Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NOTM: Man Saves D.C. from Germ Attack

Smithsonian Metro Stop - There are many things that can kill us. Cancer, heart disease, Metro buses, that piece of gum you swallowed as a kid that's still in your stomach, a ninja pummeling you with nunchucks, and germs. Fortunately, Morris Herlis saved the entire DC metro area from one of these silent killers on Tuesday - during his lunch break.

When it's not a typical DC summer day full of high temperatures and humidity, Morris enjoys a gentle walk on the National Mall. On Tuesday, he was walking by a game of pickup ultimate frisbee that's too serious to be called "pickup", when a gust of pollen passed by.

Snot began to drip down the inside of his nose, but Morris' breathed in, his nostrils filling with air in a vain attempt to keep the snot inside. It was too late.  The pollen had opened a faucet of germs begging to get out. Another large intake of air only slowed fate.

Snot drips turn into a snot stream in no time.

"That snot kept on coming and coming. I didn't know my body could make that much stuff. Where was it coming from?" Morris wondered. As much as Morris loved trees for their shade, he despised them for their blossom fornication.

The snot continued to run. Wearing a polo shirt and lacking classy tactfulness to carry tissues, Morris pulled his left forearm, elbow to wrist, along his nose. His reward was a clear sheen coat of aligned hairs.

Morris walked by the Hirshorn Museum toward 12th Street and the Smithsonian Metro station. His snot volcano erupted again. Simple snot rockets would not suffice because there was no solid material to be found in this liquid waterfall. Morris used the only wiping surface he had left and decimated his right forearm hairs in a flood of snot.

Toilet paper, it's not just for wiping yourself anymore.

After another inhale to pull snot back inside, Morris was toast. His body wanted the snot out quickly. With many tourists wandering from one air conditioned museum to the other, the Mall was plenty full. Morris did not want to infect all of them, yet he could not keep up with the cubic centimeters of microbes that just had to rush out of his body.

"The dam in my sinus cavity broke. Nasty stuff and lots of it were on their way out." With a convulsion and jerk of the head, Morris unleashed back-to-back germ torrents destined to infect, annoy, and disgust hundreds of people.

But on this day, Morris did not act the fool. He acted in good conscious of his fellow citizen. He pulled his right arm to his face and sneezed into the space between his forearm and bicep.

Just don't put your arm around someone after.

Though his arm was now engrossed in gross fluids, he saved DC from his germ attack. Proud of his kindness, he entered the Metro station with a bounce in his step, ready to ride back to the office.

He boarded a near empty Metro train that became standing room only just two stops later at Metro Center. There he found himself rubbing shoulders with other passengers and exchanging germs on handrails. A woman's perfume tickled his olfactory system, but he did not have enough space to capture the sneeze carnage in his left arm. Milliseconds after it flew out of him, he felt the weight of other passengers' eyes, glaring at him and his germ containment failure. If only they knew his story.