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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nashville News: Drunken Fun on Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

Courtesy of Walter Jowers; Nashville News

Yet another sign that the country's going straight to hell: Americans are drinking hand sanitizer, for the purpose of getting high. Well, maybe not high. More like rumbling, stumbling, staggering, bumbling, hearing-voices-and-seeing-Jesus drunk.And while I'm thinking about it, I might as well try to educate our hand-sanitizer-drinking brethren. You full-time alcoholics, listen to me. There are easier ways to see Jesus. Just walk into any medical office building, find doors that are faced with bookmatched wood veneer, and you'll see a Jesus, sooner or later. Every bookmatched door, by its very nature, depicts the image of a Jesus beard and a pair of Jesus eyes. Same goes for a plate of Pizza Hut spaghetti. But I digress.

In previous columns, I have shared with readers my shock and dismay in finding partially consumed bottles of beer and liquor in muddy, possum-infested under-floor crawlspaces. After discovering dozens, if not hundreds, of hard drinkers' hideaways, I now believe that if a person crawls under a house to be with the alcohol and possums for the express purpose of getting blind crazy drunk, well, that person has hit rock bottom.

Some weeks back, Reuters published a story about two men who were caught drinking Purell, a common hand sanitizer that any alcohol-seeker can find mounted on the wall of just about any building, even a nasty beer joint where you need hand sanitizer just to touch the hand-sanitizer dispenser. In the article, the writer pointed out that the alcohol in hand sanitizer isn't the same alcohol that's in adult beverages.

You hear that, Purell drinkers? You're drinking the wrong hooch. You're gulping down a jelly-like substance that's 60-plus percent ethanol. That's the stuff that'll rot your liver and brain before your throat stops burning. It's the stuff that'll make you try to stand up in a crawl space. A two-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer is pretty much equal to four shots of vodka. You'd be better off just drinking the vodka.

I know, I know. The vodka is expensive, but the hand sanitizer hanging on the wall is free. By the time security arrives, a hard-swigging man could have sucked the dispenser dry.

I don't know for sure, but I think folks who scrounge for and enjoy a stiff shot of hand sanitizer are already loaded down with a hatful of ailments, dilemmas and difficulties, and they're likelier than most to have missed out on the life lessons that could've kept them from getting into woeful predicaments.

For instance: hand sanitizer seekers may not know that the stuff will burn. I know that it burns. Just last Sunday I found myself in a scientific mood, so I squeezed some Purell onto the rim of a glass and lit the gel. Don't you know, up popped a festive little blue flame that didn't want to go out, no matter how hard I shook the glass. If I'd had liquor in the glass, I would've made a Fool's Margarita—a drink made even more dangerous because an impaired person probably wouldn't see that blue flame. In this hellish scenario, the drinker wouldn't fall into a ring of fire, the ring of fire would fall on him.

Recently, scientific folk at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have started recommending that people wash their hands not with alcohol-laden hand sanitizer.... It seems that they leave more bacteria on one's hands than soap and water. Hands being wrinkly and all, it's devilishly hard to know how many germs are crawling on them at any given time.

So, you folks who've been drinking hand sanitizer, maybe you ought to switch up your routine. Get off the hand-sanitizer gel and drink soapy water instead. Soapy water won't set you on fire or kill your liver and brain overnight, but it might cause some gastrointestinal surprises, if you know what I mean. Soap slickens things up.

If you just can't give up hand sanitizer, I say go ahead and rub it onto your hands, like you're supposed to. And while you're at it, check other body parts and intimate areas that could use a little cleanup. It couldn't hurt—well, except for the painful burning and chafing.

If things get desperate, I say canvass your area for old hippies. I've heard rumors that some hippies who still have their band hair have stocked warehouses with 1968-vintage Romilar cough syrup, which, believe it or not, was loaded with chloroform. True, it won't hand-sanitize your insides in the bargain. But it'll get the rest of the job done.


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