There are no ifs, ands, or un-wiped butts about it: Kids are gross. They deposit boogers on walls, stick wads of bubblegum to random surfaces so they can chew them again later, refuse to brush their teeth, and do things like handle a frog and then eat a sandwich without so much as a rinse. And of course, when we catch them doing these barf-worthy behaviors, we’re like, oh, no, you didn’t, and school them in the error of their disgusting ways. Eventually, our walls are less boogery, their undies are less skid-marked, and they actually use soap without being hounded about it.
But apparently, for some, yucky kid behavior crosses right over into adulthood. Is this lack of manners a personal flaw? A gross oversight (pun totally intended) on their parents’ part? Why are some grown-ass adults still as nasty as someone who doesn’t know any better?
As a group fitness instructor, I’ve worked at several different gyms. They all have one thing in common — not the equipment, not the copious amounts of Lycra, not the guttural grunts of power-lifters, but the sign that hangs above every shared watering hole in the joint: PLEASE DO NOT SPIT IN THE DRINKING FOUNTAIN.
It’s bad enough that the sign has to be posted at all. Because, grown-ups. But the worst part is: That’s not the worst part. A few loogies in the water fountain are just the stomach-turning tip of a very unacceptable iceberg. In one gym where I taught, there was a room with a tanning bed. Beside that tanning bed was a small plastic wastebasket, meant for crumpled tissues or empty lotion bottles or what-have-you. Sadly, the management had to remove the wastebasket. Why? Because people were peeing in it. Peeing. In the trash can. Did I mention that the actual bathroom — with actual toilets, actually intended for pissing in — was located mere feet away?
The staff of that gym (and the staff of every other gym and anywhere with a public restroom, ever) has to deal with unfathomable grossness on the daily. Unflushed toilets, splatters and smears and piles (gag) of various excrement, heinous clogs, unspeakable acts involving used tampons and (really un-) sanitary napkins. BRB, retching, into the proper receptacle.