Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: Do I count myself lucky? Or yucky?


I don’t want to be that person who doesn’t count her blessings — gratitude, after all, has been scientifically proven to be practically a cure-all for what ails your attitude — and yet, here we are with a great big “but” blocking my path to enlightenment-level grace.

After a rocky start to the pandemic when I didn’t have disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, three weeks ago I managed to procure a container of wipes, though I was limited to one item. That was OK because it was more than enough for two people who are able to self-isolate. Sure, the situation was a little awkward and in need of forethought having to remember to tuck a few wipes from that giant container into a little sealable baggy for a trip off the property. It was doable, though, and we were straight-up thankful, so there are no big buts here.

During the next weekend’s grocery shopping trip, I literally stumbled upon some hand sanitizer in a display that was, get this, right in the middle of a main aisle. It couldn’t have been more convenient than if it had been advertised and pointed out with an arrow hanging from the ceiling. It was fate a kindness from the universe, which is prone to pulling fast ones on me.

The sanitizer was 65 percent alcohol and came in a bottle small enough to pack in a vehicle, but larger than a mini, travel-size bottle — definitely large enough to get you kicked off a plane if you tried to get it past a TSA agent.

Plus, it was organic, it had no added scent, it was cheap and I could buy more than one without fear of retribution. But (and this is the big but you’ve been waiting to see, so I’ll repeat it), but these last four details should’ve been emphasized a little more strongly — or at the very least they should’ve set off alarm bells in my head space.

I mean, really, what is organic hand sanitizer? My brain was thinking isopropyl alcohol because that’s what we had been using when needed, so I’m all, “organic? What, did it come from pasture-raised isopropyls that were never given antibiotics or steroids? Was the isopropyl grown in a field fertilized with all-natural substances? Were no preservatives used in the bottling of this isopropyl?”

Come on, you have to admit, I was on a roll. I was so busy being amused by my sharp with, that when I read ethyl alcohol under the ingredients I didn’t really ponder the implications and, therefore, when I read “no added scent” I just thought, “Great! Who wants to smell like cheap French-knockoff toilet water anyway?”

And it really was cheap. They were practically giving the stuff away by the arm loads.

I felt so happy to get a couple bottles. It was pure 2020 new-age-a-dawnin’ excitement to be able to finish my shopping, whip out some hand sanitizer and sterilize my hands before I got in the vehicle and drove home.

Oh my H-E-double-hockey-sticks.

That stuff stinks.

I cannot emphasize that enough. It’s nasty.

I was expecting a harch chemically smell, like isopropyl alcohol. No this smells like alcohol-alcohol, but (big but) not the good stuff. It’s not like I’m going “What? They deprived someone of a margarita by mixing the tequila with aloe vera to make a sanitizer? I don’t care. It says all-natural, I’m licking it off my hands.”

No. Nuh-uh. Definitely not. Nope.

Remember how I mentioned cheap toilet water before, referring the eau de toilette perfume? This stuff is straight-up hooch made from water that was well and truly siphoned out of a toilet bowl and fermented with rotten potatoes, and I don’t know, broccoli or cauliflower or maybe kale. And its heady bouquet has the slight tang of bad sauerkraut or kimchi (with all due apologies to the Germans and Koreans, who consider rotting cabbage a delicacy).

I know, I should be grateful that I even have hand sanitizer, and I’m trying. I really am. I finally decided to just drop my big but about this hand sanitizer. I really am grateful that I can sanitize my hands while in town. And I think I figured out a way to be truly grateful that it smells this horrible, too.

Coated with this stench, there’s no way I’m going to touch my face or forget to wash my hands when I get home.


Just hope I don’t get pulled over while reeking of this alcohol. I don’t want the cops to think I would drink something that rotten at [email protected]


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