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Eugene, OR — At the Salty Hog House, a quaint “Keep Eugene Weird” kinda restaurant that used to be the Fish Cottage, you can see your meat being roasted all around you in the repurposed fish tanks that line the walls. One of the chefs, Richie, sitting at the bar surveying the empty, quarantined restaurant, is feeling victimized. Every year he and the whole staff have been certified for cleanliness. Surprisingly, given the amount of smoke and meat in the walls, they have never failed an inspection or been shut down by the fire marshall. They have worked every minute just to get people good clean food. 

This is actually a general health code. “Hands are to be thoroughly washed for 20 seconds after touching raw meat.” That’s basically the job description of any person who works in a restaurant. Touch dead flesh, wash hands on an endless cycle. However, Richie is pissed about it. With lots of justification. Simply paragraphs of justifications. 

“First off, why does it say wash your hands like a surgeon? Who the fuck knows how that happens? I have never seen a surgeon wash their hands and I’ve been in lots of car accidents. They wash their hands and then they take like nine hours just to put your intestines back in. I make fifty sausages an hour and go through like 70 feet of intestines. How fucking slow are these assholes? Don’t they know we have to flip these tables? Isn’t that what you went to school for? What makes them the authority on washing hands? I wash my hands like nine times every 10 minutes. I should be the one in that commercial. You know how many songs I only know 20 seconds of? 

“Second, I am sick all the time and don’t give people my viruses. I sneeze down my shirt like a motherfucking adult. I wear gloves to bed. How do you think I grew this beard? I haven’t touched my face in a quarter of a century. Cuz everytime I do, I have to change gloves. I have a hairnet for my bush, just in case. Do I take my work home? Maybe. That’s sanitary.

“Sure, I’ve had these pants on for five days, but, when I contact a food safe surface, I fucking know. And then I clean it. Like instantly. But no, people are all like, you’re not clean you have mustard all over you. Listen here fam, this mustard was sterilized, by me, like five hours ago. It was at least at boiling temp when it sloshed all over my lap. 

“Third, I would love to see if fucking coronavirus could live in a restaurant for a second. We have so much ‘time to lean’ that the motherfucking rats have sani-buckets. I use a gallon of bleach a week on the desk in the kitchen office alone. And we don’t use that room. It’s for nerds. People think they’re safe in their homes? That’s crazy. I wouldn’t trust Auntie Jill to make a goddamned sandwich in a civilian kitchen. She just grabbed a knife out of a drawer? Not on a hook? Did she use a spoon to spread peanut butter? What is this? Prison? I know cuz when I was in prison I wasn’t allowed to have sharp things. Whatever. You fucking wonder why you got sick after Thanksgiving? Yeah, Uncle Buck and your little sister aren’t fucking professionals.

“Now people aren’t going out anywhere. That’s great, I don’t know how much you were licking the doorknobs in the first place, but fuck. If you want to come somewhere clean come to a place where the floor is mopped a minimum of 3 times a day. Come to a restaurant, where the glasses got washed 10 minutes before you got here. You should see dry storage. We were hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer before it was cool. Yeah I may have OCD and everyone in here is sped up on pills. But do you know how clean we get it in here? I sterilize shit with fire sometimes. Just to mix things up. Do surgeons do that? No. Cowards.

“As for you assholes who think you’re gonna get too physically close to people know this. I’ve seen you frat boys in the restrooms. You have a urinal in between at all times, usually a sink too. Just behave like you always do when there’s the threat of a penis being out and stay away from other people. 

“And if you want to learn how to wash your hands. Come on back to the kitchen and I’ll give you a nice soapy slap in your motherfucking mouth for thinking surgeons know this better than us.”

-said Richie.

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