This Week in Fearmongering

You all laughed when I suggested that bacteria in reusable grocery bags “sounds like a bad local TV sweeps story.” Well, all I have to say is HA!

Dirty bags have taken off as a hot story all over, including right here at WNYT:


The station interviewed an actual scientist who described the disgusting phenomena, explaining, “You get chicken juice on your carrots and your strawberries.” Yech! Fortunately, they also gave us a way to protect ourselves: “Just soap and water should do the trick.”

None of the dirty bag stories I watched actually tested any bags on their own. That costs too much money.

One of the more memorable concepts from the “dirty things will hurt you” genre was the filthy hotel report. In that story — which was done in every local TV market in America — you rent a hotel room and go in there with a UV light and look for unsavory stains on the bedspread. Then you swab the room and find out how much bacteria is on the remote control and toilet seat.

The results? Let’s just say if you’re staying in a hotel, bring some Purell. Preferably enough to coat your entire body.


15 responses to “This Week in Fearmongering

  1. I actually carry alcohol swabs around with me..I know it’s a little Howie Mandel of me, but I got a nasty staph infection a few years ago. And, Hotels freak me out to begin with, this doesn’t help.

  2. i preferred jon stossel’s classic mid 1990s expose on fecal matter lodged in the finger holes of bowling balls.

  3. Soap and water are good for killing germs? Stop the presses!!!

    What’s next?
    -When you get hungry, eat some food.
    -When it gets light outside, wake up and go to work.

  4. Jball made me laugh. Not sure how I missed that one.

    The hotel episode scarred me for life. I wipe down the room with Clorox wipes when I travel, but that doesn’t solve the bedspread problem.

  5. Yo’ll make yourself crazy if you think about what goes on in hotel rooms in regard to dirt and germs. I knew a woman who would order extra towels and lay them on the carpet to create safe walkways around the room.

  6. ..Well, I guess no more licking bowling balls fo me..

  7. Blech! And for the record, I am not the Donna H in this clip. Different last name all together. Of course, since most of you are FB friends you know that already.

    Those hotel room stories were enough to put you off traveling all together. Almost any way.

    Really can’t think about this stuff very much. I’m glad I use the plastic bad for the environment ones the stores give out. I repurpose them as trash bags, saves money on buying trash bags and keeps me from feeling guilty.

  8. Another classic hotel expose fear piece is the one about the bedbugs . . . and how once you pick them up from the hotel mattress and they ride back to your own home, YOU WILL HAVE TO BURN THE HOUSE DOWN AND KILL YOUR PETS AND SELL YOUR CHILDREN AND POUR SALT INTO THE EARTH WHERE YOUR HOME ONCE STOOD AND MOVE NAKED INTO A FURNITURE-LESS METAL BOX FOR SIX MONTHS TO GET RID OF THEM!!! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG!

  9. Unrelated, but in re HR Tip #83 over there in your Twitter feed, see: (strong language warning, probably best not played while sitting in a cubicle).

  10. Lordy. This is why I never travel. I don’t eat.

  11. Eric, I was laughing at your comment then I clicked on the You Tube video and laughed harder still. That song is effing (not what I want to say but TU edits) great! I am soooo tempted to take down the poem I put up and replace it with the lyrics. Not sure anyone would notice.

    Another reason to retire: To never, ever hear again that trite, redundant, annoying, “Working hard or hardly working?” As if you dare answer that honestly!

  12. I’ve got to put that video on my wall! Oh, Christ, I’m becoming one of those who steal.

  13. Oh, Eric #9 that is awesome. I bow to you, Sir Eric! 🙂

  14. Glad the Hanslick Rebellion’s “You Are Boring the Sh*t Out of Me” (#9) resonates . . . . FWIW, that band was formed at UAlbany in the ’90s, and the songwriter (the guy in the cubicle) works with me at UAS. See: He’s the best songwriter to come out of this market, ever, I think . . .

    Also . . . on the fearmongering front: This is a masterpiece of misunderstood/misapplied math and science . . . not to poo poo the severity of the impact of the BP spill, but this doesn’t help the cause:

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