I see hand sanitizer all over the place now. People are fanatically clean these days. Times have changed since I was a kid. We never really thought about that kind of stuff when I was young.
Don’t get me wrong, we had to wash our hands before we ate. We had to take our bath. Occasionally an aunt or someone (usually Southern) would make a comment about being able to “grow taters in those ears” to one of my male relatives. But hand sanitizer in travel sized bottles? *giggle* Not hardly.
As a matter of fact, I had an older cousin whose mother kept him so clean when he was young that he got sick. His doctor finally told his mom that she had to let him go outside and get dirty. She was not to clean him up! He was to get dirty and stay that way until evening and only then was she to bathe him! It was excruciatingly hard on her, but she did it for his sake. He got better….physically. Funny thing, he ended up crazy as a bed bug. But that is neither here nor there. (Yes, it does run in the family, smart aleck!)
My grandson, Buddha, used to be such a neat freak that when I gave him a sloppy joe for lunch he couldn’t eat it! He would pick it up, get sauce on his hand, put it down, wipe off his hand, pick it up, get sauce on his hand, put it down, …….you get the idea. Finally, I took pity on the poor little thing, cut it up and gave him a spoon. Sheesh! (Now, he could grow taters in those ears *wink*)
When I was coming up, those things never came into consideration. If they had, we would have never eaten a Louie burger. At this point it is my duty to warn any of you with a weak stomach not to read further. Mom, this means you.
Louie lived and worked next door to the service station that my dad was part owner of. We would go down to “help” dad at the station and he would send us next door for a burger. Louie and his wife, I never knew her name, lived and worked at their house. Louie cooked burgers on the stove in his kitchen. They were GREAT burgers. They were locally famous. Everyone went to Louie’s for a burger on a regular basis. This was good because at some point Louie apparently had a stroke or something and this is how Louie and his wife made their living. His wife would take the orders, give them to Louie, who would shuffle back to the kitchen and cook them, and his wife would chat with you up front until he shuffled back with your greasy bag. Louie couldn’t talk. His wife knew what he meant when he made his noises, but no one else did. She would tell you Louie said thank you and come back again. I used to wonder if Louie was actually saying something that ended in “and the horse you rode in on”, but who could tell?
The reason I believe that Louie had a stroke is that Louie shuffled when he walked and he had this other little thing that he did that was kinda telling. He drooled. Yeah, I know, right? Louie probably kept the handkerchief people in business because I never one time in my whole life ever saw Louie without one. He held them up to his chin to catch the drool. But the handkerchiefs were never wet. It was Louie that cooked. Not Mrs. Louie. Louie cooked. Hopefully with one hand.
Weren’t no hand sanitizer going on in Louie’s kitchen, I can tell you that. And no one ever thought one thing about it. It makes my mom gag when we talk about it now. Louie and his wife wouldn’t have a prayer of making a living on their own now. They’d have to depend on Social Security and Alpo now-days. But back then, they were independent and self sufficient. Proud people with a product to sell that people wanted and liked.
Maybe it was the drool that made Louie’s burgers taste so good?
OK, I’ll stop. My mom says I take this one too far.
We didn’t have flesh eating virus in those days. Or Ebola. And if we did, it was very well contained. We didn’t have AIDS, or Hanta Virus or HIV, or any of the new stuff that’s come along lately. There weren’t as many people in the world back then and mother nature wasn’t trying so hard to thin the herd.
We had stronger immune systems then. And the generation before us had even stronger ones. But, I digress.
I probably wouldn’t buy a burger from Louie today. But not for the reason you might think. It would just be too creepy to buy a burger from a 160 year old guy who’s too dried out to drool but who keeps on holding that dang old white handkerchief under his chin! Yuck!
Note to self: Nice girls don’t blog after they’ve taken their meds! Think about it!