What’s the smallest unit of currency you’d pick up from an undesirable location?

Yesterday, in the men’s room at my office, I noticed a penny on the floor directly under one of the urinals. I should note that, for some reason best left unexplained, there’s always a small puddle of something on the floor under the urinals. (Apparently someone has chronic bad aim.)

There was no chance in hell I was going to pick that penny up! But it got me thinking, what is the smallest unit of currency I would pick up from that location, assuming it required me to touch it with my bare hands? I pondered for a minute and decided with confidence that a five dollar bill would be the minimum value for which I would subject myself to the sub-urinal horrors.

What about you?

Now it Smells Like Fish and Roses!

(The title of this particular rant is, of course, the line spoken by a smart-ass bratty kid in a 1980s TV commercial for some kind of air freshener product, or possibly that powder you shake onto the carpet and then vacuum up. Her mother had cooked fish for dinner, and then attempted, futilely, to cover the stale cooked-fish smell with a “rosy” spray air freshener, prompting this clever quip from her daughter. If you can identify the product it was for, please let me know!)

I hate the smell of cigarette smoke. It was around me perpetually when I was growing up, and while I bear absolutely no grudge against my parents or my deceased grandparents as a result, I still find the smell highly objectionable.

I know I am not alone in my dislike of this smell. How can I be, when so many people — especially women — attempt to cover their own smoke smell with generous dousings of perfume and/or cologne? Here is the crux of my rant for today.

I work on the 25th floor of an office building, and I typically park on the 6th floor of its parking deck. (For my friends back in Minnesota, that’s Southern for “parking ramp” and for those in California, “parking structure.”) Hence, I take at least four rides in an elevator daily while I am at work (my attempts to be healthier by getting off at the 20th floor and walking up five flights notwithstanding).

It seems to me that, without fail, on at least one of those rides the elevator is filled with a noxious cloud produced by the combination of cigarette smoke lingering on a person’s clothes, mixed with excessive quantities of disgustingly potent perfume applied in a feeble attempt to mask the first smell. Let me say to all of you who attempt such things (as if there’s even an infinitessimal chance that one of you is reading this):

IT DOESN’T WORK!

The perfume does not mask the cigarette smell. It just makes it worse. And believe me, it stays around long after you’re gone. So do us all a favor… quit smoking. Then you won’t need the nasty perfume, either.

Update (May 16, 2018): Wow… over 16 years after I originally posted this on a blog that predates my use of (or… come to think of it, the existence of) WordPress, I just received an email from Christine Costello, who played the bratty kid, letting me know the product was Lysol. (I hope she took my assessment of her performance the right way… obviously it made a lasting impression!)