Rule #17: Scare Your Child Shitless About Germs

He may look innocent...but he's planning on wiping that somewhere.

He may look innocent...but he's planning on wiping that somewhere.

It seems one half of the world is busy picking at scabs and boils, and the other half of the world is digging inside its collective nostril.

This dance of disgust goes on every day among the Great Unwashed, whose members ride buses, attend schools, play soccer matches, and generally cling to the hope that they can infect your child with germs so twisted and toothy that scientists have yet to name them.

It’s a filthy world. You know this, but your child does not. That’s why it’s up to you to scare him shitless about germs, which, of course, can be lingering on anything from a festering handrail to Grandma’s puckered lips.

Repeat After Me: The World Is an Old Dirty Bastard

If the world is one large fingernail, everyone you meet is the dirt wedged below it. The sooner your child learns this lesson, the better. And an in an effort to keep your kids squeaky clean and as paranoid as Howard Hughes, consider these ideas for your germ-free arsenal:

Encourage your children to wear a “body condom” to school and all public places, especially Chuck E. Cheese.

We suggest fashioning the protective garment out of a Glad Bag, so your children can make it a game of pretend. They can say to anyone who doesn’t run from them, “Look at me—I’m literally a douche bag!”

Slip antibacterial “treats” into your child’s lunchbox.

Many kids love to find a little something extra in their lunches, so why not include a wee bag of Carpet Fresh, a miniature Lysol spray bottle, or toilet-bleach tablets—enabling your child to spread the joy and rampant germaphobia of your home’s sterile environment to the classroom.

Conduct after-school “hose downs” with cold water, lye, and vinegar.

And you thought having them take their shoes off was enough. Sigh.

And you thought having them take their shoes off was enough. Sigh.

Before the kids set foot in the house, the trusty garden hose can wash away any microbes picked up in the fecund classroom. Make it fun: Invite the neighborhood kids over for a “watch and learn.”

Suggest soap collecting as a hobby.

Baseball-card, stamp and coin collecting are old school, dirty and serve no healthful purpose. On the other hand, scented-soap collecting can provide hours upon hours of joy and cleanliness. Teach your children how to carve soap on their own, as it’s deemed absolutely “cool” by the younger set. They can carve barnyard animals, obscure presidents (Millard Fillmore’s head is a soap collector’s favorite), their favorite NASCAR vehicles, and even hip hop artists like Lil’ Wayne.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel December 18, 2008 at 7:11 am

I think all children should be made to watch “boy in the plastic bubble” so in case they start to bitch and whine about the body condom, they’ll know John T. had it much worse off. And you could use that as a bargaining chip. “you don’t want to wear your body condom today? okay. but you know that will cost you three days in the bubble.” that said, dirty bitch kids are dirty bitch kids, and they don’t grow out of it. my friend jason, in high school, used to leave dollops of booger on door handles in everyone’s house. he probably still does.


Shannon Green December 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm



jason December 18, 2008 at 9:10 am

for the record, i’m not the “jason” mention in rachel’s comment, but i think the “jason” you mentioned works where i do. in the men’s bathroom there is a urinal, and next to it we have what can only be described as a “booger hall of fame”, because someone has been proudly wiping their boogs on the wall right above the urinal. i guess they like to multitask. you know whoever’s doing this had a constant runny nose as a child.


Richard Cranium December 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

My children have to wash their hands before and after using the bathroom! They also use the lysol disposable wipes to clean down the seat and toilet rim after each use. They have to learn their good hygiene strategies early in life!


Father Knows Worst December 18, 2008 at 10:59 am

@Rachel: Did you really use “dollops” to describe boogers? That gave me shivers when I read it.

@Jason: You know you’re the same person, and you know you’re the culprit behind said “Booger Hall of Fame.” Just roll with it. Be proud.

@Richard: Early and often, that’s what I say. Kudos to you, good sir.


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