Tobe Frank: How filthy art thy hands, gentlemen? 526



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To be frank I’m aghast at the number of people (men in this case) who go to the loo, be it at a shopping centre, a restaurant or the Qantas Lounge, and walk out without so much as a sideways glance at the washbasin let alone getting up close and personal with some soap.

Who does that? It’s disgusting. If there weren’t so many women adoring this site I’d choose somewhat more explicit language to describe how detestable, morally incomprehensible and hygienically incorrigible it is.

It got so bad the other day I felt entrapped in the john at my local Westfield. Here’s me working up a good soapy lather (after working out some of yesterday’s hot to volcanic vindaloo), when what do I see…not one, not two, but three men, finish their business then proceed straight out the door. Not even a momentary consideration to cleansing one’s hands. Oh, how dirty must thy soul be?

I rinsed, dried off (utilising Dyson’s best invention since turning vacuuming on its head) then went to leave…but wait…which part of the door handle wasn’t crawling with god knows what type of septic, disease-ridden filth? I was about to go and partake in a spot of lunch with the missus. Would this turn out to be my last supper? Would I succumb to a case of dysentery, the likes not seen since Kakoda? Would I be buried in a square coffin, due to rigor mortis setting in whilst in the foetal position? How was I to get out with touching said door? I’d have to wait till someone came in and then scurry through before the door closed.

It took another 3-4 minutes before the bacteria blooming barricade swung open with what was surely another card-carrying member of the anti-soap society. I waited for this walking germ factory to pass before slipping through like a neurosurgeon into an operating theatre with my hands and forearms (scrubbed within an inch of their lives), raised up waiting for the nurse to embalm them in a pair of sterilised gloves. I made my escape, mentally scarred, but in one piece and confident that I wouldn’t be coming down a life-ending illness anytime soon.

I went and found the missus who had kindly sorted out my order during my prolonged absence. I sat down and was about to fill her in on my misadventures when who did I see sitting next to me? Twas one of the germ-junkies from the gents. And here he is, hoeing into a shit burger with a side of diarrhea…with his bare hands… well that‘s what it looked like to me. He may as well have washed it all down with a big tall ice-cold cup of pee.

He’s wrapped his hands all over the bun; he’s pushing bits of tomato back within the strangle hold of the melted cheese with his fungal ridden-fingernail; he’s picking pieces of onion up off the table that probably had been wiped down with a Chux that had been in service for at least a week. The onion was probably trying to escape the bacterial concoction in the first place (and to think, an onion is a disease vacuum in the first place so it must have been truly horrified to have wanted to flee the warmth of the bun!).

I had suddenly lost my appetite. I asked for a doggy bag so I could take my dinner home for the dog…after all he who sniffs the butts of others is not going to be as hygienically fussy as me.

For me it’s always been one of the five simple things my father drilled into to me throughout my childhood:

  1. Use your please and thank yous
  2. Always open the door for a lady
  3. Polish your shoes
  4. Wash your hands
  5. Be good to your mother

I failed miserably with respects to item 3 but in every other respect I live true to those values.


What do you think? Are men forgetting the universal rule of washing their hands after using the bathroom? Do you have any similar gripes? Share them below!

Tobe Frank

Tobe Frank is a recently retired 62 year old gentleman with many views. He has grand ambitions for his retirement he just isn't sure what they are yet and is constantly looking around to find them. Tobe shares his views on Starts at Sixty regularly as one of our columnists.

  1. I have noticed the same thing in ladies toilets.Disgusting habit.If i have a guest who doesn’t wash their hands i politely tell them where the wash basin is.

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