“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

Halloween is right around the corner and I’m going as the scariest thing that has hit mainstream culture since Britney Spears became a mom or that guy put on the oversized clown head in the “Saw” movies: the Superbug.

Just like Jeff Goldblum in the movie “The Fly”, I, Dom Spino, will play the role of the eccentric idealist with a dream for the “greater good” that will be heinously transformed into a gruesome menace that causes children to have their dreams haunted and rest of society reaching for their flyswatters to take away their sense of the “willies.”

If the terrorists don’t get us, the Superbug apparently will. We better stock up on duct tape and get our Cheney bunkers ready.

Yet, I know that there is nothing that can stop a good old-fashioned Halloween party. It’s a glorious time of the year. What with all the bobbing for apples, men wearing Ziggy Stardust-like quantities of makeup, and the waiting in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin with our beagle, our girl and our blankie. (Wait, that might have been another memory that I stole from a cartoon character … damn you Linus!)

Here’s my thing about Halloween. It is the only holiday in this country that women are almost encouraged to dress like trampy-bimbos that aren’t scared to rock out some eye black. With that being said, even though I think that there are way too many gothic-French maids, slutty vampires, and Amy Winehouse wannabes, I would much rather see the ladies wear some hip huggers or some ripped fish-nets than see them in a lame-ass cow suit.

I digress.

With all this talk about the Superbug, or the MRSA virus that is spreading throughout this country’s schools quicker than bad rap music, the thing that is scaring people has nothing to do with ghouls, goblins or men dressing in drag and exploring their fake lady parts during the neighborhood’s Halloween party.

I was astonished this past September when I looked at my son’s list of “needed school supplies”, and they included products that were not just limited to #2 pencils, a few oversized erasers, and the option for today’s version of the Trapper Keeper.

Hand Sanitizer stood out the most. I am not a rookie to this product whose main demographic is largely germaphobic young mothers that are scared their kids are going to be bitten by the evil carrier “outbreak” monkey. I remember a little thing called soap that you used when you wanted to combat germs. Now, washing your hands is so yesterday, and bar soap is just something so archaic that the modern man, woman and child need to have their cleanliness on the go; neatly stored in their handbags between their camera phone, their IPOD and their prescription for restless leg syndrome.

There is such a divide in this country about many things, but the cleanliness issue really drives me up a wall.

There are some people that care a little too much, and some people that just don’t seem to care at all.

Where is the damn moderation in this country? We’ve got some people that are so clean and live in a constant state of fear from germs that you sometimes feel like slipping them a qualude or a valium just to calm them down. Yet, the reason that some of these mothers are buying Germ-X in bulk at Sam’s Club is that there are some people that probably haven’t drawn themselves a bath in quite some time.

There’s a line in an old Black Crowes B-side that says, “I’ve heard that it’s good, to think before you speak/ Yes, I’ve heard that it’s good, to bath yourself once a week.”

Now, these are very crunchy hippies singing that even they have a regular (albeit a small one) bathing schedule. Why can’t people have the better sense that maybe it isn’t a healthy living environment for the family to have a Pigpen-like cloud of dust following them at all times?

Schools are like little Petri-dishes of germs, and it is inevitable that once the school year starts, your little kid is going to bring someone’s germs home and the whole family is going to be infected and flying the quarantine flag in front of the house where the American flag used to be.

So here’s the skinny on the superbug: It’s a staph infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, that is apparently immune to antibiotics or the usual penicillin. It is spreading at an alarming rate throughout schools, prisons, poor urban neighborhoods, gyms and locker rooms. The invasive form of the infection (or to put it bluntly, the form that enters the bloodstream and eats flesh) is happening at a rate of 32 cases per 100,000 people, which is a higher percentage than AIDS at this point.

Yet, despite the fact that the legal drugdealers of the world haven’t come up with a superdrug to fight the superbug, Congress has issued a statement saying that the way to save yourself from the superbug is to simply do something that your mother told you to do since you were three: wash your hands.

So, in a nutshell, we live in a world that has a pill for seemingly everything, and because we are all so heavily medicated, diseases have started to mutate into these superviruses that are impervious to modern medicine.

Yet, when we are faced with these scary realities of the modern world, like terrorism or the super-virus of the week, our leaders tell us to do mundane things.

After 9/11, they told us to go shopping.

Now they are telling us to just wash our hands.

Sorry if I don’t feel at ease.

Well, I know that there’s a healthy supply of germ-x in my house, but I hope in light of these new reports, parents will start cleaning their kids before they send them to schools. School janitors should be required to give a more than thorough scrub down of all classrooms and common areas at least twice a month, and we all try to take better hygiene to a new level.

Let’s just find a nice happy medium between crunchy hippies and face-moisturizing metrosexual germaphobes. Is that too much to ask?

I’m not trying to wear a mask every time I walk out the door because I might be bitten by some superbug because your kid opted to watch Spongebob rather than take a bath.

Maybe the only drug we need to combat the superbug is a little drug called “Common Sense.”

Email me at [email protected]