Dear Future Roommate,
Next year, you will be eating a lot of unknown crap. Not the food itself; I know I can cook like a muthafuka so you'll enjoy the taste. It's simply that I eat/cook with stuff off the floor. I do not have a 5-second rule. I have a the-floor-at-my-local-convenience-store-is-clean-right? rule. In short, I am disgusting. I always tell myself that I will wash fruit/veggies/my hands but it feels weird and, well, non-Jewy. Yes, the mothers of our tribe are always (nasally) yelling at us, but not about the normal WASPy concerns. Germs, no. Bringing the local wino to Saturday services at synagogue, yes. Being the local wino in Saturday services at synagogue, well yeah, that too, if you're me or Hershel "Dumpster Diver" Dantowitz.
In truth, I blame my oft-stoned Hungarian emigré of a father and his whole wasted-want-not approach to any item that he owns, from televisions down to individual-size boxes of Sun Maid raisin boxes. Instead of being like, "Kids in Africa don't have _______," he was all, "You don't have ______, so enjoy that onion skin before I give it to your brother!" Do you see what I'm coming from, Future Roommate? ONION SKINS.
My relationship to germs is akin to that of Central Park residents to 9/11 conspiracy theories ; we're not getting the whole truth. I am distrustful of many things in this life, including recycling, all versions of CSI and Olive Garden's Neverending Soup, Salad & Breadsticks. I am equivally skeptical of the party line on germs. I look at all the Purell-wielding helicopter parents and their asthmatic allergic-to-air snot progenies and I gotta think that maybe a little dirt is good for the body. I mean, look at me. I used to eat acorns as a kid and I turned out great! Little potentially-degenerative neuropathic immune condition that elicits dozens of gawkers a day and a furious determination not to fall on public transportation...but no allergies! See?! Germs are our friends!!
So if I occasionally 'reuse' a fallen strawberry while preparing your fruit 'n nut platter in the morning, I'm sorry and you're welcome. Kids in Africa don't have fruit 'n nut platters.