Haha! I’m starting this post off by laughing because the first time I went to see my brother, Noah, in prison was when he was in Milan, MI and he was sharing these stories about these big burly men and how they were scared of germs.
I do have to admit though, this prison was one of the ickiest places I’ve ever had to sit in and for six hours straight — the chairs, books, bathrooms… it was all pretty gross. Yankton, SD, where Noah is now, is a lot more clean, but the prisoners still find it full of germs and go to the extreme to stay clean.
Noah went on to say all these stories from both places and I couldn’t stop laughing, I’m still laughing thinking about them all. So take it away, Noah…
Hey guys, Noah here.
Today I am going to talk about germs, which I have found to be the scariest thing an inmate can experience while incarcerated. I understand germs are serious and can lead to illness or infections that then could lead to death, but my brain just doesn’t work that way.
When I drop a piece of food on the ground my first thought is, I have five seconds to pick that up. I take hand washing and other hygiene practices seriously, but I am not going to run to the bathroom to wash my hands every fifteen minutes.
Anyway, about 75% of the inmate population are germ-a-phobes, and I have seen several people go to the extreme lengths to avoid them. One of those lengths, however, isn’t cleaning. The consensus around here is that we work for slave labor. Therefore you will not find many people cleaning the showers, restrooms, kitchens, or any other place we come into contact with multiple times a day.
We do have this pink sanitizer spray that we simply refer to as “pink stuff.” This is our main line of defense, and there is a bottle hanging every twenty to thirty feet. People simply spray the “pink stuff” on the phones, keyboards, toilet seats, even the shower walls before getting in. I’m guessing when we spray over black mold it gives you about 15 minutes of protection so you can get your shower done.
Some people just wear gloves all day or use their feet to open, close, or flush things. If they sold surgical mask here, everybody would be wearing them. Also, if you sneeze, snort, or cough near someone they are going to ask you if you’re sick.
At least ten times a day I witness someone using their shirt to open a door or drink out of the fountain. Others grab different parts of the door that have less hand traffic to open it.
Lastly, a very small few will just wait for doors to be opened by someone else. In the bathroom, the expectation is it should never smell like poop, which is tough when most bathrooms here have 3-5 toilets, and many times are full. So what they expect is while you are pooping, you continuously flush the toilet throughout the entire process.
I know you can’t believe everything you read, but we’ve all read flushing the toilet is the dirtiest thing done in a restroom in regards to producing germs.
One time I was taking number two and all of a sudden someone yells, “Hey Noah, you any good at math?!”
First off, I didn’t know how he knew I was in there, second, he was probably expecting a short yes or no answer. Instead, I started explaining to him how I was terrible at math, my worst subject actually, and how I probably should have failed college algebra, but I got a sympathetic C- for trying so hard….on and on…
But this didn’t stop him from coming with the punch line, “because you should add water to that shit…”
That one still makes me laugh even as I write it down now.
Let’s get back to talking about hand washing. What do you do once you finish washing your hands, and you have to touch the handle to turn the water off?
Well, I have a fix for that. You turn the water on as soon as you enter the restroom, do your business, then simply wash your hands and exit without turning off the water.
Luckily, I don’t see this happen daily, but I need more than my hands and feet to count the number of times I have actually witnessed it. Have you guys ever seen a person using a phone that has a sock on it? I have.
I assume it’s clean, or I have at least yet to see someone doing this while missing a sock from their foot.
In conclusion, I understand germs are a serious matter but what can I say, I like to live life dangerously. I also probably shouldn’t poke fun at people that are trying to stay healthy and disease free, but life is a lot more fun when you’re laughing!
From the inside,