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Oh, Happy Day!

March 29, 2012

Why is it such a happy day? Because it’s Pot Luck Day!

Could today be any better? I’m so excited I don’t know what to do with myself.

I just came back from looking at the sign-up sheet again and I saw chips and salads and breads and dips and desserts and soups and casseroles and cole slaw and veggies and desserts. I saw fruitcake. Seriously, fruitcake. Someone’s even bringing in something mysterious called, “Something Hot”. The list of foods goes on and on. I didn’t see plates, forks, spoons and napkins listed, or any anti-bacterial handwipes, but surely someone’s bringing those things, right?

What am I bringing? Nothing. I’m not bringing anything because I’m not going. Anti-social? Not really, it’s just that I don’t particularly like eating food brought in by one person so I’m in no hurry to line up for food brought in by 20-some different people. Even if something called “Something Hot” and fruitcake are on the menu. No, sorry to say, but pot lucks aren’t exactly my idea of good eats.

Some might think I’m neurotic and that I should go and dig in to the diverse spread and feast on a double helping of “Something Hot”, but I’m not going to do it no matter what you say. How many times in the course of a day when you’re out and about have you seen other people sneezing and coughing, or picking their noses, or rubbing their eyes, or running their hands through their hair, or scratching at something in their ear, or under their arm, or picking at something unmentionable below the beltline? If you’re like me you probably see that a lot. Now how many times have you seen someone use the restroom and not wash their hands? Too many, right? Now how many times have you been over to a friend or relative’s house and seen their dog or cat up on the counter or table nibbling on food? Nothing at all against dogs or cats, I love them both, but I don’t want to food they may have eaten.

Do you see what I’m getting at and where I’m going? It all combines into the perfect storm of germs and bacteria and salmonella and animal hair and viruses and bugs and microbes and that’s only if we’re lucky. If we’re not so lucky then we’re possibly looking at plagues and diseases and boils and infections and rashes and, in a worst case scenario: epidemics.

Yes, all from a pot luck.

And it’s true because I read it on Snopes.

So I stay away from the pot lucks because I’m not willing to toss the dice for some chips, a monster bar and a plate/bowl/cup of “Something Hot”. Or fruitcake.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Word Nerd permalink
    March 29, 2012 12:38 pm

    When I was a kid, I loved participating in the Cake Walk at the school Fun Fair. I seemed to always win, too. I’d choose my plate of treats (all homemade and donated by one mother or another) and then when we were on the way to the car, we’d quietly toss them into the trash and head to the bakery where my mom would let me choose anything I wanted. She was creeped by the idea of eating stuff from unfamiliar kitchens and unfamiliar cooks–a trait she has passed along to me and now me to my oldest.

    I’ve seen far too many women go straight from a public bathroom stall to the door without making a stop at the sink and have witnessed far too many parents who change their babies’ diapers at the daycare and don’t follow that task with handwashing to be comfortable eating stuff from unfamiliar kitchens and unfamiliar cooks. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy eating at some friends’ houses–but the keyword there is some.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 30, 2012 9:04 am

      Something else that gets me is when you use a bathroom in a restaurant and it’s dirty and you realize that this is where the employees go too.


  2. March 29, 2012 2:27 pm

    I am exactly on your page here! I love a potluck with my family. We have some great cooks and I know them and their hygienic habits.

    I do not eat at potlucks and I do not eat at buffets. The idea of a trough of food that everyone leans over and stirs through and handles the same serving spoons gives me the willies. NOT FOR ME, either.

    Love knowing this about you and I fed the fish…they are so cute…and very hungry! Hope I didn’t overfeed them.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 30, 2012 9:05 am

      No, they’re some type of magical fish who can never be overfed!


  3. Sherece permalink
    March 29, 2012 5:49 pm

    Oh Michael…… lol. Do you never eat at a restaurant either? At least you know your co-workers and might know a little something about their habits. When you go out to eat, we have no idea who is in the kitchen or what they’re doing back there.

    I’ve been to many a potluck and I usually ask who brought what, so I can decide if I want to try it or taste it. But, I don’t want to go through life being fearful of things like this. And this is coming from a germ-o-phone! LOL – I can now tell my sister that someone has it worse than me! I’m still part of your fan club, though! 😉 😉 😉


    • Sherece permalink
      March 29, 2012 5:51 pm

      uuuummmm……. germ-o-phobe. Spell-check must hate me today!


      • Michael Fishman permalink
        March 30, 2012 9:07 am

        Phones have germs, too! Let this be a good reminder to never loan out our phones!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 30, 2012 9:07 am

      I eat at restaurants and I just try and put those thoughts aside while I’m there. But something else I don’t like about restaurants is when the server also has to clear dishes because that means they stick their thumbs into dirty dishes and handle dirty silverware and then they stick their dirty thumbs into your plate when they bring you your food. Maybe I need to re-think restaurants altogether?!


      • Sherece permalink
        April 3, 2012 9:49 pm

        Howie Mandel was on Dr Drew’s show today talking about his OCD/Germ-o-phobia. He talked about therapy and meds. He said he can’t even *think* about going to a pharmacy because it’s a bunch of sick people. If a waiter even sniffles before, during or after a meal – Howie will ask if he’s sick. Even if the waiter says it’s 4 days, so no longer contagious…he gets up and leaves to go to a new restaurant. A lady sneezed in the audience and he asked her why she sneezed. Dr Drew said could be dust. Told him not to worry. He did nothing but worry. He never pushes a grocery cart by the front handle – he pulls it along by grabbing hold of the basket. If he has to ride an elevator, he holds his breath in case someone in there is sick and breathing out sick germs. I found this little clip – maybe there’s a full episode to watch somewhere online. I could certainly see a tiny bit of me in some of what he talked about, but I’m not even close to being quite like this:


        • Michael Fishman permalink
          April 4, 2012 7:28 am

          He really suffers with OCD. When I first heard about his problem I thought it was all a gimmick for him to get attention but when I found out more about him I realized he was legit. I identify with a lot of what he said and I’m thankful that I don’t deal with it to the extent that he does.


  4. Sonel permalink
    March 29, 2012 11:45 pm

    I’m with you on this one Michael and you’re not losing out on anything by avoiding restaurants and things like this. Better to be safe than sorry. 🙂


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 30, 2012 9:09 am

      I do like restaurants though because there’s so much stuff I don’t/can’t make that I can only get there. But I can do without buffets for the reasons Jo mentioned earlier.


  5. janesinfinitewisdom permalink
    April 4, 2012 11:57 am

    When I worked at the elementary school, we had a school policy for holiday and birthday parties. Homemade treats were not allowed. A child could bring in a celebratory treat but it had to be store bought and/or pre-packaged. Period. And your blog post is the precise reason why.


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