If You’re Guilty, Please Don’t Raise Your Hand

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Life, Tenerife
Tags: , , , ,

On Saturday our friend Bob carried out what was a most unscientific study… but one which yielded results which are probably representative.

Whilst we booed and hissed at dastardly, unsporting behaviour and cheered as sweet revenge was delivered in the shape of two goals from Wayne Rooney, Bob counted the number of men who washed their hands after a visit to the toilets.

Okay it might sound like an odd thing to do, but if  you’re sitting at the bar in the Beehive Pub in Puerto de la Cruz you are also sitting in a direct line with the corridor leading to the loos and the sink directly outside the gents. It is almost impossible to not notice those guys who leave the loo and body swerve the sink.

So as we cheered our lads and jeered our old neighbours on the Mersey, Bob carried out his meticulous research. By half time he presented us with results that were positively shocking.

Eight out of the ten men who had visited the toilet during the first half clearly either had rabies or suffered from hydrophobia because they didn’t go near that sink. Eight out of Ten!
Basically that equates to a stonking (or should that be stinking?) 80% of men don’t wash their hands after a visit to the toilet.

“Some of these guys come back and paw their girlfriends afterwards,” Bob pointed out somewhat unnecessarily. We got the picture. There was a plague of pissy-handed blokes around us.

In a day and age when we all know how disease can be easily transmitted, this figure was a shock. I know it was only a mock survey, but who out there really believes that the figures would be much different anywhere else? A lot of blokes simply don’t wash their hands after a visit to the loo. Is it just Brits? I really don’t know. I’m sure it isn’t exclusive to Brit blokes. On the other hand recently I remarked to Andy about having to queue up to wash my hands at the toilets in our local shopping centre. I don’t remember ever having to queue to wash my hands in the UK.

Coincidentally, the same day I’d been reading hotel reviews from early 2011 in Los Gigantes when many people’s holidays had been affected by sickness and diarrhoea. Norvirus had swept through the resort. There has been much written about it and we’ll never know the truth for certain about what caused it but the virus appeared to only affect resort areas predominantly visited by British tourists.

I mention this because the first piece of advice on some health websites regarding the best way to prevent the spread of norovirus is:- ‘wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet’.

You don’t need to be Benedict Cumberbatch to work this little mystery out.

Guys, wash your hands after visiting the loo… for all our sakes.

  1. Ann says:

    I too, despite trying not to be, am appalled by the lack of hygiene. But I don’t think it is by any means just the Brits – or just men.
    Living as I do on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, I sometimes discover there is no soap for handwashing after using the toilet. Just to make a point if not also out of necessity, I ask the bar person for soap. The usual response is either to tell me that the cleaner hasn’t been yet or to question as to why I want soap. At my insistence at requiring soap and asking what they are using, I am offered a squeeze of their washing-up bottle.
    Quite frankly – it appals me.
    I then became sufficiently interested in the subject to read about how germs are removed. Is it the heat of the water or the soap that does the cleaning? And the answer is, it’s the soap.
    Germs are sticky you see – twiddling your fingers under a running tap does very little to remove the germs.
    The result for me is that I now only go to cafes and pubs that provide soap. Those that don’t – I give a wide berth.
    So come on people – it’s simples – let’s have a modicum of hygiene!

  2. Sonjie Kennington says:

    This is actually a particular “pet hate” of mine. I’ve been living in Spain for nearly ten years and in my experience, the Spanish are even worse than the British for not washing their hands. Disgusting.

  3. dragojac says:

    No soap in a bar or restaurant doesn’t bear thinking about too much. I’m sure you’re right about it not just being the Brits or men – Andy (my wife) is always moaning about women in toilets in bars who don’t wash their hands.
    Isn’t there any nation out there who embraces good hygiene?

  4. Diane says:

    Steven always covers his hand with his jacket or jumper sleeve when he opens the door to leave a public loo as he said there was no point in him washing his hands to then touch the door handle that so many who haven’t had put their hands on. Good point but he does get some funny looks! And before you ask, I have no idea how often he washes his jacket or jumper!!

    • dragojac says:

      I get that – I use elbows, feet… anything really that can prise open a door without have to put my hand on the doorknob (there was a Julian Clary opening there but I resisted) – not that I’m obsessive or anything 🙂

  5. It really is unbelievable in this day and age that folk haven’t got the message. I’ve done my own jokey “surveys” of this sort, and bearing in mind that many of us live in multi-cultural areas, I can’t say that I have noticed any difference whatsoever, regardless of nationality, and women are equally as bad (that annoys me especially when they have kids with them). The only place I noted the opposite that I can recall (i.e. being impressed that everyone washed their hands) was in the U.S.

    • dragojac says:

      I think in this case it was because it was in a pub that caters mainly for British visitors that the Brits seemed most guilty but I agree, it seems widespread across all sexes and nationalities.

      Funnily, over our corazon pizzas last night we wondered if there were any nationalities that might buck the trend. We decided the Americans as well 🙂

      P.S. Notice how many men have commented 😉

      • Diane says:

        Think about how many times you have been in that pub and never caught any nasty bugs? Oh and how many hands (probably male) made your pizza? I think you will live to write another blog haha

        I believe there was a nightclub in London where the owners had a mirror in the ladies that viewed into the gents. Apart from the obvious viewing it must have highlighted how many potential dates were lost due to poor hygiene!

      • dragojac says:

        ‘Think about how many times you have been in that pub and never caught any nasty bugs?’ That’s only because I don’t allow any exposed body parts to come into any surfaces in the vicinity of the loo 🙂

        Ha – god knows what a mirror the other way around would reveal (well clearly you probably do as well). Andy came out of the lone female loo in a bar recently to find and old dame of about 70 trying to hoist herself over the sink. She had a bad hip into the bargain. It was a perticularly messy disaster waiting to happen.

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