Don’t forget to wash hands, guys

Jason Okamoto

There’s a scene in the film “Once Upon a Time in the West” where Henry Fonda proclaims that he is “just a man.” Charles Bronson responds by saying, “A dying breed.” Fonda was referring to the cowboy that doesn’t pay attention to manicuring himself unless it’s to wipe dried blood or manure off his shirt.

This man never had to ponder if it was worth it to wash his hands with water after using the outhouse, and rightfully so. Today, almost every public restroom has a sink, and maybe even soap. Being a regular visitor of men’s restrooms, however, I’m always surprised how many of my fellow piss pals neglect to wash their hands after taking care of business.

Over time, I’ve seen unwashed men exit restaurant bathrooms and go on with their lives — boyfriends back to their girlfriends, businessmen back to their co-workers and fathers back to their families. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this as long as that man doesn’t touch any of them.

The chances of that depend on the man’s practices of physical human contact. Studies done by the American Society for Microbiology have shown that only two out of three people wash their hands after using the restroom. The ASM also discovered that fewer men are washing than we did five years ago.

This is disgusting for a number of reasons, especially because if I shake hands with another guy who hasn’t washed his hands after using the urinal, it’s half the equivalent of actually touching his ding-a-ling. It’s not like I have a penis phobia, because I have one of my own and I love it. What’s unappealing is that I could contract some of his disease-causing microbes, which thrive in the crotch area.

The ASM study also shows that 26 percent of American men don’t wash their hands. That means that around every dude whose hand I shake, one out of four is not washing their hands, which may or may not contain sprinkles of urine.

It may be a sad fact that this kind of man is disappearing from the earth, but not so sad to see the day of the extinction of the unwashed man. It is just an issue of being considerate. A man should consider it his good deed for the day. Go ahead, be an asshole, just as long as you do it with clean hands. And it’s not that a non-washing man is less of a man or has less class; I would propose that they are even manlier, because they refuse to give into new age antibacterial chemicals or new scented foam soaps.

Despite this, brotherhood is far more important than cleanliness. We should not refuse an outstretched hand from a man who does not wash. How could you refuse to slap five to a drunken friend who just pissed out your car window onto a group of random club goers? For this man is truly blessed by God. His hands may be dirty, but his soul is most definitely immaculate.