Some guy walks in and, though #4 and #3 are both clean and available, he steps up to #2.

Some men suffer from FPS, or “Frightened Penis Syndrome.” There is a long clinical description of this in JAMA and a number of other medical journals, not to mention the classic Mayo Clinic study, but rather than get too technical here is a basic description.

In its native habitat the penis is primarily a nocturnal creature who operates with stealth and guile under the cover of darkness. Sometimes when it is surprised it attempts to hide by trying to blend in with its immediate surroundings. In a bathroom situation that involves immediately cutting of the flow of urine so as not to make any noise or leave a trail that can be followed by hunters or animals employed by hunters such as the penis hound. But I digress, back to our story.

Said GermoPhobe lined up next to me but because I do not suffer from FPS I didn’t really make note of it. I stood there and finished my business afterwhich I headed to the sink to wash my hands where I dutifully attended to cleaning myself.

The GermoPhobe was right behind me and using a power scrubbing technique he learned from a Tibetan lama he was able to cleanse and purify himself in time to walk out with me. And that was when I learned of his fear of germs.

As I opened the door I noticed that he used a paper towel to take the door from me. Most of the time I wouldn’t even have noticed this, but there was something about yesterday. Perhaps it was because the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter was aligned with Mars, but I felt something and I stared back at him.

Mr. GermoPhobe cleared his throat and stared back at me. Our eyes were locked in mortal combat when I broke the stalemate and asked about the paper towel.

It was at that point that he explained to me that he didn’t think that I had done a proper job of washing my hands and that he didn’t want to get sick.

Me: What did you say?
GermoPhobe: You didn’t spend enough time washing your hands.

Me: Did you time me?
GermoPhobe: No, but I saw what happened at the urinal.

Me: What do you mean you saw what happened?
GermoPhobe: There was blowback, there was spray. It ended up on your hands and legs.

Me: How do you know?
GermoPhobe: I could hear the force with which you expelled your waste.

Me: The force with which I expelled my waste, what are you talking about?
GermoPhobe: It was loud and it was strong. You must have had a lot of coffee. When you pee that hard into a urinal you cannot help but be sprayed by yourself.

Me: You’re right, but that is actually a special pheromone technique that is used to pick up women.
GermoPhobe: Not clean women.

Me: Really.
GermoPhobe: No clean woman would want to deal with that.

Me: She might be kinky. Maybe she is into that kind of thing.
GermoPhobe: Not anyone you want, that is filthy and disgusting. Do you know how many germs are in a bathroom.

Me: That varies from day to day. It depends on how much work is available. It is kind of similar in format to the day laborers that hang out at Home Depot. You can’t blame the germs because it is a really effective system.
GermoPhobe: That is not funny.

Me: You’re right. If it was funny I wouldn’t be working here. I’d be on the Tonight Show and my life would be filled with glamour and fame and I certainly wouldn’t need to rely on the old pheromone trick. >
GermoPhobe: You really should wash your hands better.

Me: (I stuck a finger in my ear and then responded with) You might be on something.
GermoPhobe: Don’t you mean onto something.

Me: No, I meant on something.
GermoPhobe: I find your comment offensive.

Me: Was it lost?
GermoPhobe: No, I mean that I don’t appreciate what you are saying.

Me: Neither does my wife or my boss. Did they put you up to this.
GermoPhobe: I really should go.

Me: Not yet, I feel a really big sneeze coming on and if you wait a minute I’d be happy to share it with you. (With that I reached into my pants and scratched myself and then grabbed the door knob)

That must not have amused him because he carefully pushed by me and walked out of bathroom. I was a bit disappointed because I really wanted to shake his hand.

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