I went into the men’s restroom of my local Pei Wei today and noticed a sign that indicated something to the effect that I should not drink if I suspect myself of being pregnant. I was warned of the bad consequences of drinking while with child, which included the possibility of damaging the child’s brain (which would qualify him or her for the position of Senator or Congressman). The one question that I had, however, was why such a sign was posted in the men’s room. The sign probably had something to do with bringing the restaurant into code compliance, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the way the real world works.
Now that I think about this, it causes me to question the other sign that I saw in the restroom (no, not the one scrawled on the wall with a Sharpie by an undiscovered poet); it was the one that read “All employees must wash hands before returning to work” and “Todos los empleados deben de lavarse las manos antes de regresar al trabajo o nos llamaremos a la migra.” Now, how irrelevant of a sign is that? Only a fool would honestly suspect that the workers employed here would actually take the time to wash their hands. The sign is most likely on the wall for two purposes: 1) to meet code and 2) to ease the fears of customers.
My guess is that the hand-washing sign is only there because it has to be and because it provides customers with a sense of well being. I know better, but I still eat out. I try not to think about the sanitary conditions surrounding the preparation of my food, because I enjoy it better when such thoughts aren’t in my head. And, in any case, I’m probably immune to any germs that may be inhabiting my taco grande or kung pao because I have traveled to foreign countries and some domestic states where the word “sanitary” isn’t in the dictionary.