Can Everyone Stop Being Nasty so I Don’t Die?
Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Can Everyone Stop Being Nasty so I Don’t Die?

I’m not trying to be deceased because y’all don’t wash…

I lose a little faith in humanity every time I enter a public bathroom.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I try to go to the gym regularly in order to not die of a heart attack the way so many older Black men do. (Life in your sixties as a Black elder should consist of wearing linen suits and two-stepping near a shrimp buffet on the Tom Joyner morning cruise as Trina performs “Pull Over,” not your heart finally giving out after one too many orders of fried ribs.) That might be good for my mind and body, but not so much my belief in my fellow man. Every single time I walk into the restroom in the gym locker room, I notice not every motherfucker washes their hands before exiting. And not that it matters, but that includes people who so obviously just finished defecating.

Apparently, this is a thing among many of you dirty-ass men. As Amanda Arnold over at The Cut reminded us per a 2009 study cited by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the institute’s online guide to the “corporate activity” of handwashing, 69% of men say they don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom. By comparison, the same study found that 35% of women don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom.

What are the people guilty of this unforgivable sin thinking when they use a public restroom? Do they not have their senses? Can they not smell what’s happening? Do they not see how the restroom itself looks? Can they not feel their own bodies? Do they not understand urine and feces? I’m trying not to behave like one of the members of the Neat Freak Elite, but seriously, how in the fuck do you use the bathroom and not wash your hands afterward — much less in a public restroom in a country we know damn well ain’t all that clean?

Even worse, in the wake of the coronavirus, I noticed that not much has changed. Some of these dirty motherfuckers are still being dirty motherfuckers! Not even during a looming pandemic can these dusty folks pick up some decency and a side of consideration of others. If we end up dying en masse, is it wrong to hope they go before those of us that always wash our hands do?

I’m not a violent person, but I wanted to chop that fool in his damn neck with everything in me. Who coughs with their mouth open? Who coughs with their mouth open now?

Last week, for the first time since Beyoncé first wore micro braids, I took myself on an actual vacation. When I sat in my seat and praised God that I could afford more legroom while cursing the airline industry for slimming the seats down to cram more of us in that flying tin, I allowed myself to relax. Of course, seconds later, someone takes a seat next to me and does the most unimaginable thing within seconds: he coughs with his mouth open.

Not once, but twice.


I’m not a violent person, but I wanted to chop that fool in his damn neck with everything in me. Who coughs with their mouth open? Who coughs with their mouth open now?

Honestly, I’m getting pissed just reliving the moment: This goofy guy coughing with his damn mouth open like patient zero in a pandemic movie.

Despite my rage — or, more accurately, in consideration of the fact that a federal assault charge would really derail my 2020 plans — I opted to find a different way to communicate to this tourist that he needs to cover his goddamn mouth because I’m not going to die over this. My face seemed to do the trick. (Though it also might have been me literally spraying him with my mini bottle of Lysol.) No, I didn’t wear a mask on the plane, but I applied lessons learned from Naomi Campbell’s airport routine for safety.

During my trip to New Orleans, I noticed that not a lot of people were rushing to the restroom to wash their hands before eating. When I went into the Acme Oyster House to get those chargrilled oysters and fried alligator, I did the clean thing: I ordered a hurricane and tipped to the restroom to wash my hands before eating. And I had backup with me just in case — though I’m trying to ration my supply given the great hand sanitizer shortage of 2020.

But a bunch of you other nasty-ass people were walking in and eating raw seafood with your bacteria-dripped hands without a care in the world.

I don’t know what is to come of the coronavirus, but I am convinced that if it is bad as many warn it could be, it’ll be largely attributed to the fact that not enough of you folks were taught how to wash your hands as a child.

On top of that, a lot of people are dumb. With all due respect, a meme is not the best source of information on what to do in preparation for a potential pandemic. There is one in particular that dismisses coronavirus because Ebola wasn’t a big deal — in the United States anyway. To the dum-dums passing that around: Just because people didn’t die in large numbers in the U.S. then doesn’t mean others didn’t die at the time and that others can’t die now.

After all, there’s a WHO I trust — the World Health Organization — and a WHO I don’t: The current White House Occupant. He may love his Purell, but he’s also a sociopathic idiot whose worst tendencies, including habitual lying, are enabled by a slew of bitch-made sycophants.

And don’t forget who the racist game show host with obvious displays of cognitive decline tapped to handle the COVID-19 crisis: The vice president, who not so long ago was an Indiana governor directly responsible for the rapid spread of HIV in his state.

Making matters worse is that at a moment in which millions of Americans are increasingly afraid of what’s to come and need comforting by people in the know, Surgeon General Jerome Adams spends more time stroking the ego of the president.

Then there’s Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, who continues to mystify by being both a brain surgeon and simpleton, further exposing that the administration has no grasp of this situation and that perhaps more of us ought to stop and really weigh what’s to come.

If I’m not convincing enough, look at the other signs. Say, Justin Bieber’s management, who I highly doubt would scale back a stadium tour and profit margin if there weren’t real concerns. The same goes for major festivals like South by Southwest being canceled.

Bless the airline industry’s heart; I’m not really convinced by these curiously worded emails assuring me that they are taking all of the necessary precautions, but the cheap flight deals are tempting. I happen to own a bunch of hand wipes and disinfectant, so I might take advantage of these flight deals given that my country ass hasn’t been enough places anywhere. (Shout out to Passport Twitter.) I didn’t buy Jordans, but I do love to get a pair of Air Maxes to numb the pains of racism and systemic discrimination.

However, I need everyone to do me a favor that’s really a gift to yourself and your fellow human being: Please stop being such a dirty-ass thot.

Wash your fucking hands.

As much as you can.

Whenever you can.

Especially after you use the restroom because what the fuck you just used the restroom.

If you have to cough, cough into your elbow, and if you don’t have time for whatever reason, cover your damn mouth. After that, clean your hands. The same for sneezing.

But if you are really sick, stay the hell home.

And while we’re at it, stop touching your face. I know it’s hard, but seriously, stop it. That will only make it worse.

Now, I don’t want to front and “both sides” this so I am going to try to say this civilly: White people, I want y’all to heed these warnings the most. I only have anecdotal evidence to go by, but even other White people will tell you that White people can often be on some other shit regardless of cleanliness. It shouldn’t take Twitter to teach people to wash their legs in the shower. Okay, I’m going to move on because I believe in multiracial coalitions.

If you find yourself incapable of regularly practicing any of the aforementioned recommendations, do humanity a favor and stay your nasty self at home. Self-quarantine can be an admirable act from those who have some sort of odd beef with soap that none of us have the time to work through. But please, be better.

And good luck to us all.