A Homeless Skin-Picker and The Hypochondriac

Zebra SallyToday I spent twenty minutes disinfecting the power cord on my Mac.


I know.

I know.

Having just moved into a new apartment, we are without internet until next Tuesday.  Which means if I want to get  online, I have to do so beyond the perimiters of our new abode.

Which means Starbucks.

The fiancé and I were happy to indulge in a little caffeinated web-gazing, and there was plenty of room to get comfortable at the corner ‘Bucks, so I plugged in my Mac and settled myself into a comfy leather recliner for what I hoped was going to be a  long-afternoon productivity session, when lo!  What to my wandering eye did appear?  A homeless man, set up with a MacBook Pro, picking bugs or skin or dirt or OHMYGOD, I DON’T KNOW WHAT, from of his legs and letting the detritus drop right onto my power cord below him.

Before we continue, let me explain that this is not an article about the tragedies of poverty.  (I know that the fellow talking to himself as he picked and surfed has problems.)  Nor is it an article about the evils of corporate greed ($4.67 for some lemon flavored ice tea?  Really, Starbucks?!)  This is an article about my own un-apologetically  un-pc, hypochondriac-ism.

How the hell was I supposed to unplug my power cord now?

I sat, paralyzed and staring, somehow unable to even sip my tea – What was he picking off his legs?  Did it have legs?  Were a million little disease-ridden mutant skin-flakes slithering down my powercord like it was the germ-luge?  Were they going to bat-crawl their way up the final stretch and land on my laptop, infiltrate my keyboard, and adhere themselves to my fingertips?!  WAS I GOING TO GET THE PLAGUE FROM THIS MAN’S LEG-DIRT?

And as I sat, pontificating, it occurred to me that I could not really be certain his cooties were even landing on my powercord – what if they had wings?  They could be getting caught up in the AC currents, floating from his biosphere to mine – I could already be breathing them in!

Obviously we had to get the hell out of there (and into a decontamination room) immediately.

My first instinct was to simply disconnect my computer and abandon the cord, but those things are expensive!  (Apparently my anxiety can be bought off for $59.99)  So instead, I asked my kind, wonderful, easy going and germ-oblivious fiancé  to unplug and roll up the cord, after which I squeak-gestured for him to insert it into the soon-to-be-Lysol’d front compartment of my backpack.

I tried not to grimace as he then used those bravely capable hands to steer us home.

I know that, for the gentleman doing the picking, there were many more serious things happening in that Starbucks this afternoon than my own neurotic melt-down, but I can’t help but feel like the world is bright again now that my powercord, steering wheel, hands, backpack, and nasal passageways have all been cleaned and sterilized.

Now I can think clearly again.

Now I can wonder, “What the hell was that homeless leg-picker doing with such an expensive MacBook Pro?”