Yesterday, I was traveling for work and in O’Hare Airport in Chicago. I was headed to my gate to catch my flight home and stopped in the bathroom. I was using the urinal when I had the sudden urge to sneeze – the kind that come on so fast you can’t react appropriately. I sneezed and the strength of the sneeze knocked my glassess off of my face right into the urinal…

I was horrified at first, then slightly amused. After checking around to make sure no one was looking (luckily, no one else was in the bathroom), I had a couple of quick thoughts race through my mind – do I really NEED those glasses? should I just walk away nonchalantly? do I pick them up? what do I do with them after I pick them up? how “dirty” are airport urinals really? who were the last 10 people to use this, how many flushed, and what diseases did they have? Then I realized that I would have a hard time driving home from the airport in the dark so I needed those glasses…

I did one of those, block everything out of your mind maneuvers to prevent total revulsion (ninja trick I learned growing up on a farm when we had to clean manure out of pens, pick up dead animals or other nasty chores), reached in quickly and grabbed them. I then walked over to the sink and proceeded to wash them many times with soap and hot water to purify them. I also had to completely block out of my mind the ideas of what or who had used that urinal before me – it was somewhere I could not go… On the bright side, I have learned some lessons:

1. Never go to the urinal with your glasses on
2. At least it wasn’t my blackberry – don’t email while using the bathroom
3. If you have to stick your hand into a public urinal to retrieve something, be glad it is not a toilet
4. I am still alive today so whatever toxic germs I may have been exposed to, have not killed me yet

So beware those airport bathrooms!