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Lifestyle // What's Next
Ron Nagasawa

Germaphobia

Seems like everything these days is focused on sanitation. That’s a good thing, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s nice to see that technology has kept up with the demand for public sanitation.

Fifteen years ago, when I first started writing this column, Ala Moana Center had just installed hands-free toilet and sink fixtures. Today, you’ll find sanitation stations nearly everywhere and sanitary wipes for your shopping cart handles at Foodland and other stores. I was a germaphobe long before any of this stuff came out, so I appreciate any and all attempts to provide me with devices and products so I don’t have to touch contaminated surfaces.

Of course, there are still a few facilities that have zero technology and are no more sanitary than a Port-A-Potty. I think I mentioned recently that I’ve been working out at a gym. It’s pretty small and doesn’t have any changing facilities to speak of, so sometimes when I go after work, I duck into a public bathroom to change. Kind of like a ghetto Superman.

I make it a point not to touch anything for fear of contracting some type of horrible disease. The other week I did that, and went into a toilet stall to change. I hung my gym bag over the door, which I had to leave partly open because it was broken. As I hopped up and down while changing a shoe, careful not to put my foot down, the worst thing happened.

My shoulder hit the bottom of the bag, lifting it into the air. I watched in horror as it and all its contents went right into the toilet. I stood there in only my underwear and athletic shoes looking at my bag, which held all of my clothes, bobbing in the toilet water. I had no choice but to fish out the bag and put on some clothing that had been immersed in my worst nightmare.

As I walked out, a guy from the gym saw me in my “moist” workout clothes. “Wow, intense workout, huh?” he said.

I replied, “Nah, actually it was in the toilet.”

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