Cleanliness is Next To…Phil?

I had to travel for work this past week and as usual that almost always is the genesis for a good blog post. This week was no different.


I used to always ask for an exit row seat when I flew because they have more room due to the door there. It was like getting first class leg room for free. Unfortunately about two years ago the airlines caught on and started charging extra for the exit row seats. I completely disagree with this policy. Not just because they ruined my little scam, but because when you sit in the exit row they always ask you if your are physically fit enough to help in the event of an emergency.

First of all,  if I’m going to be taking on the responsibility of helping save lives if there’s a crash I think the airline should be paying me. Secondly it’s very probable that me or any Joe Shmo who sits in the exit row is ill-equipped to keep a level head if our plane goes down. How do they know I won’t just scream and cry with my head between my knees? I’m not saying I would, but I’m not ruling it out either. To be honest, they’ll let anybody with a ticket on an airplane, and I’m not too optimistic that some of the Duck Dynasty rejects who get through TSA’s stringent screening process should be allowed on any form of public transportation, much less be put in charge of helping save lives.  In fact, on a 9 a.m. flight the minute the plane left the gate the woman next to me ordered a Bloody Mary, vodka and all. I’m pretty sure that if the plane went down she wasn’t going to be figuring out how the air mask works.

Now I always choose an aisle seat so that I can at least stretch one leg out into the aisle. When I boarded my flight home Thursday I took my seat on the aisle. A minute or two later the passenger in the seat next to me arrived, stowed her bag and as I got up to let her in to her seat she first tossed a packet of Clorox wipes on the seat. Before she sat down she wiped down the entire seat and arm rests. I was surprised she didn’t give me a quick once over with the Clorox. Then when she settled in her seat she cleaned the magazine pocket on the back of the seat in front of her, put her cell phone in it, took her cell phone out, made a call then wiped down her cell phone and the seat pocket before putting her cell phone back. Aaaah…a germ o’phobe! I thought to myself. Possible scenarios that immediately crossed my mind were sneezing on her, passing gas throughout the flight, taking my shoes and socks off, and falling asleep on her shoulder and drooling.


How does one go through life afraid of invisible “germs” that may not even exist? If someone worries about things so small they can’t be seen, how scared must they be of real, tangible things? I once read that over the course of our lives we inadvertently eat two pounds of dirt.  I figure that if that two pounds of dirt doesn’t hurt me, then I’m not going to worry about too much. Probably because of that attitude I’ve already eaten four pounds of dirt.

I used to work in an office and there were two germ o’phobes. They used Clorox wipes on their phones, their door knobs, their desks and their chairs. I always wondered if they sanitized husbands before sex. The germ ‘o phobes were the ones always out sick. I never worry about germs and I’m never out sick. I believe my cavalier attitude towards bacteria and germs leads to a stronger immune system that will leave me well prepared to fend off a virus-caused zombie apocalypse.

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9 responses to “Cleanliness is Next To…Phil?

  1. Awesome post as always Phil! I’d have coughed very loudly in her direction without putting my hand over my mouth – everybody does that to me on flights!

  2. LOL, thanks Suzie! I suppose some of the germ o’ phobes might take exception to this post though.

  3. Helen Czarniewicz

    Ha ha – I got to sit next to normal people on all flights this week!! (Them, maybe not so much; but it is all about me.)

    • I’m convinced there aren’t any normal people on flights except me. On another flight this week I sat next to a magician who hasn’t watched TV in a year. I’ll write about him next week.

  4. Very good article once again! Hahah I would’ve “accidentally” sneezed on her! Hahaha

  5. Boy as a little girl I use to make mud pies, the funny thing is we ate some of it..hahah Nasty it was but of course you are a kid and had to try!

  6. Reblogged this on The Phil Factor and commented:

    Sorry for the re-run, but it is Throwback Thursday. Please enjoy this classic Phil Factor post from 2013

  7. I have to admit that every time I fly now, which is quite often, I spray Vicks First Defence up my nose. I was sick of picking up everyone’s bugs on a long flight. I always ended up ill. Now I don’t.

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