Bacteria to the Future

Story Sent in by Greta:

Ian and I were out together one evening on our first date, walking nowhere in particular, when we came upon a deserted playground. There were slides, jungle gyms, monkey bars, swings, or as Ian said it:

"This place has got the works!"

Like five-year-olds, we ran for the equipment and had minutes of fun. He pushed me on a swing, I went down the slide, he climbed on top of the monkey bars, and I jumped on a bouncy bridge.

When I had about had my fill, I took out a bottle of hand sanitizer and used it. I held it out in Ian's direction, offering some to him.

He groaned and said, "You know, that stuff makes you sicker! It kills all the good bacteria!"

I replied, "If you use it constantly, probably. I just think it's probably a better idea than not to use it after touching playground equipment. Want some?"

In reply, he said, "No," and licked his hands and fingers again and again.

I must have given him a what-the-hell-are-you-doing look, because he asked me, "What?" Before I could respond, he continued, "I'll prove it to you."

He walked up to the metal jungle gym and licked, actually licked its bars. He gave the jungle gym a tongue bath for about 10 seconds before I found my words and said, "That's filthy! What are you doing?"

"Just licking it clean," he said, "People are way too uptight today," he pointed at me, "Case in point."

I said, "Little kids sneeze into their hands or wipe their noses and then touch that thing."

"Beam me up, snotty," he joked, then rubbed his hands all over the metal bars.

I was ready to leave the playground and said, "Let's go to dinner, already."

"Okay, but I'm not going to wash my hands."

Sure enough, he didn't. At dinner, we made small talk while all I could think of was how gross the whole playground situation was. He ordered a sandwich which of course, he ate with his unwashed hands.

After dinner, he walked me back to my car and tried to kiss me. "Not on a first date," was what I said, but what I meant was, "You licked a freaking jungle gym. Stay the hell away!"

He caught on, though. He asked, "Is this about the jungle gym?"

I said, "No, I just don't want to push things too fast."

"But we've already gone to a playground together that's… that's special."

"Exactly. Can't have too many special things at once."

He sighed. "I guess not. See you soon?"

"I'll be in touch," I said, and when he hugged me goodbye, I hugged him back.

I was never in touch.

The opposite of not being in touch.


  1. While I do think that some people go overboard with their sanitation concerns (OP seemed to be reasonable about it), this guy was kind of demented in his approach (to put it nicely). It's one thing to not want to use the sanitation gel, you always have the option of politely refusing it... IMHO it would have been OK to get to the restaurant and then washing your hands there. But licking the playground toys thinking that you're making a point... dude, no. Just no.

  2. I'm gonna second S. here.

  3. Yeah, S. has a pretty solid opinion.

  4. I have learned from this site that the words "I'll prove it to you" never precede anything good.

    1. It's basically the equivalent of "Hold my beer and watch this!"

  5. Gotta go with S.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. That article you linked, Jared, about the stalker, is something else. 65,000 calls in one year?! I wonder what she does for a living cause she clearly has tons of time on her hands.

  8. Jesus, an average of 178 times a day? That's close to once every 6 minutes and 45 seconds.

  9. It sounds like the guy was trying to be funny, and failed. But really, hand sanitiser because you'd touched playground equipment? yikes.

  10. It would have been hilarious if he came down with some awful exotic disease shortly after that date. I really wish OP had stayed in touch with him simply so we could find out.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Content Policy

A Bad Case of the Dates reserves the right to publish or not publish any submitted content at any time, and by submitting content to A Bad Case of the Dates, you retain original copyright, but are granting us the right to post, edit, and/or republish your content forever and in any media throughout the universe. If Zeta Reticulans come down from their home planet to harvest bad dating stories, you could become an intergalactic megastar. Go you!

A Bad Case of the Dates is not responsible for user comments. We also reserve the right to delete any comments at any time and for any reason. We're hoping to not have to, though.

Aching to reach us? abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com.