Jan 042020

My sister-in-law recently told me she liked to buy grocery items in bulk. You know – pasta, flour, rice, et cetera – from those big bins.  I told her that those bulk bins were dangerous because members of the “general public” had direct access.  It simply wasn’t sanitary.  I asked her why she was wasting time.  I suggested that she just have some snot-nosed kid sneeze directly into her mouth.  She told me I was an idiot, and pointed out that the bins were sealed. 

It is true that some bulk containers are sealed.  Those are the bins that have a lever at the bottom.  The lever is designed so that when you lift it, three times what you want shoots out like [redacted] from a goose.  Here is an example (of the bins, not the goose) –

Most bins, however, have lids designed to lift and expose their contents to the diseased ridden “general public.”  Here they are –

You might think that my comment to my sister-in-law was just an effort to get under her skin and, in general, be a jerk.  I want you to know that I am deeply offended by this.  Anyone who’s been reading my columns should know that, OF COURSE, this was my intention.    But I also said it because of something I witnessed the week before.  It happened in a natural food store near my office.  (I was there because it is near my office, not because it caters to women who last shaved their armpits during the Eisenhower Administration.)

Anyway, I was headed back toward the deli, and this took me right past the bulk food section.  A kid was lifting the lid from one of the bins.  He looked about seven or eight.  He stood for a moment pondering the contents.  Then, suddenly, he reared back and sneezed right into the bin with the blunt force of a Cat 5 hurricane.  Then he nonchalantly shut the lid …  and OPENED ANOTHER LID!

This got me thinking about lid height and the chances a kid might sneeze into a particular bin.  (The FDA really should pay me for this valuable research.)  Let’s take a look at this display for our research purposes –

These bins are positioned three rows high.  The lowest one is the perfect height for a communicably ill child to lift the lid and unleash a spray of virus thicker than a crop duster. 

My tireless research has resulting in the follow scientific findings: 

You should only buy food from containers positioned high enough so that children cannot access them.  By employing this important safety measure, you will only be eating food which has been sneezed on by adults. 

Bon appetite!

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