Well now, here are a couple of things I have read about recently that may interest you. Both to do with dirt, in one way or another. Now, I have always thought of you lot as pretty clean – though one or two of you do have dirty minds, I’m glad to say. But I’m wrong. You are all positively wallowing in dirt and grime and, shock horror, germs. So am I, probably. We can’t help it – it’s just the way things are. For an explanation, take a gander at this article and you’ll see what I mean. Your keyboard is positively awash with germs and muck.
When you think about it, it’s not really all that surprising. People eat over their keyboards, they cough and sneeze – and who wipes their keyboard after a good sneeze? In fact, who even puts their hand to their mouth to cover a cough when they are sitting alone at their computer (I do – but maybe I’m just odd.)? Remarkably, many keyboards are far more germ infested than the average toilet seat. You wouldn’t want to spend hours at a time rubbing your fingertips over a toilet seat, I’ll bet, but one thinks nothing of tapping away for ages at a qwerty disease incubator. Next time you use a public computer, stop and think for a moment – you are about to plunge your fingertips into unknown quantities of germs and muck and dried spit and phlegm from legions of previous users! You know those revolting commercials that show the cartoon fungus that can afflict people's toenails? I tend to avert my gaze when that come on. Well, little monsters like that probably lurk under your caps lock key! And strangely enough, women are far dirtier then men in this respect.
The microbiologist quoted in the article recommends using alcohol wipes once in a while. I feel vindicated! For a long time now I have been giving my keyboard the occasional once over with a Wet One – not because I was afraid of germs really, but because I like things to be clean – but I couldn’t help feeling a frisson of embarrassment as I did it, even though I was on my own. Now, no such frisson will occur! I will wipe boldly and proudly, imagining that I can hear the death screams of thousands of gems as I do so, confident that even if I haven’t exactly sterilized my keyboard it will at least be a bit cleaner than your average toilet seat.
And the other thing? Well, it concerns filthy language. In many circumstances, I am all for it. I hate mealy mouthed euphemisms almost as much as I hate bleeps on TV shows during adult viewing time. In the heated environment of a high pressure workplace, bad language is often the lingua franca. It was ever thus. A person who makes copious use of it is one of my fave TV personalities at the moment, the chef Gordon Ramsay. He swears a lot during “Hells’ Kitchen” “Ramsay’s F-Word” and both the British and American versions of “Kitchen Nightmares” and you know what? The shows do not suffer one iota for it. These are not children’s shows, and responsible parents should make sure there are no little ones watching. The swearing is harmless, because it is suitable to the circumstances.
And then, as we read, the Australians, of all people, have complained. Well, not every single Australian, of course. Just some dickhead politicians. Ramsay’s shows are very popular there, and some people became concerned at the amount of swearing the man does. Now, we all know that Australians have a worldwide reputation for being shy, delicate, unworldly and fragile and Senator Bernardi obviously wanted to protect the poor dears from verbal assault. Silly old git! As if they needed it! I’m glad to say, it transpires that Ramsay will be able to carry on as before. As he says, if you don’t like it you can switch off. Watch something else – there’s a novel idea! Content yourself with reruns of "Happy Days" or do some quilting. Senator Bernardi is an example of that disgusting attitude of “I don’t like it so you can’t do it.” and that’s what needs to be stamped out, not a bit of bad language. Carry on with the fucking swearing, Chef!